"City air makes people free." With this adage Murray Bookchin begins a remarkable essay on the evolution of urbanism. With a wealth of learning and a depth of passion, Bookchin convincingly argues that there was once a human and progressive tradition of urban life, and that this heritage has reached its "ultimate negation in the modern metropolis".
Toward an Ecological Society compiles key writings from a seminal period in Murray Bookchin's thought, including essays on urbanism, the relation between ecology and technology, and the ongoing significance of the Nuclear question.
The 1848 wave of worker rebellions that swept across Europe struck the German states with the March Revolution. the writer August Brass led the successful defense of the barricades in Berlin's Alexanderplatz public square. Published in English for the first time, On the Barricades of Berlin provides a riveting firsthand account of this uprising.
Brass’ testimony begins with the tumultuous events leading up to the revolution: the peaceful democratic agitation; the demands that were brought to the king; and the key actors involved on all sides of the still peaceful, yet tense, struggle. It then follows the events that led to the outbreak of resistance to the forces of order and sheds light on the aftermath of the fighting once the exhausted Prussian army withdrew from the city.
The political and economic turmoil that followed our most recent financial crisis has sparked a huge resurgence of interest in the work of Karl Polanyi (1886–1964), famous anthropologist, economist, and social philosopher. Polanyi’s 1944 masterpiece, The Great Transformation, spoke of dangerous increasing dominance of the market and the resulting counter-movements, a prediction that has been borne out by current international grassroots resistance to austerity, alienation, and environmental upheaval of our world.
In Karl Polanyi’s Vision of a Socialist Transformation, German social and economic philosophers Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger bring together central figures in in the field—including Gareth Dale, Nancy Fraser, and Kari Polanyi Levitt—to provide an essential anthology on the contemporary importance of Polanyi’s thought. This book is centered around Polanyi's ideas on freedom and community in a complex socialist society based on a completely transformed economy. It also includes five 1920s essays by Polanyi recently discovered in the Montreal Polanyi archive and translated into English for the first time, including his lecture “On Freedom”, which is central to his unique understanding of socialism.
Participatory budgeting gives people real power to determine the future of their cities. It’s a democratic process where ordinary community members directly decide how to spend the public budget. It explicitly reaffirms the central place of collective deliberation for participatory democracy, and it also can contribute to the transformation of the city into urban commons. Though participatory budgeting was only born in 1989, it has since been practiced more than 2000 times in more than 45 countries around the world—groundbreaking success for a process that is one of the rare authentic democratic innovations in the past 30 years.
In this book, Yves Cabannes offers examples from five continents of participatory budgeting in practice, outlining the successes and challenges of thirteen case studies from the United States, Brazil, France, Portugal, Spain, China, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mozambique, and Cameroon. As much a best-of-guide as a how-to-manual for democratizing municipal finances, the book charts the unique trajectory of participatory budgeting, asserting its rich potential for realizing radical democratic goals and deepening democracy. The book also features a foreword by Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, the city with the largest and most ambitious participatory budget in history.
As American politics becomes ever more dominated by powerful vested interests, positive change seems permanently stymied. Left out in the cold by the political process, citizens are frustrated and despairing. How can we take back our democracy from the grip of oligarchy and bring power to the people?
In Direct Deliberative Democracy, Jack Crittenden and Debra Campbell offer up a better way for government to reflect citizens’ interests. It begins with a startlingly basic question: “Why don’t we the people govern?” In this provocative book, the authors mount a powerful case that the time has come for more direct democracy in the United States, showing that the circumstances that made the Constitutional framers’ arguments so convincing more than two hundred years ago have changed dramatically—and that our democracy needs to change with them. With money, lobbyists, and corporations now dominating local, state, and national elections, the authors argue that now is the time for citizens to take control of their government by deliberating together to make public policies and laws directly. At the heart of their approach is a proposal for a new system of “legislative juries,” in which the jury system would be used as a model for selecting citizens to create ballot initiatives. This would enable citizens to level the playing field, bring little-heard voices into the political arena, and begin the process of transforming our democracy into one that works for, not against, its citizens.
Few twentieth-century writers remain as potent as Franz Kafka—one of the rare figures to maintain both a major presence in the academy and on the shelves of general readers. Yet, remarkably, no work has yet fully focused on his politics and anti-authoritarian sensibilities. The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority is a fascinating new look at his widely known novels and stories (including The Trial, Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony and Amerika), portraying him as a powerful critic of authority, bureaucracy, capitalism, law, patriarchy, and prisons. Making deft use of Kafka’s diaries, his friends’ memoirs, and his original sketches, Costas Despiniadis addresses his active participation in Prague’s anarchist circles, his wide interest in anarchist authors, his skepticism about the Russian Revolution, and his ambivalent relationship with utopian Zionism. The portrait of Kafka that emerges is striking and fresh—rife with insights and a refusal to accept the structures of power that dominated his society.
Nature is endlessly reinventing itself in a constant flux of movement and diversity. Yet the advancement of modern civilization has engendered extreme inequality, social division, and an imbalance between society and nature. Our technological proficiency has given our species the illusion of omnipotence; in our efforts to build robots more like us, we have not noticed how robotic we ourselves have become. To deal with this profound crisis, we must understand this problem at its roots. Could the origins of social domination and ecological exploitation be related? Is it possible for us to transform these dynamics and design society in a way that is cognizant of, and harmonious with, the Earth?
In this visionary book, David Dobereiner lucidly delves into the present urban and ecological impasse and examines the prospects for our future. Laced with insights into social and political ecology and written with a lifetime’s experience of innovating in ecological design, Organicity shows that there is still hope to build a more humane, egalitarian, and sustainable system, but it requires a fundamental shift in the way we do civilization. At the crossroads of creation and destruction, will evolution or entropy triumph?
The left is supposed to be opposed to colonialism and at least skeptical of nationalism. However, Left, Right shows that, for decades now, this hasn’t been the case in Canada. Yves Engler marshals damning detail on the long, surprising history of support from the New Democratic Party and labor unions for such policies and international interventions as the coup in Haiti, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Korean War, and much more. The rhetoric of the mainstream left, he shows, has also tended to concede major points to the dominant war-mongering ideology, with prominent commentators such as Linda McQuaig and Stephen Lewis echoing the terminology of right-wing politicians and thinkers. More than simply diagnosing a problem, however, Left, Right offers a path forward, laying out ways to get us working for an ecologically sound, peace-promoting, and non-exploitative foreign policy.
It was a year of seismic social and political change. With the wildfire of uprisings and revolutions that shook governments and halted economies in 1968, the world would never be the same again. Restless students, workers, women, and national liberation movements arose as a fierce global community with radically democratic instincts that challenged war, capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy with unprecedented audacity. Fast forward fifty years and 1968 has become a powerful myth that lingers in our memory.
Released for the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous year, this second edition of Philipp Gassert’s and Martin Klimke’s seminal 1968 presents an extremely wide ranging survey across the world. Short chapters, written by local eye-witnesses and historical experts, cover the tectonic events in thirty-nine countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Middle East to give a truly global view. Included are forty photographs throughout the book that illustrate the drama of events described in each chapter. This edition also has the transcript of a panel discussion organized for the fortieth anniversary of 1968 with eyewitnesses Norman Birnbaum, Patty Lee Parmalee, and Tom Hayden and moderated by the book's editors.
Visually engaging and comprehensive, this new edition is an extremely accessible introduction to a vital moment of global activism in humanity’s history, perfect for a high school or early university textbook, a resource for the general reader, or a starting point for researchers.
Upon their scandalous deportation from the United States in 1919, famous anarchist writers and activists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were greeted like heroes by the new Bolshevik government in Russia. Berkman described it as “the most sublime day of my life.” And yet he would flee the country after only two years. Belarus-born Ida Mett, who went through a similar experience at the time, also wrote a harrowing account of the Red Army’s brutal massacre at the Kronstadt Uprising before she too went into exile. How did each of these figures become so deeply disillusioned with Russia so quickly? And why, within a few years, did they all leave the country forever?
1917 offers a unique alternative perspective on the early years of the Russian Revolution through the narrative perspective of these three eyewitnesses. Featuring an introduction by Murray Bookchin, this book emphasizes the rarely discussed anarchist hopes for a democratic October revolution, while also critiquing the increasingly authoritarian responses of Bolshevik leaders at the time. Published for the centennial of the Russian revolutions, 1917 contains four essays by Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Ida Mett, and Bookchin, as well as a poem by Dan Georgakas, that analyze, assess, celebrate, and bemoan both the wild successes and the bitter failures of the revolution.
Volume One of Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, is a comprehensive and far ranging collection of anarchist writings from the feudal era (300) to 1939. Edited and introduced by noted anarchist scholar Robert Graham, the collection will include the definitive texts from the anarchist tradition of political thought, beginning with some of the earliest writings from China and Europe against feudal servitude and authority.
The collection will then go on to document the best of the anti-authoritarian writings from the English and French Revolutions and the early development of libertarian socialist ideas, including such writers as Gerrard Winstanley, William Godwin, Charles Fourier, Max Stirner, as well as the early anarchist writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Michael Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Elisee Reclus, Leo Tolstoy, and Emma Goldman.
This incomparable volume deals both with the positive ideas and proposals the anarchists tried to put into practice, and with the anarchist critiques of the authoritarian theories and practices confronting them during these years with their revolutionary upheavals.
Robert Graham has written extensively on the history of anarchist ideas. He is the author of "The Role of Contract in Anarchist Ideology," in the Routledge publication, For Anarchism, edited by David Goodway, and he wrote the introduction to the 1989 Pluto Press edition of Proudhon's General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century, originally published in 1851. He has been doing research and writing on the historical development of anarchist ideas for over 20 years and is a well respected commentator in the field.
Includes original portraits of the anarchists drawn by Maurice Spira specifically for this book Spira's imagery is rooted to the political, his subject matter global. Works such as "Battle of Seattle," "Gulf," and "Refugees" are the visual equivalent of newspaper headlines.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Anarchism -- History -- Sources.
Libertarianism -- History -- Sources.