9 August 2006


The American left-libertarian polemicist Murray Bookchin, who has died aged 85, is rightly credited as a pioneer of the modern ecologist movement (and as a critic of its back-to-nature, anti-modern fundamentalists), but he also played an important intellectual role in the revival of anarchism and libertarian socialism in the 1960s and was a historian of note. The essays collected in Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971) provided, together with the work of Colin Ward and his collaborators on Anarchy magazine in London, the most convincing case for considering that anarchism was of more than historical interest as a practical political philosophy. And his The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 (1977) remains the best available riposte to orthodox Marxist historians who dismissed the Spanish anarchists as a movement of "primitive rebels". The Guardian has an obituary here.

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