My dear friend and mensch #MurrayBookchin would turn over in his grave if he heard me say this, but between, in particular, this summer’s capitalist-fueled fires, floods, droughts, heat waves, tornadoes, and other “new normal” extreme and deadly weather catastrophes, and today’s “late to the end-of-the-world party” UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, we need a renewed #GreenAnarchism.
Originally published and written by Cindy Milstein.
Or as a wise younger anarchist friend put it recently when we were walking and talking radical politics (including past heavy machinery ripping down trees for a “green” gentrification project in a spot where unhoused people’s encampments had been ripped down only months ago), we need to bring together the best of anticiv or green anarchy with the best of social ecology, sans the acrimony and polemical caricatures between the “camps.”
Each perspective, each with its own multiplicity of tendencies, strategies, and practices, is at heart concerned with how much we humans have been estranged from the ecosystem of which we are one humble part. That in turn has estranged us from ourselves and each other. And this profound, deepening alienation has opened the floodgates, so to speak, for humans as a whole to think they’re not only superior to and/or separate from the nonhuman world (and now space) but also can dominate it—to the point of “us” humans destroying the very basis for our life as a species: our home, this planet.
Perhaps we’re already seeing this generative blend in the numerous encampments against everything from pipelines, fracking, and old-growth logging to airport expansions and more. They are able, for instance, to both critique ways that “civilization,” such as in the guise of colonialism, is unecological, and offer visions of how humans could live in relative social ecological harmony within the autonomous, self-governing communities that evolve from the initial encampments in many cases.
I’m not alone in feeling hopeless. No Green New Deal or UN-brokered plan is going to save us. A collectively caring, greened, social ecological anarchism just might, or at least offer lives worth living in what time we have left.
(photo: greened circle A seen on the repeatedly stolen and tarnished lands of so-called Asheville, NC)