Book Review of “Enlightenment and Ecology: The Legacy of Murray Bookchin in the 21st Century”

by Elvira Wepfer

Murray Bookchin’s (1921-2006) anti-capitalist thinking combined community, direct democracy and ecology into a radical political theory he called social ecology. Throughout the 20th century it stood alongside growing arguments for eco-social change and influenced leftist discourses on citizenship, domination and freedom. In the new millennium, it has formed the basis of the Kurdish feminist-ecological revolution in Rojava and thus been implemented for the first time in practice. The edited volume “Enlightenment and Ecology. The Legacy of Murray Bookchin in the 21st Century” (Black Rose Books, 2021) celebrates Bookchin’s legacy and considers the lived experiences of social ecology. The anthology is a heart-felt endeavour to point out the urgency, potential and possibility for social change that grounds in the collaborative world-making of ecosystems to create free democratic societies that gain their resilience through a unity in diversity. The activists, thinkers and scholars writing place their contributions in political and economic theory, in decades of social engagement and in co-creation and observation of real-life movements. The outcome is a multifaceted anthology whose engaged voices paint a vivid, dialectical picture of the challenges and hopes of creating practice out of theory.

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Kapitalizme karşı doğrudan demokrasi

Yazar: Yavor Tarinski

Demokrasiyi kısıtlamanın en etkili yolu, karar verme mekanizmasını kamusal alandan hesap vermeyen kurumlara yönlendirmektir: krallar ve prensler, rahip kastları, askeri cuntalar, parti diktatörlükleri ya da modern şirketler.” Noam Chomsky [1]

Bugünlerde demokrasi ve kapitalizm sıklıkla neredeyse eşanlamlıymış gibi kullanılıyor. Bu birbirinin yerine geçme hali yalnızca siyasi lügate değil aynı zamanda sosyal imgesellere de nüfuz etmiş durumda. Mevcut sistem tarafından baskı gören veya sömürülen çoğunluk bu iki kavramı suçlama eğilimi gösteriyor.

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The Spatial Dimensions of Citizenship as an Antidote to Mob Rule

By Yavor Tarinski

The attraction of evil and crime for the mob mentality is nothing new. It has always been true that the mob will greet “deeds of violence with admiring remark: it may be mean but it is very clever.

-Hannah Arendt[1]

Among opponents of direct democracy there is this reoccurring argument of it being prone to the so-called “mob rule”[2], as if the people, once empowered, will most probably turn into a mob. But this line of thought, deeply submerged into oligarchic imaginary, is highly fallacious and deceptive. There are certain reasons because of which the people can degrade into mob, and Hanna Arendt’s work can provide clarity into distinguishing the former from the latter, as well as alternative civic routs that can lead to the emergence of an active citizenry instead.

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Book review: “Enlightenment and Ecology: The Legacy of Murray Bookchin in the 21st Century”

by Rafa Grinfeld

It is not an easy task to compile a book in such rapidly changing times. The editor of the collection, Yavor Tarinski, writes: “It took us over a year to prepare—a period in which we faced many difficulties.” Indeed, we are living very troubled times, considering, for instance, the questionable ways different governments act in times of COVID-19 and the institutional racism that has sparked in the context of many protests in the US but also in other countries. According to Tarinski, “It is in such difficult times that you have the time to reflect on the ills of the current state of our societies and see that things can’t return to the way they used to be. Something must radically change.”

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