Spectacle Archive

Murray Bookchin Video Biography 01 - 1995


First 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.

These interviews together with archive and other visual

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, 18 mins
Language versions - english
Useful link: - http://www.spectacle.co.uk/...

Ordering Information

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Further Details

Timecode / Relevent Infomation and Links

(mins, seconds)

2:30 French Revolution

"The French Revolution (1789–1799) was a period of political and social upheaval in the history of France, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change".
summary from Wikipedia: French Revolution

The Victorian Web - The French Revolution

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution

2:52 Americanised/ Europeanised

3:34 Class Consciousness/ Identity

3:41 Bourgeoisie

The class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labour.
Google web definitions of 'Bourgeoisie'

4:32 Young Communists League

Young Communist League or 'YCL' is the fraternal youth organization of the Communist Party, USA. According to its constitution, "the YCL is devoted to the interests of all young people and is dedicated to the revolutionary cause of the working class of our country, the transformation of the United States through mass democratic struggle into a socialist society."
At the time of it's creation the 'Communist Party' (USA) was oriented toward clandestine organization, on the model of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party prior to the Russian Revolution
Bulk of summary from Wikipedia: Young Communist League, USA

See also: Bosco Jones Interview on Fascism in 1930s London

4:44 Soviet Union

"Emerging from the Russian Empire following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War of 1918–1921, the USSR was a union of several Soviet republics, " summary from Wikipedia: Soviet Union, USA

BBC - Timeline of the Soviet Union

5:03 Moscow Trials

The Moscow Trials were a series of trials of political opponents of Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge. Many of the defendants were executed.
summary from Wikipedia: Moscow Trials

E-BOOK: ‘The Red Book - On the Moscow Trials’ by Leon Sedov

‘And they all confessed ...' by Gudrun Persson

5:33 Stalinism

"Stalinism is the political regime named after Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1929-1953. It includes an extensive use of propaganda to establish a personality cult around an absolute dictator, as well as extensive use of the secret police to maintain social submission and silence political dissent."
summary from Wikipedia: Stalinism

Stalin Biographical Chronicle

5:40 Young Pioneers of America

The children's branch of the 'Communist Party'. "From 1926 until its dissolution in 1934 the Young Pioneers of America promoted the use of English and tried to prepare youths for class struggle through independent political action such as leafleting schools and demonstrating in support of strikers."
summary from Raising Reds: The Young Pioneers

Raising Reds: The Young Pioneers (article from the Canadian Journal of History, Dec 2000, by David I Macleod

5:46 Communist Party

"In the modern age, the term communist party is generally used to identify any political party which has adopted communist ideology. However, the Leninist concept of a communist party includes not only ideological orientation, but also a wide set of organizational policies. The communist party is, at least according to Leninist theory, the vanguard party of the working class. "
summary from Wikipedia: Communist Party

5:53 American Communist Movement (Radical period)

5:57 The Communist International

"The Comintern (Communist International, also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organization founded in Moscow in March 1919. The International intended to fight "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State."
summary from Wikipedia: Comintern

“The Rise and Fall of the Communist International” (June 1943)

5:59 Russian Revolution

Also called the "Bolshevik Revolution" or "October Revolution".

"The Russian Revolution of 1917 refers to a series of two popular revolutions in Russia, and the events surrounding them. These revolutions had the effect of completely changing the nature of society within the Russian Empire and transforming the Russian state, which ultimately led to the replacement of the old Tzarist autocracy with the Soviet Union."
summary from Wikipedia: Russian Revolution (1917)

The Russian Revolution By Peter Litwin

ThenAgain: The Bolshevik Revolution 1917

6:08 First Period of Revolutionary Upsurge

6:16 Second Period - Capitalist Stabilisation

6:37 Stalin's Collectivisation Drives

"Collectivization was an attempt to modernize industry by nationalizing all firms and businesses, forcing peasants off of private lands and into kolkhozes (agricultural communes run by the government), eliminating the kulaks (the well-off peasants), and fixing prices of all wages and food."
summary from 'Joseph Stalin’s Economics' by Julia Mazelev

'STALIN' by Julia Mazelev, Mohammad S Sattar and Akihiro Nakamura

6:45 Third Period

6:53 The Great Depression/ Stock Market Crash

"The Great Depression was a dramatic, worldwide economic downturn beginning in some countries as early as 1928. The beginning of the Great Depression in the United States is associated with the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday and the end is associated with the onset of the war economy of World War II, beginning around 1939.

Conditions were worst in farming areas where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas where unemployment was high and there were few other jobs. The decline in the American economy was the motor that pulled down most other countries at first, then internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better"
summary from Wikipedia: Great Depression

Wikipedia: Wall Street Crash

7:04 Capitalism

"Capitalism is an economic system in which property is owned by either private individuals or a corporation." summary from Wikipedia: Capitalism

The European Enlightenment Glossary - Capitalism

The Intellectual Voice of Capitalism on the Internet

7:07 Communist Party
(see above)

7:09 United States of America

7:25 ‘American Experience’ (foreigners alienated from)

7:25 Communist Party
(see above)

7:29 Bolsheviks

At the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, there was a dispute between 'Vladimir Lenin' and 'Julius Martov', (two of 'Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party' leaders) Lenin argued for a small party of professional revolutionaries with a large fringe of non-party sympathizers and supporters. Martov disagreed believing it was better to have a large party of activists. The group split, Lenin's followers becoming the Bolsheviks (Martov's supporters were the Mensheviks) The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the 'Soviet Union"
An edited summary from Wikipedia: Bolshevik and Spartacus School Net: Bolsheviks

7:33 Socialists

"Socialism refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community"

'Communism', for example, is a Socialist current. Summary from Wikipedia: Socialism

7:35 Social Fascists

Social fascism was a theory supported by the Communist International (Comintern) during the late 1920s and early 1930s, which stated that social democracy was a variant of fascism.

The term "social fascist" was used pejoratively to describe social democratic parties, anti-Comintern socialist parties and dissenters within Comintern affiliates throughout the interwar period." Wikipedia: Social fascism

7:39 Germany

7:42 Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who led the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Hitler's bid for territorial conquest and racial subjugation caused the deaths of tens of millions of people, including the systematic genocide of an estimated six million Jews, not including various additional "undesirable" populations, in what is known as 'the Holocaust'.
An edited summary from Wikipedia: Adolf Hitler

BBC - Historic Figures - Adolf Hitler

The history Place - The Rise of Adolf Hitler

7:47 Revolutionaries / Young Pioneers of America
(see above)

7:50 The Great Depression (deepened)
(see above)

7:54: Young Communists League
(see above)

8:26 On the Dole/welfare/ “home relief” (Bookchin family)

8:32 Communist Movement

8:40 Young Communists League
(see above)

9:02 Workers School (communist maintained)

9:14 Marx, Lenin, Engels and Hegel

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels co-founded 'Marxism', a form of 'Communism'

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was one of the creators of German idealism.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a revolutionary, a communist politician and the first "de facto" leader of the Soviet Union. His contributions to Marxist theory are commonly referred to as 'Leninism'. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century
A summary from Wikipedia: Vladimir Lenin , Wikipedia: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Wikipedia: Communism

9:47 French Revolution / Jean-Paul Marat

"Jean-Paul Marat was a Swiss-born French physician, philosopher, political theorist and scientist best known as a radical journalist and politician from the French Revolution. His journalism was renowned for its fiery character and uncompromising stance towards the new government,"
A summary from Wikipedia: Jean-Paul Marat,

10:02 Extreme Left / Far Left

"Far left and extreme left are terms used to discuss the position a group or person occupies within a political spectrum.

In several countries, the term 'far left' has been associated with ideologies such as 'communism', 'social anarchism', 'anarchist communism', Marxist-Leninism, Trotskyism and Maoism."
summary from Wikipedia: Far left ,

10:09 Jacobin Club (French Revolution)

"The Jacobin Club was the largest and most powerful political club of the French Revolution. At the height of its influence, there were thousands of chapters throughout France, with a membership estimated at 420,000.

To this day, the terms Jacobin and Jacobinism are used as pejoratives for left-wing revolutionary politics."
A summary from Wikipedia: Jacobin Club ,

Britannica: ‘Jacobin Club ,

10:53 Hitler / Young Pioneers of America / Young Communists League
(see above)

11:16 Uprisings in Spain, Austria.

11:21 Vienna (socialist workers), Karl Marx Houses

12:10 Francisco Franco / Moorish troops / Spain

"Francisco Franco was dictator of Spain from October 1936, as de facto regent of Spain from 1947 until his death in 1975."

Timeline of Francisco Franco

12:28 Europe/US (state of upheaval).

13:15 Veterans of WW1 demanded bonuses / Bonus Army

"In 1924 the U.S. Congress passed a bill that promised World War I veterans a 'bonus' to be paid in 1945. But in 1932, during the Great Depression, a grassroots collection of veterans (calling themselves the Bonus Army) gathered in Washington D.C. demanding that their bonus be paid early."
Summary from Everything2: Bonus Army

13:49 Washington Mudflats/ General Macarthur general Eisenhower

"When the Senate refused to accelerate the bonus payment demanded by the Bonus army President Herbert Hoover moved to have the Bonus Marchers removed from Washington.

MacArthur, assisted by his aides Major Dwight D. Eisenhower and Major George S. Patton, Jr , personally led Army troops and cavalry against the marching veterans. Dramatic footage shows the soldiers, with bayonets fixed and sabres drawn, riding through Hooverville, injuring hundreds, killing one infant and setting the encampment on fire."
Summary from Everything2: Bonus Army

14:03 Hooverville "A Hooverville was the popular name for a shanty town, examples of which were found in many United States communities during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The word "Hooverville" derives from the name of the President of the United States at the time. These settlements were often formed in unpleasant neighborhoods or desolate areas and consisted of dozens or hundreds of shacks and tents that were temporary residences of those left unemployed and homeless by the Depression." summary from Wikipedia: Great Depression the the United States.

14:16 Franklin D. Roosevelt (came to power)

The thirty-second President of the United States. He served from 1933 to 1945 and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. He was a central figure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis (The Great Depression) and world war. Whitehouse Biography: Franklin D. Roosevelt

15:05 Labour Movement (got underway)

15:50 American Federation of Labour (craft trade union)

"The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1886 by Samuel Gompers as a reorganization of its predecessor, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions."
Summary From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American Federation of Labor The Samuel Gompers Papers

15:48 Congress (/Committee) of Industrial organisations (CIO), John L. Lewis (mine workers leader)

"John L. Lewis was a powerful labor leader, who through the Congress of Industrial Organizations(CIO), helped raise living standards for millions of American families in the 1930s. He was also a giant among American leaders in the first half of the 20th century, regularly advising presidents and challenging America's corporate leaders."
Summary From Business and Industry: John L. Lewis

16:30 American Federation of Labour / Sit Down Strikes

"In 1935 Congress passed the Wagner Act, which legalized strikes and invigorated the new Congress of Industrial Organizations under the leadership of John L. Lewis.

Terrible working conditions, combined with unfair and devious payroll practices, made the auto plants of Depression-era Flint into ripe locations for union organization.

Workers did more than picket outside the plant and risk replacement by scabs; they actually occupied the plant itself in order to prevent further production. "

Summary edited from The Flint Sit-Down Strike – audio Gallery

16:52 Communists (Bookchin disillusioned with the)

17:14 Communist International /Russian Ministry of foreign (Russian commissary at the foreign affairs)
(see above)

17:34 Socialists/ Socialism
(see above)

17:46 Fascism

What is Fascism? Some General Ideological Features

17:55 Communist Movement
(see above)

17: 58 Moscow Trials
(see above)

18:11 Old Teachers: Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin

Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev

Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev were both Bolshevik revolutionaries and Soviet Communist politicians. Zinoviev and Kamenev were the only two Central Committee members to vote against an armed revolt. Their publication of an open letter opposed to use of force enraged Lenin, who demanded their expulsion from the party. Together with Zinoviev and Joseph Stalin, he formed a ruling 'triumvirate' (or 'troika') in the Communist Party, and played a key role in the marginalization of Trotsky.
Summary from Wikipedia: Gregory Zinoviev and Wikipedia: Lev Kamenev

Gregory Zinoviev Archive

Lev Kamenev Archive

Nikolai Bukharin,

Like Zinoviev and Kamenev, Bukharin, was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet politician.

Bukharin was politically rehabilitated by Stalin and was made editor of Izvestia in 1934. There, he consistently highlighted the dangers of Fascist regimes in Europe.

Bukharin was arrested following a plenum of the Central Committee and charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. He was tried as part of the 'Trial of the Twenty One' (during the Great Purges) and was executed by the 'People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs' (NKVD).
Summary from Wikipedia: Nikolai Bukharin

Nikolai Bukharin Writer's Archive

18:22 Nazi / Enemy of the Russian Revolution


"Nazism refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler"

"Among the key elements of Nazism were anti-parliamentarism, ethnic nationalism, racism, collectivism, eugenics, antisemitism, opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism, anti-communism, and totalitarianism."

In relation to Communism

" In 1936, Nazi Germany entered into the Anti-Comintern Pact, aimed directly at countering Soviet foreign policy. Italy, Japan and Germany were united in their rabid opposition to communism, as well as their militaristic, racist regimes
Summary edited from Nikolai Wikipedia: Nazism

18:30 Bolsheviks Revolution
(see above: Russian Revolution)

18:44 Young Communists League (Left)
(see above)

18:59 Proletarian Socialism

19:09 Spanish Civil war

"The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict in Spain that started after an attempted coup d'état committed by parts of the army against the government of the Second Spanish Republic."

"The Soviet Union primarily provided material assistance to the Republican forces. While Soviet troops amounted to no more than 700 men, Soviet "volunteers" often piloted aircraft or operated tanks purchased by the Spanish Republican forces" WCD Project: Brief summary of the Spanish Civil War

See also: WCD Project: Brief summary of the Spanish Civil War

Wikipedia: Spanish Civil War

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