The Ecology of Freedom

Bookchin, Murray 2005. The Ecology of Freedom: The emergence and dissolution of hierarchy. Oakland, California: AK Press.

I shall begin by asking: What is humanity's place in natural evolution? This question is not simply an environmental one; it has far-reaching social and philosophical implications. Human beings and human society in varying respects are products of natural evolution; further, human beings are organized anatomically and physiologically by natural evolution to interact with nonhuman nature productively, as creatures that consciously produce their own meaqns of life with tools, machines, and the organized deployment of their very capacity to labor. (Bookchin 2005: 21)
Social ecoloty is almost alone these days in dealing with these two developments of "nature-as-a-whole" as a higher creative and shared evolution rather than as an oppositional and purely dualistic antinomy. By contrast, mystical ecologies [such as in Princess Mononoke] - with their "biocentric" notions - often disdain the problem of humanity and second nature; indeed, they tend to venerate first nature as "wilderness." These ecologies often view human species as an evolutionary aberration - or worse, as an absolute disaster, a "cancer" on the biosphere. (Bookchin 2005: 23)
Kõlab täpselt nagu Princess Mononoke moto: "humans are the cancer of the forest!"
Social ecologists use the word social, in turn, in a way that is free of the slipshod, often metaphorical confusion that leads to an identification of animal groups, herds, and ecocommunities with society. It is basic to social ecology that whereas animals form communities, they do not form societies. Society is the exclusive province of humans, for what distinguishes a human society from an animal community is the existence of social institutions. (Bookchin 2005: 23)
Libertarian municipalism, potentially a very significant form of public life today, has a long historical pedigree in cities from the Middle Ages well into the nineteenth century. It was practiced with varying degrees of democracy to countervail emerging centralized nation-states. Libertarian municipalism today seeks to recover and render viable the original Hellenic meaning of the term politics - the management of the polis's affairs by means of a truly participatory democratic body of institutions. (Bookchin 2005: 57)
poliitika, poliitiline kohustus
A direct democracy, in turn, avoids the corruptive "politics" produced by political professionalism, bureaucracy, and top-down representative systems of governance. Citizenship, expressed through popular assemblies, can avoid a statist "politics" based on the privatized anonymous "constituent" who exercises no control over his or her social life. (Bookchin 2005: 58)
political professionalism = political leadership (a la Page 1985) ?
Unless hierarchy is to be used in Schjelderup-Ebbe's cosmic sense, dominance and submission must be viewed as institutionalized relationships, relationships that living things literally institute or create but which are neither ruthlessly fixed by instinct on the one hand nor idiosyncratic on the other. By this, I mean that they must comprise a clearly social structure of coercive and privileged ranks that exist apart from the idiosyncratic individuals who seem to be dominant within a given community, a hierarchy that is guided by a social logic that goes beyond individual interactions or inborn patterns of behavior. (Bookchin 2005: 94)
Siin on sama trihhotoomia: species-specific (instincts), socio-cultural (institutions), ja idiosyncratic (individual).
What we flippantly call "leadership" in organic societies often turns out to be guidance, lacking the usual accountrements of commands. Its "power" is functional rather than political. Chiefs, where they authentically exist and are not the mere creations of the colonizer's mind, have no true authority in a coercive sense. They are advisors, teachers, and consultants, esteemed for their experience and wisdom. Whatever "power" they do have is usually confined to highly delimited tasks such as the coordination of hunts and war expeditions. It ends with the task to be performed. Hence, it is episodic power, not institutional; periodic, not traditional - like the "dominance" traits we encounter among primates. (Bookchin 2005: 122)
Tuleks analüüsida expert power võtmes.
The male, in a hunting community, is a specialist in violence. From the earliest days of his childhood, he identifies with such "masculine" traits as courage, strenght, self-assertiveness, decisiveness and athleticism - traits necessary for the welfare of the community. [...] "feminine" traits: caring and tenderness. (Bookchin 2005: 148-149)
Its [the State] capacity to rule by brute force has always been limited. The myth of purely coercive, omnipresent State is a fiction that has served the state machinery all too well by creating a sense of awe and powerlessness in the oppressed that ends in social quietism. Without a high degree of cooperation from even the most victimized classes of society such as chattel slaves and serfs, its authority would eventually dissipate. Awe and apathy in the face of State power are the products of social conditioning that renders this very power possible. Hence, neither spontaneous or immanent explanations of the State's origins, economic accounts of its emergence, or theories based on conquest (short of conquests that yeld near-extermination) explain how societies could have leaped from a stateless condition to a State and how political society could have explored upon the world. (Bookchin 2005: 165)
Riigi autoriteet põhineb vähem toorel jõul, kuiet hirmus/aukartuses ja passiivsuses mida see meis tekitab. Tegu on ikkagi virtuaalse, mitte reaalse, nähtusega.
The consent of an animal, say a bear, is an essential part of the hunt in which it will be killed. When its carcass is returned to the camp, Indians will put a peace pipe in its mouth and blow down it as a conciliatory gesture. Simple mimesis, an integral feature of magic and ritual, implies by its very nature unity with the "object," a recognition of the "object's" subjectivity. Later, to be sure, the word was to be separated from the deed and become the authoritarian Word of partiarchal deity. Mimesis, in turn, was to be reduced to a strategy for producing social conformity and homogeneity. But the ritual of the word in the form of incantations and work songs remind us of a more primordial sensibility based on mutual recognition and shared rationality. (Bookchin 2005: 170)
1948; "lammas"
The most common definition of direct action are usually exemplary rather than theoretical. They consist of citing strikes, demonstrations, "mob violence," sit-ins of all kinds and in all places, Ghandian civil disobedience, and even vigilantism. In all such cases, our attention is directed to events rather than goals and theoretical generalizations. What unites this behavior under the term "direct action" is the unmediated intervention of people into affairs that are usually resolved by parliamentary debates and legislation. People take over the streets; they may even occupy the parliamentary structures and rely on their own action rather than on political surrogates to achieve certain ends. (Bookchin 2005: 205)
"Nothing is sin except what is thought of as sin." (Bookchin 2005: 289)
Why does that sound familiar? Hey, it's missing a the letter "n"!
Moreover, human subjectivity itself can be defined as the very history of natural subjectivity, not merely as its product - in much the same sense that Hegel defined philosophy as its own history. Every layer of the human brain, every phase in the evolution of the human nervous system, every organ, cell, and even mineral component of the human body "speaks," as it were, from its given level of organization and in the graded subjectivity of its development, to the external habitat into which it has been integrated. The "wisdom of the body," like the wisdom of the mind, speaks in a variety of languages. We may never adequately decipher these languages, but we know they exist in the varied pulsations of our bodies, in the beat of our hearts, in rhe radiant energy of our musculature, in the electrical impulses emitted by our brains, and in the emotional responses generated by complexes of nerve and hormonal interactions. A veritable "music of the spheres" resonates within each living form and between it and other living forms. (Bookchin 2005: 320-321)
Critics of "irrationality do not clarify these distinctions by wantonly banishing every subjective experience other than "linear thought" to the realm of the "irrational" or "antirational." Fantasy, art, imagination, illumination, intuition, and inspiration - all are realities in their own right that may well involve bodily responses at levels that have not been meticulously closed off to human sensibility by formal canons of thought. This blindness to large areas of experience is not merely the product of formal education; it is the result of an unrelenting training that begins at infancy and carries through the entire lenght of a lifetime. To polarize one area of sensibility against another may well be evidence of a repressive "irrationality" that is masked by reason, just as "linear thought" appears in the mystical literature under the mask of "irrationality." Freud, in his ineptness in dealing with these issues from his bastion of Victorian biases, is perhaps the most obvious example of a long line of self-appinted inquisitors whose rigid notions of subjectivity reveal a hatred of sensibility as such. This has long ceased to be a light matter. If the Freuds of the late nineteenth century threatened to destoy our dreams, the Kahns, TOfflers, and similar corporate "rationalists" threaten to destroy our futures. (Bookchin 2005: 359)
Võimetus kõneleda kehalisest teadmisest/tundelaadist.
The matrix from which objective reason may yet derive its ethics for a balance and harmonized world is the nature conceived by radical social ecology - nature that is interpreted nonhierarchically, in terms of unity in diversity and spontaneity. Here, nature is conceived not merely as a constellation of ecosystems but also as a meaningful natural history, a developing, creative, and fecund nature that yields an increasing complexity of forms and interrelationships. And what makes this complexity so significant is not just the stability it fosters (an obvious desideratum in its own right, needed for both the biotic and social worlds). Nature's evolution toward ever more exomplex forms is uniquely important in that it enters into the history of subjectivity itself. From the transition of the inorganic to the organic and through the various phases of evolution that crystallized into human forms of rationality, we witness an increasingly expansive history of molecular interactivity - not only of neurological responses but of an ineffable sensibilité that is a function of increasingly complex patterns of integration. Subjectivity expresses itself in various gradations, not only as the mentalism of reason but also as the interactivity, reactivity, and the growing purposive activity of forms. Hence, subjectivity emphatically does not exclude reason; in part, it is the history of reason - or, more precisely, of a slow forming mentality that exists on a wider terrain of reality than human cerebral activity. The term subjectivity expresses the fact that substance - at each level of its organization and in all its concrete forms - actively functions to maintain its identity, equilibrium, fecundity, and place in a given constellation of phenomena. (Bookchin 2005: 364)
Siin näib Bookchin tegevat loodusega sama, mida Juri Lotman tegi kultuuriga - innustas mõtlema sellest kui subjektiivsusest.
To Fourier, the physical world is governed not by Newton's law of universal gravitation but by his own "law of passionate attraction" - a law that he exuberantly proclaimed as his greatest contribution to modern knowledge. In place of Newton's mechanical interpretation of the universe, Fourier advances a concept of a cosmos as a vast organism that is suffused by life and growth. A vibrant vitalism so completely replaces the despiritized matter of conventional physics that even the idea of planets copulating is not implausible. Life, as we normally conceive it, and society are merely the offspring of a progressive elaboration of the passions. Fourier, to be sure, is not unique in conceiving of the universe in biological terms. But in contrast to most vitalists, he carries his "law of passionate attraction" from the stars into humanity's inntermost psychic recesses. (Bookchin 2005: 427)
Seksikas vitalism.
We also must recover the terrain necessary for the personification and the formation of a body politic. To defend society's molecular base - its neighborhoods, public squares, and places of assembly - expresses a demand not only for "freedom from ..." but also for "freedom for ...." The fight for shelter has ceased to be a matter of defending one's private habitat; it has become a fight to autonomously assemble, to spontaneously discuss, to sovereignly decide - in short, to be a public person, to create a public sphere, and to form a body politic against entrenched power and bureaucratic surveillance. What began in the late 1970s as a squatters' movement for more housing in Holland has now turned into a fervent struggle by young people in Switzerland for space free from authority and surveillance. Issues of habitation and logistics have turned into issues of culture, and issues of culture have become issues of politics. What the future of these specific trends in Central Europe may be, I shall not venture to predict. (Bookchin 2005: 434)
Finally I must emphasize that direct democracy is ultimately the most advanced form of direct action. There are doubtless many ways to express the claims of the individual and community to be autonomous, self-active, and self-managing - today as well as in a future ecological society. To exercise one's powers of sovereignty - by sit-ins, strikes, nuclear-plant occupations - is not merely a "tactic" in bypassing authoritarian institutions. It is a sensibility, a vision of citizenship and selfhood that assumes the free individual has the capacity to manage social affairs in a direct, ethical, and rational manner. This dimension of the self in self-management is a persistent call to personal sovereignty, to roundedness of ego and intellectual perception, which such conjoined terms like "management" and "activity" often overshadow. The continual exercise of this self - its very formation by one's direct intervention in social issues - in asserting its moral claim and right to empowerment stands on a higher level conceptually than Marx's image of self-identity through labor. For direct action is literally a form ot ethical character-building in the most important social role that the individual can undertake: active citizenship. To reduce it to a mere means, a "strategy" that can be used or discarded for strictly functional purposes, is instrumentalism in its most insidious, often most cynical form. Direct action is at once the reclamation of the public sphere by the ego, its development toward self-empowerment, and its culmination as an active participant in society. (Bookchin 2005: 438)
The greatness of the Dadaist tradition, from its ancient roots in the gnostic Orphites to its modern expression in Surrealism - a celebration of the right to indiscipline, imagination, play, fancy, innovation, iconoclasm, pleasure, and a creativity of the unconscious - is that it criticizes this "hidden" realm of hierarchy more unrelentingly and brashly than the most sophisticated theoretical games in hermeneutics, structuralism, and semiology so much in vogue on the campuses of contemporary western society. (Bookchin 2005: 450)

Käesoleval aastal loetud raamatutest on The Ecology of Freedom paistnud silma kõige avarama sõnavara poolest. Jälle kord olen sunnitud rivistama tundmatuid sõnu ja otsima definitsioone.
avaricious - Having or showing an extreme greed for wealth or material gain.
lodestone - A piece of magnetite or other naturally magnetized mineral, able to be used as a magnet.
morass - A complicated or confused situation. [synonym:quagmire]
larder - A room or large cupboard for storing food.
ardor - Enthusiasm or passion.
emolument - A salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.
sybaritic - Fond of sensuous luxury or pleasure; self-indulgent: "their sybaritic lifestyle
insouciant - casual: marked by blithe unconcern; "an ability to interest casual students"; "showed a casual disregard for cold...
paean - A thing that expresses enthusiastic praise. A song of praise or triumph.
fetid - Smelling extremely unpleasant.
yeomanry - A group of men who held and cultivated small landed estates. (in Britain) A volunteer cavalry force raised from such a group (1794–1908).

usufruct - The right to enjoy the use and advantages of another's property short of the destruction or waste of its substance.
opprobrium - The public disgrace arising from someone's shameful conduct.
corvee - unpaid labor (as for the maintenance of roads) required by a lord of his vassals in lieu of taxes.
onerous - (of a task, duty, or responsibility) Involving a burdensome amount of effort and difficulty.
nadir - The lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization.
turgid - Swollen and distended or congested: "a turgid and fast-moving river".
nisus - striving: an effortful attempt to attain a goal.
beleaguered - Lay siege to: "he is leading a relief force to the aid of the beleaguered city". Beset with difficulties.
extirpate - Root out and destroy completely.
lurid - Very vivid in color, esp. so as to create an unpleasantly harsh or unnatural effect: "lurid food colorings".
supineness - Lying on the back or having the face upward. Having the palm upward. Used of the hand.
maudlin - Self-pityingly or tearfully sentimental, often through drunkenness.


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