Anarchy After Leftism by Bob Black

By Bob Black

A respond to, and an attack on, Murray Bookchin's 'Social Anarchism Or way of life Anarchism,' Bookchin himself, Bookchinism, and so referred to as 'anarcho-leftism.'

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The CNT and the FAI were also imperfect. Everything is imperfect. If your fundamental critique of contemporary North American anarchists is that they have failed to assemble in a continental federation, surely you should have told them what is to be done, and how, a long time ago. The involvement of so distinguished a militant as Bookchin might energize an organization which might otherwise appear to be a sect of squabbling, droning dullards, perhaps because, in each and every instance, it is a sect of squabbling, droning dullards.

As if to confirm that he’s incorrigible, Bookchin refers to this review, not as a review, but as a “review” (59). : 7, 9). Bookchin just doesn’t know when to shut up. Having lambasted individualists as liberals, he turns around and insinuates that they are fascists! Critics of industrial technology (specifically, George Bradford of the Fifth Estate) who argue that it determines, as well as being determined by, social organization are, opines the Dean, “deeply rooted in the conservative German romanticism of the nineteenth century” which “fed into National Socialist ideology, however much the Nazis honored their antitechnological ideology in the breach” (29).

You guessed it: Bookchin the Younger again (1971: 276). For Bookchin to dismiss this post-Hegelian development as “bourgeois ideology” is to dismiss the problem itself. In a more recent, still narrower sense, “individualism” designates those who combine rejection of government with espousal of an absolutely unlimited laissez-faire market system. Such ideologues do exist, but Bookchin never even mentions a contemporary example, although he cannot be unaware of their existence, since he made use of one of their publishers, Free Life Books (Bookchin 1977).

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