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Murray Bookchin Video Biography 37 - 1995


Thirty Seventh part of the Murray Bookchin interviews conducted by Mark Saunders in 1995. The project explored the development of Murray's politics through his personal experiences.



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Date: May 1995
Location: Burlington, Vermont, USA
City: Vermont
Crew: Mark Saunders
Original Format - colour, hi8, 15:34 mins
Language versions - english
Useful link: - http://www.spectacle.co.uk/...

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Further Details

02:19:30 Looking for an ethical socialism, not just a scientific one.

Ethical Socialism

T.H.Green's book on the development of ethical socialism.

Kantian Ethics and Socialism

Van der Linden's work on Kantian social ethics.

Tawney and Ethical Socialism

The British Socialist Richard Tawney's role in the rise of Ethical Socialism from Encyclopedia Brittanica.

02:19:55 Wanted to create not only class consciousness, but a consciousness of freedom.

Class Consciousness

Rodney Livingstone's translation of Georg Lukács' 1920 essay.yörgy

Wiki - Social Class

Wikipedia article on the concept of social class.

Classic Liberal Roots of the Marxist Doctrine

An article on the origin of Marxist theory of class and class struggle.

The Idea of Freedom

Time Magazine article on freedom.

02:20:05 Socialism had to be drenched in an ethical dimension, which was not the case in Marx' version, regardless of his or Lenin's personal intentions.


An account of the rise of Marx and his ideology.

Lenin's Socialism

An account of the Russian Revolution and Lenin's version of Marxist ideology.

Lenin and Marxism

A world socialist article on Lenin's version of Marxism, and an explanation of where it feels he went wrong.

02:20:24 Anarchism was structured around an ethical project, whether you agreed with it or not.

Ethics and Anarchy

An article trying to justify the morality of anarchism.

Wiki - Emma Goldman

Wikipedia article on the famous anarchist Emma Goldman.

02:21:10 Believes in a libertarian tradition and an anarchist tradition, going back to the enlightenment and the French revolution.

Age of Enlightenment

The age of enlightenment.

Wiki - The French Revolution

Wikipedia article on the French Revolution

La Revolution Francais.

Un description et resource avec plusieres d'informations sur la revolution Francaise en 1871 / A description and resource with much information on the French Revolution.

French Revolution

Britannia resource on the French Revolution.

02:22:10 Anarchists today are more dogmatic than during the 19th century when Proudhon would play with a great variety of ideas, as would Bakunin as did Malatesta.

Pierre Joseph Proudhon

Spartacus resource on the French Anarchist Proudhon.

Wiki - Pierre Joseph Proudhon

Wikipedia resouce on Proudhon.

L'Encyclopédie de L'Agora - Joseph Pierre Proudhon

Une biographie et description de son vie / A biography and description of his life.

L'Encyclopédie de L'Agora - La pensée économique et politique de Proudhon (The economic and political thought of Proudhon)

Une article sur ses pensées économique et politique / An article on his economic and political thought.

Wiki - Mikhail Bakunin

Wikipedia article on the Russian Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin

Mikhail Bakunin

An article on the life and struggles of Bakunin.

Wiki - Errico Malatesta

Wikipedia entry on the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta.

Everything.com - Errico Malatesta

Everything biography of Malatesta.

02:22:16 Politics to anarchists has been frozen in an anti-parliamentary stance.

Anti-Parliamentarian anarchism

The correlation between the Anarchist Movement and its anti-parliamentarian stance.

Parliamentarianism and Constitutional Monarchy

An explanation of the concepts.

02:22:43 If you work with ideas of confederation you are accused of trying to build a Leninist party

Nothingness.org - Lenin

Ron Tabor's retrospective look at Leninism and an analysis of where it all went wrong for the Marxist movement in November 1917, in the midst of the Russian Revolution.

Wiki - Leninism

Wikipedia entry on Leninism.


Bookchin's explanation of the idea of confederalism.

02:23:06 Bookchin was drawn to specific anarchist views such as confederalism and community that were absent in the Marxian socialism of the 30s and 40s.


Bookchin's explanation of the idea of confederalism.

The meaning of Confederalism

Another article by Bookchin on confederalism.

Wiki - Communitarianism

Wikipedia article on the concept of communitarianism.

Marxist Socialism

An account of Marx's version of socialism.

02:23:40 One does not have to be a Leninist to organize.

Wiki - Leninism

A Wikipedia article on the origins and nature of Leninism.

02:23:50 Says if you wanted to be involved in politics you did not have to be the Labour party or SDP.

Wiki - Independent Labour Party (ILP)

Wikipedia entry on the ILP.

Spartacus - The Social Democratic Party

Spartacus' history and description of the German Social Democratic Party

Social Democratic Party (German)

Social Democratic Party homepage

02:24:07 The Greeks discovered a realm of politics - the public sphere - which involved institutions.

Ancient Greece

Internet resource on the Ancient Greeks.

Athenian Origins of Direct Democracy

A description of Ancient Greece and the working of the city state.

02:24:51 Didn't think if you wanted to create an institution it had to be a state institution or a quasi-religious one such as the church. Believed in forming libertarian institutions, face to face democratic assemblies and federal councils.

The Ecology of Freedom

Murray Bookchin's work on Freedom.

This set him in conflict with the ascendant Marxists in late 60s, thanks to Maoism, Astroism and Ho Chi Minhism. Set him at odds with anarchists too.

Wiki - Maoism

Wikipedia entry on Maoism, the doctrine begun by Chinese revolutionary Mao Tse-Tung.

Maoism and Utopianism.

Eight essays on these complimentary theories.

Time - Ho Chi Minh

Time Magazine portrait of the Vietnamese revolutionary.

02:26:07 Says autonomy is not necessarily freedom. Roman empire was prepared to give people a lot of individual autonomy - you could buy slaves, beat them to death and kill them.

BBC - Ancient Roman Empire

An article from the BBC on the holy Roman Empire, which paradoxically managed to devolve autonomy without giving citizens freedom.

Roman Empire

Crystal Link article on the Roman Empire

Stanford - Personal Autonomy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy definition and discussion of the idea of personal autonomy.


John Christman's discussion of the idea of autonomy.

02:26:27 So personal autonomy doesn't necessarily change society.

02:26:45 Saw anarchy not as chaos, but the highest form of order. Anarchy doesn't only give rights, but it gives responsibilities. Noam Chomsky referred to this idea.


Noam Chomsky's homepage full with Bios and information on his life and work.


A book reviewing Chomsky's stance in relation to anarchism.

02:27:22 Refers to the two Russian novelists - Daniel and Sinyavski, who were sent to the Gulag

Wiki - Andrei Sinyavsky

Wikipedia entry on the life of Andrei Sinyavsky.

Andrei Sinyavsky

Literary Encyclopedia entry on Andrei Sinyavsky written by Neil Cornwall.

Trial of Sinyavsky and Daniel

Time Magazine article on the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, anarchist dissidents arrested by the Soviet government.

02:27:39 Believes the personal is political, but doesn't necessarily think that political issues can be reduced to personal.

02:28:29 Talks of looking the way he does now the way he has most of his life. Hasn't been one to grow his hair excessively long.

02:29:05 Had smoked joints but never bought any or any other drug in his life.

02:30:50 Believes that it is better to labour over one's problems rather than looking for a quick fix from a councillor. Says this is important when discussing himself.

02:31:23 Says in the 60s people kept changing their minds regarding what they thought. Says he couldn't keep up with their changes from Maoism to Castroism, Anarchism to Stalinism.


Thinkquest article on the origins and ideas behind Maoism.


Knowledge Rush definition and description of Fidel Castro and his ideology.


Wikipedia article on Stalinism.


Wikipedia resource on Anarchism

02:31:32 Went as well from one form of feminism or ecologism to other forms of these ideas.


Stanford Encyclopedia article on feminism.


UPress article on Ecologism.

02:31:43 This reflected what the US called the 'Kleenex culture'

02:32:02 Says that he never lost the good bits of different ideas, such as those of Marx and Lenin, regardless how critical he may have been of the latter.

02:32:11 Found nothing in Stalinism that he would accept any more than he would fascism.


Encarta article on Fascism.

02:32:32 Classical Anarchism


An article on Classical anarchism.

02:32:55 Tried to create a new philosophical outlook for the new left that appeared in the 1960s, and for the anarchists.

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