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 referred to as 'anarcho-leftism.'

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And Murray Bookchin’s Social Ecology is certainly no exception to this trend. Bookchin, one of the best known of contemporary North American anarchists, has spent much of his life staking out his own personal eco-anarchist ideological territory under the banners of Social Ecology and Libertarian Municipalism. He is the author of a steady stream of books from the sixties to the present, including his classic collection of essays titled Post-Scarcity Anarchism published in 1971, his excellent volume on the history of the Spanish anarchist movement written in the seventies, and his failed attempt in the eighties at constructing a philosophical magnum opus in The Ecology of Freedom.

Bookchin started out as a Stalinist, and it sure shows in the abusive style and unscrupulous content of his polemic. He wants no dialogue with his self-appointed enemies, only their irreparable discredit. ” A parting shot. He missed the target. He had to miss the target, since there is none. ” There are only a lot of anarchists exploring a lot of ideas — a lot of different ideas — that Bookchin disapproves of. ” There’s no such unicorn, so I couldn’t defend it even if I wanted to. The very phrase is Bookchin’s invention, much as Stalin invented a nonsense category, the “bloc of Rights and Trotskyists,” to collect all his political enemies for their more convenient disposal.

No doubt Bookchin can organize the masses (he must have had a lot of practice, and surely great success, in his Marxist-Leninist days). So can many other comrades — but no other comrade can concoct a coherent program the way Bookchin can. It is, therefore, only rational for a division of labor to prevail. Less talented comrades should do the organizational drudge-work, freeing up Dean Bookchin — after hours — to theorize. It’s an example of what capitalist economists call the Law of Comparative Advantage.

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