Anarchy After Leftism by Bob Black

By Bob Black

A respond to, and an attack on, Murray Bookchin's 'Social Anarchism Or way of life Anarchism,' Bookchin himself, Bookchinism, and so known as 'anarcho-leftism.'

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Bookchin just doesn’t know when to shut up. Having lambasted individualists as liberals, he turns around and insinuates that they are fascists! Critics of industrial technology (specifically, George Bradford of the Fifth Estate) who argue that it determines, as well as being determined by, social organization are, opines the Dean, “deeply rooted in the conservative German romanticism of the nineteenth century” which “fed into National Socialist ideology, however much the Nazis honored their antitechnological ideology in the breach” (29).

The Green Berets? ” Not Bookchin, certainly, who concluded prematurely that “Marxian predictions that Youth Culture would fade into a comfortable accommodation with the system have proven to be false” (1970: 60). What did the all-seeing Dean do to combat these nefarious trends in the 20-odd years they have been infecting anarchism? Nothing. He had better things to do than come to the rescue of the anarchist ideology he considers the last best hope of humankind. On the one hand, he was consolidating his alluring academic career; on the other, he was making a play for ideological hegemony over the Green movement.

The Dean condemns even Proudhon as an individualist (5), although he elsewhere pays tribute to “Proudhon’s emphasis on federal-ism [which] still enjoys considerable validity” (Bookchin) 1996: 24). When Bookchin says that something from a classical anarchist still enjoys considerable validity, this is his way of saying that’s whom he filched it from. The federalism of Proudhon’s later years (1979) is virtually identical to Bookchin’s call for a “confederation of decentralized municipalities” (60).

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