I’ve just learned that the anarchist/communalist writer and philosopher Murray Bookchin died recently. He suffered heart failure at his home in Vermont, USA on 30th July 2006, aged 85. Bookchin is the author of two dozen books and a thinker way ahead of his time. He drew attention to and hypothesised on ecological and capitalist issues well before other people had even considered that there were such things as ecological and capitalist issues.
Along with the quote in the title of this post, Murray Bookchin is credited with a number of extremely thought-provoking ideas. As with any great writer, whether you agree or vehemently disagree with what he had to say, he wasn’t afraid of saying it and he said it very well. Provoking an important debate has always been, and always will be, one of the most valuable aspects of the written word.
Other Bookchin musings include:
“Capitalism is a social cancer. It has always been a social cancer. It is the disease of society. It is the malignancy of society.”
“Nor do piecemeal steps however well intended, even partially resolve problems that have reached a universal, global and catastrophic Character. If anything, partial `solutions’ serve merely as cosmetics to conceal the deep seated nature of the ecological crisis. They thereby deflect public attention and theoretical insight from an adequate understanding of the depth and scope of the necessary changes.”
“In our own time we have seen domination spread over the social landscape to a point where it is beyond all human control. Compared to this stupendous mobilization of materials, of wealth, of human intellect, of human labor for the single goal of domination, all other recent human achievements pale to almost trivial significance. Our art, science, medicine, literature, music and “charitable” acts seem like mere droppings from a table on which gory feasts on the spoils of conquest have engaged the attention of a system whose appetite for rule is utterly unrestrained.”
And one of my personal favourites:
“The assumption that what currently exists must necessarily exist is the acid that corrodes all visionary thinking.”
Rest in peace, Murray Bookchin, a wordsmith and thinker of the highest calibre.