Social Ecology Blog

200th Anniversary of the Luddite Uprisings

November 2011 – January 2013 are the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings: a great opportunity to celebrate their struggle and to redress the wrongs done to them and their name. Today science and technology raises many more critical social, environmental and ethical issues, but from GM food and eugenics to plans for engineering the planets climate, from surveillance to nuclear power, these issues are rarely addressed properly, partly because anyone who raises criticism is denigrated as a ‘luddite’. History has been written by the victors and the Luddites are portrayed as opposed to all technology and progress: it is ironic that while the ideology of technology as progress has hardened into a rigid dogma, which must condemn all critics as ‘anti-science’, in fact the Luddites opposed only technology ‘hurtful to commonality’, (i.e. the common good). They destroyed some machines whilst leaving others, and earnt their living using a complex piece of technology, the hand loom. In their spirit, we make no apology for calling for real democratic control over science and technology. Public meeting in London, Weds. June 8th.

Greece: Urgent call for international solidarity

From ISE alum and former staff member Pavlos Stavropolous: I have just received the following urgent call for international solidarity from comrades in Greece. We would all appreciate it if you can circulate it widely. As you probably already know, the situation in Greece has been critical for quite some time but it is getting worse. Hard fought-for rights and social gains are being laid on the butcher block. The Greek parliament has become nothing more than a rubber stamp for the marching orders from the IMF. Greece has been marked for becoming an example for the world, an example of how international capital can beat a country into subservience. Yet, throughout all this there has been a lively and ongoing resistance within Greece. This resistance needs international solidarity now more than ever. While the mainstream media focuses on the repugnant attempted rape of a chambermaid by the head of the IMF, they disregard the ongoing rape of entire countries and peoples by the IMF itself. It is up to people of good conscience to make sure that the real story of resistance and hope doesn't get buried.

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 3

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero  (Last of 3 parts)

New beacons

Fortunately, there are a fair number of beacons in the quest to form and inform a reconciliation of “progresismo” with ecology and thus carry out the unfulfilled mandates of 20th century “tercermundismo”- these include eco-socialism, social ecology, the global climate justice [...]

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 2

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero (Second of 3 parts)

Beyond sustainable development

Sustainable development as defined by the Brundtland Commission and the documents that came out of the Earth Summit did not question the basic assumptions of Western-style development, it merely offered some policy safeguards and technological fixes. According to Chatterjee and [...]

“Loisaida” reading this Friday

ISE co-founder Dan Chodorkoff will be reading from his new novel Loisaida this Friday, May 20th at Shiretown Books, 9 Central Ave, Woodstock, Vermont, starting at 7PM.  Woodstock is on US Route 4 between White River Junction and Rutland, Vermont.  All are welcome.

North & South, Ecology and Justice, Part 1

by Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero (First of 3 parts)

The movements for ecology and justice face a particular set of opportunities and perils at the start of the second decade of the 21st century. Those who seek to transform North-South relations to advance sustainability and the eradication of poverty and hunger would [...]

Brian Tokar on “Alternative Radio” this week

During the week of May 9th, David Barsamian’s weekly Alternative Radio program is featuring Brian Tokar’s recent talk on climate justice, recorded at Naropa University in Boulder, CO this past March.

If your local public or community radio station doesn’t broadcast A.R., now’s a good time to let them know [...]

Audio: Chodorkoff’s NYC Anarchist Bookfair “Loisaida” reading

Audio is now available from ISE co-founder Dan Chodorkoff’s reading from his debut novel Loisaida at the 2011 NYC Anarchist Bookfair.

Loisaida (Fomite Press) is now available from Amazon. Please do ask your local bookseller to order copies.

Please click here for the audio.

“Mumford Gutkind Bookchin” – A brief review

Review of Janet Biehl’s booklet, Mumford Gutkind Bookchin: The Emergence of Eco-Decentralism (available from New Compass Press)

by Brian Tokar

The link between ecology and decentralist politics is often taken as a given, as natural a connection as between bees and pollen or tulips and Dutch gardens. But as with everything [...]

“The half-life of disaster” by Brian Massumi

ISE Director Brian Tokar recommends this article from Brian Massumi, who translated Deleuze & Guattari’s 1000 Plateaus and several later writings of theirs into English. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
As a counterweight to the conditions of precariousness fostered by disaster capitalism itself, certain key economic sectors are allowed [...]