Murray Bookchin and Social Ecology

21 September 2011

On 21 September Professor David Schlosberg, Department of Government and International Relations, looks at the contribution and contradictions of Murray Bookchin, who died in 2006.

"Bookchin was one of the key figures in environmental philosophy and political thought in the 20th century," Professor Schlosberg said. "Along with figures such as Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold and Wendell Berry, he inspired a generation to reconceptualise the human relationship with the natural world."

The main argument of Bookchin's 'social ecology' was that nature is not a place of domination and exploitation but is inevitably defined that way by a society steeped in unequal power relationships.

"Bookchin believed that removing domination from social relationships would help human societies realise the cooperative potential of the natural world.

"Unfortunately, Bookchin himself was domineering. He insisted on sole ownership of the idea of social ecology, while criticising and demonising those who tried to build on its ideas by going in alternate directions," Professor Schlosberg said.

Schlosberg believes Bookchin's tragedy is that, through his own actions, the idea he created became as dominating and alienating as the false image of the natural world he had so accurately described.

Event details

What: Murray Bookchin and social ecology: rethinking nature and alienating a movement

When: 6pm, Wednesday 21 September

Where: Foyer, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus. See map and directions

Cost: This series is free and open to all, with no ticket or booking required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Contact: Verity Leatherdale

Phone: 02 9351 4312

Email: 11231c1c1f2a74291f0906200e391d26260678353f3e1954345d1c4f115f0200