During his long career, Murray Bookchin became an extremely influential figure within the anarchist and environmental movements. He was the first to insist that an ecological society would also have to be a liberatory society, and early on he advocated principles such as decentralization, eco-technology, and direct democracy principles that have now been widely taken up by the green and libertarian left. He died in July 2006 at the age of 85. This text focuses on Bookchin's political ideas, expressed through a range of thought-provoking essays. He argued that capitalism and the nation state, as well as oppressive social relations in general, must be abolished if we are to have a rational and ecological society. According to Bookchin, we must fundamentally remake society along ecological lines, based on principles of confederation, humanism, nonhierarchy, and direct democracy.
In a time when the Left is highly defensive and reactive, Bookchin's radical political ideas of Social Ecology present a strong vision of an alternative society. To counter today's crisis, Bookchin appeals to the Left to adopt a Communalist vision and politics. With today's huge improvements in communications, his bold ideas are increasingly practical and, faced with ecological catastrophe, they are increasingly necessary. This is a must-read for students of political theory and anti-globalization activists.