Ecology and Animals

Green Flame: Kropotkin and the Birth of Ecology

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Green Flame: Kropotkin & the Birth of Ecology - Graham PurchaseAuthor: Graham Purchase  |  File size: 330 KB

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“The pre-eminence of environmentalism in the 21st century is a novel political and historical development. Ecology is a new body of scientific description and knowledge upon which social, economic, political and ethical ideas and practices have become premised. Ecosystem science suggests that political, social and economic arrangements must be compatible and ideally optimize natural ecological processes. Harming ecosystems is considered ethically, politically and ecologically wrong….”

From the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #54, Summer 2010

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Anarcho-Syndicalism and Principles of Urban Planning

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Anarcho-Syndicalism and Principles of Urban Planning by Scott RittenhouseAuthor: Scott Rittenhouse  |  File size: 517 KB

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Urban Planning is neither boulevards for conquerors, nor a landscape for the palaces of the rich, nor an opportunity for land speculators, nor a design opportunity for artists, nor a conspiracy for social engineers.

Urban planning is conducted to promote the health, safety, and well-being of people living together in urbanized areas; to enable people in urbanized areas to use scarce resources efficiently (all natural resources are “scarce”: supply and demand equals scarcity); and to mitigate the impact of population growth on the health of the planet.

Under capitalism, planning has been used to service the interests of the rich who own property [real estate] and the means of production. Under Anarchism, these will be “socialized”: expropriated, collectively “owned” by the Free Commune / Community, used and self-managed by workers and residents, non-transferable, and non-saleable. People will be able to make the land use decisions which meet their needs and make their lives better. There will be no “property values” or land speculation….

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Anarcho-Syndicalism, Technology and Ecology

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Anarcho-Syndicalism, Technology & Ecology by Graham PurchaseAuthor: Graham Purchase  |  PDF file size: 219 KB

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In an anarchist society, the absence of centralised state authority will permit a radically new integration of nature, labour and culture. As the social and ecological revolution progresses, national boundaries will become cartographical curiosities, and divisions based upon differences in geography, climate and species distribution will re-emerge. This essay addresses the question of what role unionism will play in these changes.

Technology, Capitalism and Anarchism

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Technology, Capitalism and Anarchism by AnarchoAuthor: Anarcho  |  PDF file size: 246 KB

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Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a social vacuum. No technology evolves and spreads unless there are people who benefit from it and have sufficient means to disseminate it. In a capitalist society, technologies useful to the rich and powerful are generally the ones that spread. This can be seen from capitalist industry, where technology has been implemented specifically to deskill the worker, so replacing the skilled, valued craftsperson with the easily trained (and eliminated!) “mass worker.”

The Ecological Challenge: Three Revolutions are Necessary

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The Ecological Challenge: Three Revolutions are NecessaryAuthor: Alternative Libertaire  |  PDF file size: 263 KB

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With a planetary ecological crisis on hand, it can no longer be denied that socialism will be incompatible with mass production and mass consumption. Indeed, even without returning to Malthusian catastrophe theories, we are forced to admit that the planet’s resources are not inexhaustible. These resources could provide for humanity’s needs, but only if they are used in a reasonable and rational way, i.e., in a manner directly opposed to capitalist logic, which in itself is a source of imbalance.

*  *  *  *  *

The comrades of Alternative Libertaire, in France, adopted this position paper on the current ecological crisis at their 2006 conference. Libertarian communist texts on ecology are all too rare, which is partly why we chose to publish it.

Technology, Capitalism and Anarchism (web)

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Download PDFby Anarcho

Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a social vacuum.

No technology evolves and spreads unless there are people who benefit from it and have sufficient means to disseminate it. In a capitalist society, technologies useful to the rich and powerful are generally the ones that spread. This can be seen from capitalist industry, where technology has been implemented specifically to deskill the worker, so replacing the skilled, valued craftsperson with the easily trained (and eliminated!) “mass worker.” By trying to make any individual worker dispensable, the capitalist hopes to deprive workers of a means of controlling the relation between their effort on the job and the pay they receive. In Proudhon’s words, the “machine, or the workshop, after having degraded the labourer by giving him a master, completes his degeneracy by reducing him from the rank of artisan to that of common workman.” [1]

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Anarcho-Syndicalism, Technology and Ecology (web)

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Download PDFby Graham Purchase

 Contents:

  • Worker Control
  • Efficiency and Self-Sufficiency
  • Primitivism and Technophilia
  • Capitalism and a Clean Environment
  • Consumerism and Environmentalism
  • Anarcho-Syndicalism and Environmentalism
  • Means and Ends
  • The Organisation of Daily Life

In an anarchist society, the absence of centralised state authority will permit a radically new integration of nature, labour and culture. As the social and ecological revolution progresses, national boundaries will become cartographical curiosities, and divisions based upon differences in geography, climate and species distribution will re-emerge. This essay addresses the question of what role unionism will play in these changes.

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The Ecological Challenge: Three Revolutions are Necessary (web)

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Download PDFby Alternative Libertaire

1. The World is in Overdrive

1.1 The Ecological Peril

1.2 The Imperialist Peril

2. Capitalism is not the Solution

3. Three Revolutions are Necessary

3.1 Revolution in trade: putting an end to globalisation

3.2 Revolution in the modes of consumption: the question of décroissance (“de-growth”)

3.3 Revolution in the modes of production: energy saving

4. Strategic Conclusion


With a planetary ecological crisis on hand, it can no longer be denied that socialism will be incompatible with mass production and mass consumption. Indeed, even without returning to Malthusian catastrophe theories, we are forced to admit that the planet’s resources are not inexhaustible. These resources could provide for humanity’s needs, but only if they are used in a reasonable and rational way, i.e., in a manner directly opposed to capitalist logic, which in itself is a source of imbalance.

For decades, anti-capitalists have rightly raised the question of the “redistribution of wealth” between the Global North and Global South. This idea has commonly been imagined to mean an end to the pillage of the Third World by the advanced industrialized powers, so that the people of the Global South are able to attain an equivalent level of development. This demand, put simply, means that the South should catch up to the North’s “standard of living.”

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