This article will appear in the spring, 2008 issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, which is likely to be published in March. For more information, visit the Institute for Anarchist Study’s website.
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When Murray Bookchin died on July 30 last year, one of the most ambitious and compelling figures of the anti-authoritarian left passed.
He was an author, educator, and activist, although above all he was a revolutionary who gave his life to a single, colossal task: devising a revolutionary project that could heal the wounds within humanity and the split between it and the natural world. He tried to outline the theoretical principles of this endeavor; to build organizations capable of transforming the world around those principles; and to forge a cadre with the wisdom necessary to fight for them while enduring the inevitable ups and downs of political life. He had much in common with other sect builders of the socialist left—such as Max Shachtman, Josef Weber, and Raya Dunayevskaya, for example—who, in their respective times and latitudes, also attempted to salvage the revolutionary enterprise from the disaster that was Russian Communism and the many calamities of the twentieth century.(1)
Was Bookchin successful? Continue reading