Spectacle Archive

Murray Bookchin Video Biography 02 - 1995


Second part of the Murray Bookchin interviews conducted by Mark Saunders in 1995. The project was to explore the development of Murray's politics through his personal experiences.

Murray was reticent to engage in anything that smacked of the personality cult but his biography covers key points in the development of radical politics and sets in context the "Social Ecology" of his later life.

The Bells! Bells have been added to this version as a dongle to prevent unauthorised use. The original version is clear of bells and of a high quality.

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Date: May 1995
Location: Burlington, Vermont, USA
City: Vermont
Crew: Mark Saunders
Original Format - colour, hi8, 11 mins
Language versions - english
Useful link: - http://www.spectacle.co.uk/...

Ordering Information

If you would like to request a viewing copy of this video, please click the email link below. You can find out more information about ordering in the distribution section.
Order Catalogue No. MB007:20 - BITC - en - pal via email

Further Details

Timecode / Relevent Infomation and Links

20:38 Young communist league groups (/ Branches)
(see above)

21:02 Russian Revolution
(see above)

21:33 The Bronx (marginal areas like)

21:37 Communion Square / Hyde Park (London)

21:43 IWW

The 'Industrial Workers of the World' ('IWW' or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict and government repression.
Summary from Wikipedia: Industrial Workers of the World Industrial Workers of the world

21:45 Socialists, Communists
(see above: Communists)
(see above: Socialists)

21:46 Trotskyites.

Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky.

"Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist. His politics differed sharply from those of Stalinism, most importantly in declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution (rather than socialism in one country) and unwavering support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles."
Summary From Wikipedia: Trotskyism

21:48 Lovestonite

21:51 Bukharin,
(see above: Nikolai Bukharin)

22:01 Orator

22:31 Capitalism, Soviet Union
(see above: Capitalism)

(see above: Soviet Union)

24:08 Trade Union Movement

24:35 Northern New Jersey

Reactionary mayor called Frank Hague(?) of Jersey City.

"Hague spent much of the decade inveighing against Communists and labor unions, and his attempts to suppress the CIO's activities in Jersey City led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization 307 U.S. 496 (1939), that is a cornerstone of law concerning public expression of political views on public property."
Wikipedia: Frank Hague

24:50 Workers Unions

24:47 Police violence

"Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague considered the CIO to be communist dominated. No meeting halls were available to the CIO and the police simply picked up the organizers, beat them up and deposited them outside of the county."
Quote from Jersey City Online: Frank Hague

25:45 Russia (mention), encountering racism

26:27 Workers School - communist school

26:38 Daily Worker (newspaper)

"The American Communist Party established the Daily Worker newspaper in 1924. It generally reflected the prevailing views of the party. However, attempts were made to make it a paper that reflected the wide-spectrum of left-wing opinion. At its peak, the newspaper achieved a circulation of 35,000." Summary From Spartacus School Net: Daily Worker

26:48 13th street – between Broadway and forth Avenue

27:04 “capital” (Das Kapital - book)

'Das Kapital' is an extensive treatise on political economy (written in German) by Karl Marx and edited in part by Friedrich Engels. The book is a critical analysis of capitalism and its practical economic application

The full (english translated) text of "Das Kapital" is avaliable to read at Bibliomania: Das Kapital

27:39 Lenin’s ‘The State and revolution’

'The State and Revolution' is a book written by Vladimir Lenin in 191.

"It describes the role that the state plays in society along with the necessity of proletarian revolution. Written for a Marxist audience, Lenin spends much of the pamphlet criticising the actions of the social democrats that dominated the communist movement at that time as well as elaborating on the role of the dictatorship of the proletariat following revolution."
Wikipedia: State and Revolution

The full (english translated) text of "The State and Revolution" is avaliable to read at Marxists.org: The State and Revolution

27:43 Central committee of the communist party

The Central Committee of the communist party of the Soviet Union

"According to Party rules, the Central Committee directed all Party and government activities between each Party Congress with the Politburo elected by and reporting to the Central Committee. Members of the committee were elected at the Party Congress every five years. For most of its existence, the power of the Central Committee was limited by its infrequent meetings and large membership, and true power lay with the Politburo. " Summary from Wikipedia: Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

27:53 William Z. Foster

"William Zebulon Foster was the long-time General Secretary of the Communist Party USA and trade union leader. He passed through the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, as well as leading the drive to organize the packinghouse industry during World War I and leading the steel strike of 1919 before joining the Communist Party in 1921."
Summary From: 1930s Wikipedia: William_Z._Foster

(PDF) William Z. Foster — Revolutionary Leader - by John Pepper

27:58 Great Steel Strike of 1919

Great Steel Strike of 1919

"The Steel Strike of 1919 was an attempt by the weakened Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers (the AA) to organize the American steel industry in the wake of World War I. The strike began on September 22, 1919, and collapsed on January 8, 1920. The AA had formed in 1876. It was a union of skilled iron and steel workers which was deeply committed to craft unionism. However, technological advances had decimated the number of skilled workers in both industries." Wikipedia: Steel Strike of 1919

Of Reds and Revolution

28:09 Biography of William Z Foster

28:11 Earl Browder

"Earl Russell Browder became one of the chief organizers of the 'Young Communist Leauge' in 1930 following the seventh CP convention. Impressed, the Comintern elected him the Communist Party's (USA) General Secretary in 1934.

He took over the party after William Z. Foster stepped down as party leader. He was placed in leadership of the Communist Party during its most chaotic period — when it went from supporting anti-war efforts during the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939 to advocating American joining the war when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union a short time later." Summary From REDS: Earl Russell Browder

28:14 Moissaye J. Olgin

Moissaye Joseph Olgin was a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party for many years.

He would, with equal one of the American effectiveness, write The Soul of the Russian Revolution and A Guide to Russian Literature and compose a pamphlet, Why Communism? which achieved a sale of nearly half a million in several languages.

At his funeral, on November 26, 1939, more than 100,000 workers took part in the procession, or lined the streets to pay tribute to a beloved leader.
Summary from The Staff of Morning Freiheit M. J. Olgin

29:56 Jewish / Exclusion

30:01 New York City

30:43 Jewish, Italian, Irish

ethnic neighbourhoods (the big minorities)
30:56 Harlem, (in Manhattan??)

31:32 Anti-Semitism (reached a tremendous height)

"Anti-Semitism is prejudice and hostility toward Jews as a group. The prejudice is usually characterized by a combination of religious, racial, cultural and ethnic biases. While the term's etymology might suggest that antisemitism is directed against all Semitic peoples, since its creation it has been used exclusively to refer to hostility towards Jews" Summary from Wikipedia: Anti-semitism

31:43 Anarchist

"Anarchic" /adjective without law or control; "the system is economically inefficient and politically anarchic"
From WordNet

"Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory government (including but not limited to the state).

Anarchism is defined by The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics as "the view that society can and should be organized without a coercive state."

Some authors use the term libertarian socialism or left-libertarianism synonymously with "anarchism," to distinguish from anarcho-capitalism or free-market anarchism.
Summary From Wikipedia: Anarchism

32:15 ‘Foundation of Leninism’ by joseph Stalin

An introduction to Marxism-Leninism written by Stalin in 1924.

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