Next Issue: Contra Bookchin


Fifth Estate # 347, Spring, 1996

Last summer at Goddard College, social ecology luminary Murray Bookchin denounced the FE as “toilet literature flooding into the ecology movement and polluting it,” and a “manifestation of a middle class, petit bourgeois yuppie perspective.

AK Press recently published Bookchin’s diatribe, Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, which excoriates this paper and others for—among other crimes—being both lumpen rebels and privileged yuppies. and even (horror of horrors), accomplices of a “Neo-Heideggerian reaction.”

In a new essay on Bookchin, “Beyond Bookchin: Preface to a Future Social Ecology,” FE staffer David Watson comments, “Tragically, social ecology now seems far less than it could have become. Bookchin’s regression to ideological sclerosis suggests that social ecology itself may be in crisis…Now that he has assumed the mantle of lone defender of Civilization, History and Progress, turning contemporary ecological politics into a kind of kulturkampf…the time may be overdue to ask what kind of social ecology ought to survive the passing of Bookchin.”

The next issue of the Fifth Estate will be a special devoted to this essay, which moves beyond the narrow theme of Murray Bookchin’s ideas to larger questions for radical ecology, continuing earlier FE work on deep ecology, environmental ethics and ecological politics.