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The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  15 reviews
“The very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human.” With this succinct formulation, Murray Bookchin launches his most ambitious work, The Ecology of Freedom. An engaging and extremely readable book of breathtaking scope, its inspired synthesis of ecology, anthropology and political theory traces our conflicting legaci ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by AK Press (first published 1982)
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Besides Edward Said's Orientalism, The Ecology of Freedom is the most exciting and fascinating book I've read in a long time.

Bookchin here promotes his idea of social ecology and his vision of an ecological society (and world). He takes issue with so-called environmentalist movements, which, like the psychotherapist that Herbert Marcuse roundly criticizes, seek merely to have society adapt to the madness of extant structures rather than promote radical change, as social ecology advocates. He
Murray Bookchin (R.I.P., 2006) was one of the most important American theorists of the 20th century. He is most known for pioneering and promoting 'social ecology,' which holds that "the domination of nature by [hu:]man stems from the domination of human by human." In other words, the only way to resolve the ecological crisis is to create a free and democratic society.

The Ecology of Freedom is one of Bookchin's classic works, in which he not only outlines social ecology, but exposes hierarchy, "
This was a challenge for me to complete, but I'm glad I did. In retrospect, it seems largely composed of long, detailed tangents strung together thematically as historical evidence for Bookchin's ideas about the history of civilization. That's what I mean when I say I found it difficult. In the same way, Mumford's Technics and Human Development became a bog of historical detail. That should probably be attributed more to my preferences than the authors' deficiencies, however.

Bookchin sees two cu
I know everyone loves this book, but I've tried to read it several times now and I can't make it through because of the thick academic language. The chapters I've read though makes a good argument that a lot of how humans view nature comes from the cultures we come from, like in ants where people think of the Queen Ant as the ruler, when in fact ants act more communally and on instinct rather than through orders or anything like that (the queen produces the babies.)
i really wanted to like this book. it has some interesting themes and a general ideology i'm down with. but it's actually way too long and the writing style is quite dense. a lot of the material seems somewhat tangential to the overall topic as well (there's a lot of religious history in this book). there are some good points made throughout this book, but i can't say i'd recommend reading it.
Nik Bramblett
skimmed for research paper... useful, but dated... need to apply some critical thinking to apply it to current situations...
This is the most comprehensive and developed attempt to theorize an anarchist perspective since Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. Although particular chapters or passages may seem dated or problemtic in various ways, its important to stay focused on Bookchin's overall project, which was deeply radical and utopian.

RIP, Murray.
Apr 30, 2009 Hafidha marked it as to-read
This book is not an easy read, but I'd like to get through some of the chapters, namely: the concept of social ecology, the emergence of hierarchy, epistemologies of rule, legacy of domination, two images of technology, and the ambiguities of freedom.
Ett av de få försöken att empiriskt, det vill säga med stöd av exempelvis etnografiskt material, beskriva statens uppkomst. Kanske inte helt lyckat, men en eloge för ambitionen!
It gives a perspective of humanity that is essential for our day to day understanding. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Thanks Murray.
A powerful exploration of more than just social and political theory, but of the philosophies of nature, technology and consciousness as well.
Benjamin J.
This book is IT. A modern classic. Bookchin answers so many questions, specifically, how did our society get to be the way it is.
Two years after starting, I finally finished this! Geez...
Bookchin is like the green Chomsky. Amazing book!
This sits much better with me than deep ecology.
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Murray Bookchin was an American libertarian socialist author, orator, and philosopher. A pioneer in the ecology movement, Bookchin was the founder of the social ecology movement within anarchist, libertarian socialist and ecological thought. He was the author of two dozen books on politics, philosophy, history, and urban affairs as well as ecology. In the late 1990s he became disenchanted with the ...more
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