Murray Bookchin – Continuing Studies (2002)

Murray Bookchin - Continuing Studies (2002)



it should be because there is a thing called the lifecycle with about a half dozen diseases come with our living people and the wet choose if you want to call them back or the seminar that they'll have it's probably going to be the last I may be able to do just naturally a baby suddenly squirts out mama died I said ah sweet anything flow you know the life cycle was we've done it can communicate with more than a oh well in my case it's another way around you sort of saying bad bad but the value I might have for you is that having lived 81 plus six months or seven on this planet I have covered a period from nineteen nineteen twenty one January 1921 when people like mermen trustee if you're familiar with all of these names I don't know I want I should stand by my religious belief contempt and all kinds of big bill Haywood and Emma gold rings these are mains I'm sure is somewhat familiar and employed the factor Pupkin died ten days after I was when he was around I'm very active and the Russian Revolution was still going on in 1921 so I was born into all of that but not simply as a newspaper reader I was born into all of that as close to a participant that an American could be short of going you know the age of three committed lemons beer when he died 1924 well short of you know this and that a few other things you know what I'm saying am I making sense if I'm not making sense to you because I sometimes talk a little fan gently' Michael approached things for an angle it's often more illuminating in the end but if I'm not making sense – I'd beg you to please interrupt me not already begun to you know spill out all my energy so I smell oh and owing to the limitations physical limitations that I'm faced with the first thing I hope you'll be able to contend with is the fact that I have to slow down for a moment take it easy that other people to do the talking because your breath suddenly you find that you having trouble breathing and you have to slow up but the most important thing about the fact that I'm 81 for your purposes is that I spent almost every conscious moment of these years let's say give a tank about 75 close to 80 I spent them in revolutionary organizations I belong to all kinds how those in activist I never held theories that was strictly academic and even though I became a professor in a State College of New Jersey and what should something that really pops up colleges in there in the United States and Europe and Canada so on and so forth I've been around all over the place even though I did all of that and was engaged in the theoretical development of the left however minimally I was always trying to put my theories of the crime was so I always been going to something you know when I was nine years old I belong to the Young Pioneers of America does that mean anything to any of you here you'd need to know what it means yeah what had a youth well I got in at the age of nine that month I got in around 1930 and you have no idea what kids even at the age of mine can learn if you give them a real feast and give them every opportunity mind their own way and under very careful guidance to pick up alone so I'd was very politically and socially and even personally very self-conscious of what was going on in 1930 I so clearly remember Hitler's rise to power you know I so clearly remember the Great Depression because it took place in 1929 and I was there my sword and a real physical sense had hit my family very badly and shortly were shoved out in the streets with furniture going back and I couldn't pay rent at the school of things and river boarding houses and also I have to go to work at a very young age even though I went to spoon I sold ice cream I sold newspapers it was a day when they had newspaper boys so the daily work there made a bottle birthday which was a hell of a lot differs on the bomber one day you could live with a whole family funny as it seems to you now no it was very real thing we even had silver diamonds around for the sake of it for the media hell of it I bought one sometime ago just to bring me back to the following days you know when the West was still wild can be called the Indians or made of Americans engines and I acquired a completely left-wing education so much so even a public school now I'm from the school in those days they really gave you an education because honestly putting into a v8 we started the French Revolution and the teacher will hand the class over to me and say you're going to take it over anyway so they have books and tell us all about John Paul Mata or Rousseau or ropes here are these names familiar to I don't know whether they are sometimes allowed not to use specifically but the whoever I'm talking I know doctors have not even Auto really pistorius's the problem that is that's the way education works today when I took over the class and I defended pasture well I defended John Brown you know shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War because in those days the textbooks used to defame him they used to call him a madman the same phrase was installed the Confederacy got hold of the whole culture despite the fact that the North won the Civil War whatever that meant and the black sparkling Boston so I went through that whole experience of the Depression and then the great moments of my life for the revolutions that broke out one of the most important attempts that I thought now in retrospect that I think is hardly known but it's one of the most deserving to be known as the revolution of the Austrian workers in Vienna in 1934 did I mean who ever see the movie Julia the new show of hand well there's a scene with Jane Fonda when she runs to Vienna to meet Vanessa Redgrave was found to be Anna Piscotty destroy the study with the Austrian Socialist Party and you see workers with their hands on their heads you know prisoners and being escorted by bayonetta Tom's Austrian soldiers behind behind there and that was the time of the Austrian this rose up for a whole week and forth to make the revolution in court and to prevent fascism from coming to Austria and there they had a marvelous movement and I had a marvelous body of ideas which I was very delighted presented things that I have been propounding recently in the name of libertarian municipal ism and this was an attempt to form Confederations of municipalities in Austria under a red flag and build a socialist Austria it was very democratic and still based on localities you know in confederal relations so I remember that and then I remember the uprising the same year of the workers in northern Spain the miners the historian workers are anything familiar with that please do not be ashamed or embarrassed about this I would be surprised if they taught you in fact when they rose above really the ignorance of this news is appalling to me my generation anyway but the money who know who the historian – what Bettina Machado's those are all dynamite bounced around their waist and threw themselves against Francisco Franco's tanks suicide bombing is not a Middle East as far back to my recollection was the Spanish to remember and of course there was a Spanish Revolution and the Spanish Civil War and ultimately at least after the war that made me into a trance fear so supported the pulling mountain with the detachment and I need you to read for I beg you believe it's a page I mean it's better than any however well-intentioned in fact I bought a reading the how much the Catalonia how many of you know George Orwell thank you it's a good thing it began so early in my life so George Orwell who fought in Spain is militiamen formed an organization called the party vélib rattled which I was most I knew very little about Spanish on occasion Oh conspiracy of silence to keep manage hanako-san the course which is what they really should be called they want very few of them but that requires an explanation Isis and so I had the opportunity to go through that and became a Trotskyist for a while and then broke with that and became a libertarian socialist and finally I became my version of an anarchist now let me make their very plenty of the anarchism that you have been hearing is a version which is an attempt to mount the best features bring together when the best features of Marxist fuse I won't say Marxism because Marxists are very rare Marx used to complain made the statement before he died I'm non-marxist asleep and he did that because so many people who call themselves Marxists he thought did not properly represent us behind the moon and then ultimately I began to find out that when I have to deal with anarchism I have to confront the form of individualism this is reflected in the writings of people like John version have you ever heard of that man he got a slot on 60 minutes I hear it should really make it a celebrated individual and he seems to be I don't know him personally I taught them once over the phone where the people have reported to me and you can take it for what it's worth that ego seems to be his marbles seem to be fairly scattered and when a reporter interviewed and found the television set there you know he's against technology America he's against the conversation because it's symbolic reification though there's a word like symbolic reification makes sense to you you know I hope so anyway the idea basically that words begin to dominate you instead of you controlling the words you know there's a truth to that of course but it isn't the whole story and for him it practically is so he doesn't believe in speaking and principle although he's very uncompensated conversational but it says incoherent and I he had a television septa a reporter said what are you doing with a television set you're supposed to be going around together with compact Excel and an ax knife in their mouth you want to say well you know you got to go with the flow and I didn't think that that was very an acoustical revolutionary now I'm telling you all of these things for a special reason what I would like to do in the limit of time that I have that's now going into an hour and a half is to devote a certain amount of time to presenting the history of the left rather presumptuously as I perceived it in my life there are very few people who spend suddenly years from perfect and especially today and present to you the various ideas I would like to examine under the rubric of Marxism anarchism and the future of the left now how many of you would call yourselves worthless I asked you that do be honest if they have no fears I do not bite factors for state completely give me a show you and you consider yourself leftist and you and you and I suspected this is a DQ Brooke whom I'm very fond of but no challenge to any of them others I suspect the Brooklyn Johnson suffers a leftist well I have noticed you I still regard myself as a masters the battered and bruised disappointments and defeats I regard myself as a person from that and I think it would be a good way of doing what I want to do to examine its broadly as I can but more basic things I can possible what is valid and Marxism of what is not what is valid and anarchism and what is not and also what has to be created that goes beyond both of them sitting right beside you is a whole pile of white books and if you read the title would you booth please photos I got the whole collected works everything they wrote that was worth reading okay 50 volumes of 47 volumes and I treasured them and I hope maybe it'll be donated to the Institute when I died but I have never found any collection of works that have been more stimulating life there's no one I ever read in my life including all these philosophers up there and including Hegel helm I think very highly of who is my favorite philosopher there's no one and I think even can hold a candle to the writings of Karl Marx in particular I'm secondarily very secondarily to further entangles and yet I am NOT a Marxist I have to fight people who call themselves Marxist for thirty years I was very active first of all in the 30s and the labour moon I did not go to college no I did take courses when I came out of the Army in 1946 I took courses in electrical engineering electronics this isn't over but they were still very using vacuum to Sarah and I other things that I was interested in and then I just essentially dropped in and out of seminars at the new school but I did not systematically go to college or get any higher degree than a high school diploma it's the one thing that saved me I will be very frank with you and I'm quite serious I don't think universities today educate you particularly in the United States but I would include today virtually all the European major European universities I don't think they educate you I think they miss education I think they destroy your writing ability when I'm giving you a format that you have to follow that it's highly constipated and it's loaded with a footnote for every sentence okay the second thing is I think that they must educate you because they're really illogical the bulk of American universities or at least the most prominent universities are concerned with post-modernism now does anyone know what I'm talking about when I talk of post-modernism I'm not even that escaped but do you know what I'm talking about more or less I'll gladly to find that it's after the moderate they don't know how to define them but I'll tell you what it comes down so basically from my point of view post-modernism is a form of relativistic nihilism okay it is a theory of philosophical and methodological approach to the deep systematization breaking down the systematic and that has led a good deal of post modernists into anti rationalism it has led them into an almost chaotic approach of almost anything can happen it has an effect to try to demolish but it can't whatever is orderly in thinking and in the universe and try to introduce the ephemeral the accidental the incidental the tangental you see what I'm saying but most important in this it's anti-enlightenment now you've got as many different theories of post-modernism as you have post modernist Foucault denied it was a post modernist I find him the most to lived and the most idiosyncratic writers I won't get into an argument about this because he's even declared that he would have been a supporter of the Frankfurt and I know the folks in the finals ideas marcozzi was a personal friend and others were personal friends and i so little eyes myself with the second generation of the Frankfurt School through one in particular our breasts Velma where we spent hours and babes and sometimes weeks miss Carson he was a the right-hand man of how many of you have ever heard of you've been hard bottom ops the unforgettable okay so I would take him to the majority even though what I'm who I'm least talking about well our Brockville ma was the right hand man can have amassed almost was there and he and I had endless discussions and I tried very hard and I succeeded to some degree although he would never acknowledge it in separating him from Jurgen and let him have a mind of his own but if you want to know about post-modernism from my point of view you can pick up this book published by castle for continuum continuum has taken this Owen has be published it all right you know continue impress on many of you familiar with it's it's a fairly prominent left-of-centre publishing okay and left the published books on hangar when they left the publish books and all of that stuff and Mark whose and in here which i think is one of the most valuable things you can read I try to assess our home culture in a span of less than three about 300 patients and I have a whole section on philosophy and specifically on promo which we know post-modernism liked to call it it chapter chapter seven and I call it post-modernism nihilism I think it stems very clearly out of Nietzsche insofar as it has any kind of heritage at all it stands out of nature whom I regard basically is a reactionary philosopher I'm one of the rare people 4000-pound since walter kaufmann wave his hands are neat you it becomes difficult to discuss nature are any of you familiar about these of the baits and Popo mo well any others besides yourself well there's a lot okay your cultures undergone a tremendous upheaval up in the upper levels of the people who are think they're guiding your life in your destiny there has been a tremendous upheaval since the 60s and it even began in the 60s now I have to work with the assumption that most of you know very little about what I'm talking about unless I'm wrong and I beg you to please correct me let me know ok I want to talk at a level that is comprehensible to most people but it's impossible to do it to all because there are three levels we can discuss this on the elementary on the middle and on the hawk of the high okay and I don't know how to decide I'm really in and a dilemma so I beg you please rein me in yeah now we're getting along okay right now my point therefore is to go through my experiences in these movements which are partly entertaining and I think that helps but it's are relatively informative and I hope that is of some use to you instead of giving formal lectures otherwise I need you here for a year and at least for four hours a day three days a week at least with a lot of reading and a lot of homework and a lot of papers I can't do that can we understand that is that agreeable so the first thing I want to do is get some water will somebody be kind enough to pick up a glass there's a glass in my cabinet first cabinet to come to the next to the next to the refrigerator and there's the water the water is in here the water from the lake is toxic so let's pause for a moment and ask if you have any questions change the speed that's how we get it first I don't know how you're gonna do it I'm recording over something I don't put doesn't trouble me I don't care forget about it the one the honey one won't ask a question that'll give me a chance to catch my breath society talked about language and how certain cultures you can develop spend a year doing that what would you like to specifically Center on our language is shaped by our social relations Marx would have said that all I'm doing is echoing them I mean there are words that are coming into our language in particular as of this century the 21st and the late 20th that are very disturbing like what's the bottom line does that bother you it bothers me like hell because that's the language of the counting of profit and loss that bottom line you see or I invest in my children does that bother you it does me because my children are not in my children are people my son and my daughter whom I love very dearly and I don't invest in them I give them my love and give them whatever assistance I can now I can give them relatively less assistance than I did when they were growing up well I'm talking now literally of the structure of a language and the formulations that it creates which reflected accurately a commandest development that has taken place since the end of the Second World War which is one of the things I want to talk about I want to talk about where I was when I was young kind of world I lived in in New York City okay the kind of social movements that existed the kind of social relations that existed and what it meant to be on the left because what exists on the left today is got this from my point of view you may not agree with me and I respect your disagreement if you do if you disagree with me but I will tell you that what is now called the left is garbage it's not left it's not revolutionary it doesn't know where it wants to go it's mainly really more social democratic and reformist than revolutionary in many ways it's even at worst it's vilest and it's an accursed form at best there's a lot of pompous academic jargon okay none of which is designed to challenge the social order you know it doesn't mean anything today thanks to the watering down of language thanks to its reduction more and more to a capitalistic what's the word I want to use spirit let's use that for the hell of it the extent to which the commodity commodity a very special thing a product that is made by whatever means for the express purpose of being sold not to be used by the maker but to be sold by the maker okay cause wonderful medical equipment whatever you like but not to be used as much as to be sold so that other people who need it can use it but expressly made to be sold that is what Marx meant by a commodity that has not only what he called exchange ability or exchange of value it has another thing not only is useful so that it can be exchanged and be desired okay and it may be useless like a nuclear bomb okay but it's made expressly to make money that's all to accumulate another commodity called gelt money you see and that money can be used to reinvest back into the production of commodities the express purpose of ever expanding and ever growing what you call the Society of growth as a society of market relationships in which the exchange of commodities produces profit for the express purpose not of even being used personally although it is but above all of coming back into industry or enter the economy with the view toward making more money and in the process getting an advantage over your competitor until you control more and more of the economic field this madcap growth this insane expansion of industrial wealth the productive wealth does not lead to product productive a productive life or a productive society whenever consuming society and the complications that arise of manner and warming they were forming because industry with rival enterprises competing with each other each trying to get the better of each other keep changing the world around turning what it's organic into the inorganic you know what I mean pulling steel out of the earth pulling copper out of the earth cutting down trees and turning them into lumber okay turning forests in effect into planks of wood or paper or whatever for the express purpose and no special land in mind but to grow if you don't grow you die you heard that one didn't you grow or die I'm sure you did well no other society until capitalism came around ever believed to leave them the Middle Ages or even later in the Renaissance it wasn't believed in the ancient world it wasn't believed in the Neolithic world and it was to save wasn't believed or was seen as a guiding principle in the Paleolithic in the lovely world of John sir's and what you so admired and that has gradually gradually rapidly at a madcap pace transformed the whole organic world there's no place on this planet now that does not have human footprints I say it metaphorically but I mean it and not only that there's no place on this planet where you do not have a transformation and the question is not that there is a creative society called the rational society guided by reason so that they will produce create fashion a world that is amenable to various forms of life which we could existed for me how bad it is I exaggerate but close to the truth they can listen in on anything they can be nice so many of you will have children follow me so getting back to what the cases are right now what I would like to do if that's agreeable to you is through my own lifespan tell you the world that I knew and the world that you vented and why this world is so different from the world that I knew and while the problems have changed together with the change they're going to have to recast things again and all the to the city I have a work of the five but it look IWW how many do you know what the iw can one of you tell me what you think it is whoever wants to volunteer what's the difference between syndicalism an amicus strategy like sort of small gains for the labor movement and for workers into what is anarchism you could have a number of strategies and was a particular idea how many of you would like to add to that explanation it's important it's important please a big part of the syndicalist tradition is that it emphasizes that in the good society everything would be run by workers particularly through worker Federation's trade rooms right right and that the the trade union is the revolutionary organization that would then try to take power from the pollution OC and what would it do with the power it would reorganize the system of production to determine value of their own labor well what else I mean what do I care about the value of my money and I'm not being playful I'm not being hostile at beg right yes then lacked if I can I'll show you my distinct dollar bill coin just to show you that my spirit is in the right place 1886 excuse me called the Morgan dollar but let's get into it point anymore why weren't they Atticus well the Atticus accepted the existence of the state go on anybody want to enrich this definition these differences are very important because you want to know why you I the one or the other one neither each these were two major movements they form that half of socialism which goes under the name of what once one other the name of libertarian the right wing stole that lived the word libertarian that the tear was invented by French amicus and we say they clued okay oh that is really just that I'm kidding around with that that's my plaything it's what won the West but tell me more about the differences between them anarchism is who was a political send acquiesce and they were both deaf people I have in common and they developed trade union politics and I mean trade union politics we've made the CNT Senate Easter's run around with guns opposing their own comrades in the CNT when they had a faction type I'm not joking they pulled guns on each other but and that's the Lenin who made the revolution in Washington I was almost personally knowledge of anything and I knew people who are related thing and worked with him and I remember how he was killed by Stalin contagion how many you know remember the Second World War or the Great Depression and the labor movement good it's my job to let you know as my job you're not because you're stupid or anything like that because you haven't had these experiences and above all you'll have horrible pictures of your boat schools I really must know I'm an to institutional on education that is one thing I really feel secondly because I do not regard schools as arenas of free this cost and free investigation I regard them between states as how much teachers can free and make believe you know what I mean that this that person's if they can't make them in the world they make it with young people kids who are inexperienced so the point that I'm getting at if you please as we develop a general interest that unites our humanity mainly the welfare of the polis things are not illogical makes what we will do in the natural world because we're going to affect the natural world just by breathing not to speak of what we necessarily have to do in order to keep living there is no such thing as a pure pristine nature that does not feel the effect of the human hand and the human mind that is long gone with disappeared month prior was discovery and they began to burn the plains create plains by burning forests and that goes back to Homo erectus so let's be realistic human beings are an integral part that come out of the natural world out of natural evolution – I don't know what nature is organic nature it is evolution it's not something that there's outside human beings because human beings are a product of the most fundamental evolutionary development now taking all of that together you develop general interest and because you have that general that which you can form assembly of people and now try to reason together through this course what laws what the penalties whatever you like have to be passed and North are they truly human eyes and the truly civilized society I'm using the word society not just loosely strictly speaking society is a distinct realm that I don't can't go into right now I've discussed that in detail in this forum now when you get to that point the question is what institutions are you going to form and well how are you going to institutionalize yourself in a world that it's a rational that's what you mean by subscribtion hence you have to form your own proces of work here and now you have to become political you know how I define politics i define politics today among other things with some many different definitions with one of the most important definition as as the attempt to democratize power now Atticus do not believe in democracy for example the Google consensus I believe it's idiotic because the silence and I'm already through consensual procedure and a large group especially whether people don't even know each other I saw that happen over and over again in French oh it's the silence prob simulus of minority ideas should always be there to jab you until gather it becomes of a a majority or it disappears plays the role of create plays the creative role of getting you to think of getting you to think beyond the given conditions that you've settled with and so forth long live minorities they must be cherished they must be preserved and that means you have to vote and you have that majority quotes rule until such time that the minority can run over the majority it does not mean suppressing anybody I know of no better way to suppress people than to book the consensus and force them to degrade their opinions until they come to a common level the lowest common denominator you can think of now so that happened now the point is what are you going to do to begin to make these changes in this world that you live in we haven't found real Pat nice impact in the last century and particularly long before you were born beginning with Marx and going up into the Russian Revolution and the Spanish revolution 1939 we had everything down there fact they have a working class it was a proletariat and then it did everything that it was not supposed to do according to Marx and the Marxist amniotic Antico syndicalism continued and that everything it was not supposed to do it did not make revolutions the greatness the German working class which was supposed to be the most the earth did not like revolution and never once voted in the most radical of the Socialist Party in Germany it always voted for moderates moderate socials otherwise known as social democrat and you've got these social democrats around to you today it was really part of the capitalist system because one of the most fundamental theories at that time was that which was a capitalist relations and the capitalist system would make the workers more and more radical by driving them down into the no they'd bought them wolf with the welfare state forty fifty years of welfare and it's though going on to a great degree to them i mean you do have to be very patient to be a boxer you then have to wait to the general economic crisis that will drive and drive them down to misery like an alibi Charles Dickens novel times Oliver Twist you name it okay derived in Valentin decision well we haven't yet come to that chronic crisis came to an end with the Second World War and hasn't reappeared there have been ups and downs nobody denies it right now there are a million people in the park Malcolm was a sixty million but this is most important you know part of the population please these are people who are invested in capitalism and they call themselves US worker carefully surprising another oxymoron or is it I'm beginning to wonder but you see what is happening so how are you going to come to people like that and they have all kinds of variations first of all with the appropriate political organization where they can begin to feel empowered secondly with the ideas that will empower them and how are you going to finally become people are capable of formulating these ideas empowering ideas that will be persuasive so the great the great on Washington's and of course how are you going to do that that cannot be answered with broad philosophical terms like we have to be homeless that people don't know what you mean but others it cannot be answered by general statements about we have to be visionary well all for that even the butch ones we go to wall street they'll talk about people with endless visions it's not enough you have to be very concrete just did you I believe how people new platforms and they're going to be emancipatory he don't give me a chance to catch my drop because I've been talking well beyond my own speed added comment you want to take a little break so well I tried to do is give you the basis for politics that is libertarian but my manifest not Atticus and sense of they don't believe in politics and I such in principle if you are a true Atticus you don't believe an organization those who come around and tell you that the wrong rejection are already soldiers because this organization is very important in anarchy it creates disorder and that's supposed to stimulate you're not creative disorders look at Jackson Pollock and so on and so forth and all or you know the Marx Brothers Comedy they were creative disorder you know having a wild west bank dining everybody was free of employment with people – no I believe very much in order but the highest form of order would be comunism now if you decide that the city is going to be orderly now not that you don't believe in classes this is another fiction I've been told over and over again what I think which means that they don't know what I think and in most cases I get this complete book Jim doesn't believe in classes that's ludicrous I've been in the working class I believe in the craft struggle out of the Communist amount of Fusco behind many of these people who told me that were born not that I'm claiming age over youth and severely I already raised over youth there was a class all of these things many things that Marx have to say a very true and there are things that were I don't know how to sort the substance but couldn't contribute since I can finish the page accordion has believed variously anusaniya collections that occurs should participate in them and then he's come out and said any kind of government or institution was respected he's relieved the creative violence violence is creative and he wrote a whole piece on the creativity of violence and it's famous for the five but they always intervene in situations and said we have to spontaneously overthrow the system what happened is that when the Spanish amicus actually did that there were not so mechanically Sinda Callista still a fourth of erotica they didn't know what to do the next thing so that's what they did they had the power they handed it over to the bourgeoisie to the live this was literally they became the transmission both protecting the power away from their own workers their own followers and turning it over to police Campanas is the president of Muhammad Ali top not okay to go into that anymore I did I mentioned that there's one of the most shameful things that I've it could have happened since they should've kept their mouth shut maybe even Franco a little bit risen but they believe in creative disorder and everything went wild with Spain and Franco use dogs an excuse to rise up he'd already went to the coop and let me tell you and he succeeded because with at least 250,000 by firing squads of them there's a harvest that was creative disorder I pretty much creative that's that's not attitude you have to commit achill activity and what do I need political activity and in a very plain and to meet politics is the distinct realm of creating you creatively active and perform shape even forming activating guiding and so on and so forth opposed namely the commune the community I don't mean neighborhoods please let me make it very plain make ones are still a component of a much larger thing called the city and you make the site you want to carve the city bound and through York one-third of what it is make one tenth of what it is and make it into ten New York's all separated from each other by Green Burns who knows it's your imagination to play with because the time will come and you have all the technology you need to be do that as I said before give us 50 years I had learned to understand what's going on today this is a new kind of thinking it's not only his sweet adaptable that you have to know the future or lists and directional which things are going and then from that direction you can look back and find out where you are right now because that's where than I end up where other generations have been an end so you have to think of what's going to happen in technology namely that workers were virtually disappeared not just that they are not revolutionary that starch which Marx thought they were and I don't want to get into the whole vocabulary of India come on Zia and you know and I mean fools here of this whole thing early in jargon suffice it to say that potentially he thought that they were always going to be revolution even they were driven to revolution by capitalism well they're driven to capitalism by revolutionaries that's what I thought happened Germany in 1990 tried it was the older revolutionaries evolving toward the Social Democrats because they thought German Kingdom which with all due respect to them which I truly have that one should be orderly methodical that's when Nathan window wash form of the first second world war much of the first world war as well but the point that I'm getting at is for wrong ends now for that that conservation of ideas you have to do this consciousness if it is not done consciously and I'm doing it really effectively such democracies and the kind are describing happening built in history they have been built but they were not doing conscious they emerged organically and that can be a limitation and a limitation in the sense that you are will have to work with the assumption that their internal spontaneous forces that make for order and that is not necessarily true by any means there are not necessarily internal forces that make for order that for other potentialities and try to replace in effect the activity of the human mind marks in fact that dilutes the system so absolutely rational and so absolutely logical however war you can be logical and wrong you know that it's very easy to do you know you can dream up any kind of notion you want and methodically and very systematically make one Fargo from the other until you finally arrive in society and want to create but you'll never produce it because it has no basis will you prevent you got the potentialities strictly in the mind then brought the mind imagines you have to go beyond imagination I don't want to see imagination come to power I want to see reason come to power I'm tired of losing revolutions and awfully we reopened having written three volumes the third one is still in the making on the history of revolutions I'm bored and weary that exhausted by saying how quickly and easily we lost because of stupid ideas and by how we were working with things that really weren't what they seem to me you know the red flag has been raised for all kinds of things to spot the railroads and start riots as a dangerous signal or as a bleep revolution and I'm weary of that and now I want to talk about making revolutions that are real that are possible not only possible the necessary in my condition so I would venture the following view that we cannot do this if we want to be conscious and if it necessary to be conscious unconscious all along the way step by step not to the boots of idiocy not going to do failures we're going to do that we've got to have a need a political movement using the right politics in the sense that I have been using that can go out to the American people after people elsewhere in the world we are here in the United States stop living on the peoples of evolutions by the way this was told to many raffles attend to various countries that I didn't even think well in real revolution by Korea which we now know is not with modern revolution is not trying desperately they're kind of relatively wish lost state understandably for reasons of its own but I don't want to go into that either and they used to say two delegations go home and convince your own people you don't have to convince us and that played a big role in upsetting you know living in Charleston supplants and the Viet Nam below and also Nixon's plans and contingency ditto for any other revolutions you're not living in Mexico now I know very nice people I think highly almond personally well running all over the world looking for a revolution are trying to relive the nineteen thirties or forties and fifties or sixties or seventies and that has produced nothing that just simply been drawn from their own struggles you're living here and you have to ask yourself what can you do here with the mindset that you have here and by the way and a certain sense you have voted luck here in the most powerful country in the world but you are also and one of the most regressive ones unfortunately because of the backwardness of social consciousness in America yeah not so backward that it's going to undo feminism but it's going to undo many gains that were made by fucking American so it's got a nice bun too and do many other advances that came out of the nineteen section including the right to dress the way you do so please bear in mind that this country is a latent leave very utopian even capitalism here as utopian you know it's very visionary on how to you know open a cash register to rob a bank take it over to rob it and make it feed you you know just look at the hearings that are going on in Washington today so this country is very in focus but it is in fact utopian even it's a notion of individualism is your token the idea of the free guy going out with two guns on that's it well that's going to mean much in the society and blowing things away and that idiocy of course there's a utopian idiocy no it's not going to happen that way what has to be done is that we have to first of all and this is very important before I close we have to look at our American institutions those that are to come out of the American Revolution the American Revolution was one of the greatest revolutions in the world and I'm sorry that Howard Zinn UNAM Chomsky and other idiots are going around deprecating I met a very close study of this American Revolution read it in the first volume of the third revolution this American Revolution initiated the committee system that everyone is John Adams put it in a letter to Thomas Jefferson shortly before they both died initiated one of the most revolutionary forms and many anarchists and socialists and communists adopted committees popular committees created not only Committees of Correspondence of Canaan Committees of vigilance that you never heard of and created committee forms of government and they created a borehole and Malaya and tile meeting forms of government it was an American town meeting conventions in the England that the pace was set for the American Revolution pushing it further and further and further in a revolutionary action so take these institutions they still more or less creep crawl and scratch to the extent that they let them and build them up and get them more life that's one thing you have to start from that to have to speak to Americans in English or in Spanish where it's happening in the West in the Far West and parts in New York announcer but you have to speak to them in terms of their own heritage and you have to enlighten them about their home heritage now when we go from there you're gonna start a moon how you start moving you don't start with seeds you're only seeds right now and I'm going to end with what I want to begin with next time round you're going to start with study groups these things the Russian crew sh t I talked about this I know but only to a select few the study group which was formed the basis for all the revolutionary parties in Russia I don't know if you know that that from the basis for the American Socialist Party the good old days you know when it was fairly libertarian ugb bags of things in the nineteen twenties in their birth even in the 1930s darling with these study groups to educate yourself and when you educate yourself then you're qualified to educate other people unfortunately many so called radicals Domino radicalism a enough to be able to educate others they first have to when you take themselves that means you have to hit the books why you still have the regressive situation that you have today you have space trying yet you're not sitting you know what I mean on the edge of a military rebellion in July 1930 in Spain which produced the slaughter one day endeavor 24 million people Spanish Civil War you have time and not only that you have basic freedoms that the majority has the greatest trouble trying to undo it's not that you know laissez-faire it isn't for not only free trade for freedom of any sort let's stop with these things and these things are very hard to a brute or to destroy and you have to fight for these basic institutions that were created by the American Revolution and have been incorporated into the Constitution often against the will of those people who wrote the Constitution another thing by the way that they have done many things like the separation of powers which goes back to the base of Republican Rome are important to preventing fascism in the United States worships now trying to undo them to a very great extent you have to hold on to what you have so you can take what you have and use it as the basis for transforming society to get what you want what you have is not to just stuck with but what you have is something that you can use as the basis for getting what you want that's what I'm trying to say a second thing is assume you're going to work in communities and you're going to have a civil system or municipal list or if you wish communalist approach that you have to recognize that to work where you can work in areas where you still have a way to start initiate a movement things don't roll from the center on all the time you know that they often roll from the outside in I don't think California please set the pace in America I hate to tell you I think very frequently small communities that existed in Vermont could have done something if we had people will have the consciousness to do it these things were possible than other small communities and another small states but you have to start somewhere to roll out and start setting examples then the first thing after those stars is Scottie circles bring what you have from the Institute money what you can get from the books and elsewhere whatever the sources may be in start examining where you arrive one of the most important ones in Toulouse we pass through these revolutions to find out all the mistakes that were made I I do welcome the mistakes almost more than anything else instead of giving you the so laboratory approach you know yeah yeah right away we did everything great except we failed and Amanda's foster life in blood but it was great okay I know I'm not trying to point out the mistakes of only leaders made and by the way you have to recognize it in building an organization that you're going to have to accept certain fundamental facts people are not equal happily if they were equal it be a very vulnerable they're equal and unequal in many different ways in our job and entire education job is paper once that is basic to communism with a small C the equalization of inequalities because given the fact that the world justice works with the MIT that we're all equal then you can really get clobbered over the head because it happens that the all equal people different one respect something get lawyers because they have money and others can't so believe don't believe that we're all equal that's one of the greatest myths we have to go through a process of equalization that's quite funny growing up of the children that included me and includes everyone in this room we come from different positions different times different stances

3 Comments on "Murray Bookchin – Continuing Studies (2002)"


  1. Fantastic whenever I hear Proffesor Bookchin. He has been a fixture in my own lifetime of education.

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