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Saturday December 16th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      In short, the difference between an Anarchist and a Libertarian is basically zero. But Libertarian's are more likely to live in gated communities and wear suits to work, while Anarchists are more likely to live in the Bistros and Cafes of the more free wheeling urban areas and Anarchists sound scary. Both cleave to the idea of a society unmolested, or at least un-dominated, by the apparatus of a State. The political philosopher, or social theorist, Bookchin, even though he was more Kropotkin than Koch, struggled with these two nomenclatures and came away with Libertarian Municipalism. Bookchin was like John Walking Stewart from the late 18th Century who kind of felt that small communities should be left to make their own decisions, a face to face democracy with fewer places to hide in and as a result fewer excuses. In time Bookchin suggested a confederation of municipalities would replace the nation state. His point being that culture, ethnic, gender and religious conflicts if left to the nation state always produce irrational and often crackpot solutions. An example of these irrationalities I guess is the way in which most societies upon our planet have somehow managed to encrypt an understanding of truth that includes perpetual economic growth as central to happiness. More likely, the argument goes, perpetual economic growth is a long way from rational, and has little to do with the balance in our world, but is central to the survival of the nation state. It's not the only example, just look around.

 

Past

     A friend of Bookchin, by the name of Janet Biehl, wrote fondly of Bookchin in Ecology or Catastrophe, which you can buy if you want to. Later she came to the conclusion that being anti-statist was an error, but it didn't mean that she gave up on the idea of how central the local level was to a more rational potential for the future and this was particularly the case with the two political parties here in the USA, where both parties in the interest of pleasing their major donors have pretty much given up on doing anything much more than pandering to the wealthy and ignoring the rest of us. In the process the Political Class as representing us has suffered, their reputation soiled and most of them are dismissed as corrupt creatures bought and paid for, about whom we can do very little except in the short term, during a moment of blooming.  Another person influenced by Bookchin's idea of a rational community is called Abdullah Ocalan, a big influence on the Kurds and their worker's party the PKK. Apo or Uncle as Ocalan is called is in a Turkish prison and he would have been executed had it not been for Turkey doing away with capital punishment while it was attempting to enter the European Union. Bookchin died in the summer of 2006, he was eighty five years old. He appears in the 1983 movie "Anarchy in America." If you got the bandwidth you can watch it on Y Tube and feel young again.

 

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