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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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Under his tutelage, anarchism would finally displace Marxism, and Bookchin would place the stamp of his specialty, “social ecology,” on anarchism. Not only would he be betting on the winning horse, he would be the jockey. As one of his followers has written, “if your efforts at creating your own mass movement have been pathetic failures, find someone else’s movement and try to lead it” (Clark 1984: 108). Bookchin thereupon set out to conquer the anarchists for the eco-radicals (the Greens), the Greens for the anarchists, and all for one — the great one — Murray Bookchin himself.

Susan Brown is hardly heretical in pointing out (1993: ch. 1). ” (1890: 15). If it sounds as if anarchism has, as the Dean might say, “filiations” with liberalism, that’s because anarchism does have filiations with liberalism. What else could the Dean possibly mean when he writes that social anarchism is “made of fundamentally different stuff” than lifestyle anarchism, it is “heir to the Enlightenment tradition” (56)? As anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker wrote (and he was only summarizing the obvious): In modern Anarchism we have the confluence of the two great currents which during and since the French Revolution have found such characteristic expression in the intellectual life of Europe: Socialism and Liberalism....

Notice, for instance, the remarkable absence of any inferences to the by then deceased Goodman in Bookchin’s The Limits of the City (1974) or The Rise of Urbanization and the Decline of Citizenship (1987), although he did let slip the name in Crisis in Our Cities (Herber 1965: 177) at a time when Goodman was in his prime whereas the future Dean was so far from foreseeing his own celebrity that he wrote under a pseudonym. He’ll soon wish he’d written this trashy had under a pseudonym. “Individualist” anarchists in the original sense — people like Max Stirner (1995) and John Henry Mackay — were never numerous, as Bookchin observes with too much satisfaction (6-8).

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