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Politics Of Social Ecology

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The culmination of a lifetime of thinking about how society might best be transformed.
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 10th 1997 by Black Rose Books (first published July 1st 1997)
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Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
I must say I was a bit skeptical about reading this one, as I'm familiar with a few of Murray Bookchin's works (the 'founder' of social ecology). The first half is pretty standard, but Biehl really shines through with the second half. I love her discussion on dual power and confederated municipalities--fantastic. The interview with Bookchin at the end is alright, and the appendix (the statement of principles of a Vermont-based libertarian municipalist movement) is heartening--compared with the ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very useful little book, almost has me convinced to run for city council! Bookchin's ideas as presented by Biehl are much more digestible and practical, I think this is the way we replace capitalism. Occupy almost had it right, we do need general assemblies and direct democracy. Libertarian municipalism, as explained in this book, adds a bit more structure and majority voting instead of consensus. There is a good section in here on why consensus does not work well for larger groups, so I'll just ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stop what you're doing and read this book. This is the basic building block of what we need to be doing. Yes I know it displays typical anarchist Eurocentrism but we can read our Lorde and Robinson and Fanon and Spivak and Saïd and Spillers alongside. Just read this then get together with your neighbors and start educating yourselves and practicing regular participatory governance. It seems so subtle and reformist but it is huge and potentially transformative. Ok lemme know what you think after ...more
blue-collared mind
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A clear outline of Bookchin's theories and a further explanation of direct democractic municipalism. Biehl frames his work better than Bookchin ever did. I still read Bookchin's work as the beginning of an argument rather than as a complete system; in fact, its criticism of social democracy and of anarchist theory is the best thing about it. One of the best overviews of social ecology out there.
Janet Biehl does a fantastic job in summarizing the basics social ecology, and its political practice: libertarian municipalism. Oftimes it expresses Murray Bookchin's ideas better than he managed to do himself. But—as the author warns—one should not take this as more than a breadth-first introduction to the subject.

The latter part of the book is an interview with Murray, and provides a good medium of exposing ideas, and stating clarification for contentious points. I find it to be an inspired
Jesse Houle
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jesse by: Adam Lassila
In general, I'm very glad this book exists. On the grand political spectrum, I think I'm much closer to Biehl and Bookchin than most folks in the world. However, there were some specifics I don't particularly agree with as well as some aspects of the strategy of Libertarian Municipalism that raise pretty big questions. My friend Adam read this before me and gave it to me to read so we could discuss. I'ma write him an email with my thoughts, and after we work some of them out, I'll probably post ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bookchin romanticizes "The community" a little too much for my taste. He shrugs off legitimate criticism of it's short-comings. That aside, he makes his case well enough for this to be a good introduction to Libertarian Socialism
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting introduction and synthesis of Bookchin's thoughts. A must read for anyone wishing to explore libertarian municipalism, perfect before reading bookchin's heavier literature.
Ege Akpınar
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oldukça kapsamlı ve konu üzerine yeni başlayanlar için bence güzel bir başlangıç el kitabı. Maalesef kısa olmasına rağmen bazı noktalarda tekrara düştüğünü düşünüyorum.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Menjelaskan politik yang benar benar politik, juga apa arti sesunguhnya dari demokrasi, buku ini sangat cocok untuk dibaca bagi kita semua. Rasionalitas & etika itu pondasi dari semua ini. 🏴 ...more
Jérémi Doyon
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Janet Biehl - qui traduit dans un vocabulaire générale et simple la parole de Murray Bookchin - nous parle du municipalisme libertaire d'une façon réaliste, réalisable et intelligente, même si à l'occasions j'avais l'impression que certaines propositions ont été un peut trop simplifié à mon gout (ce sera à moi d'approfondir le sujet car au début du livre elle nous dit clairement que cet ouvrage est une introduction en résumé de l'idée du municipalisme libertaire pensé par Bookchin), mais aussi, ...more
Rodrigo Goller
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-ecology
Loved the simple to understand prose used by Biehl to explain the complex ideas developed by Bookchin.
Miranda Waters
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Nov 24, 2017
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