Activist and prolific writer Janet Biehl has famously taken up the theory and practice of Municipal Anarchism, as theorized by her companion Murray Bookchin in his lifetime. Recently the ideas have been taken up by the Kurdish leader Ocalan and enthusiastically implemented in the Rojava Revolution and Nth Kurdistan.
Radical Cities and Social Revolution:
An Interview with Janet Biehl
The abstractness and programmatic emptiness so characteristic of contemporary radical theory indicates a severe crisis in the left. It suggests a retreat from the belief that the ideal of a cooperative, egalitarian society can be made concrete and thus realized in actual social relationships. It is as though – in a period of change and demobilization – many radicals have ceded the right and the capacity to transform society to CEO’s and heads of state.
Janet Biehl’s new book, The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism, is an affront to this. It challenges the politically resigned with a detailed, historically situated anti-statist and anti-capitalist politics for today.
I asked Biehl about her new work in the fall of 1997 by email. ~ Chuck Morse
Your book is essentially programmatic: you set libertarian municipalism in a historical context and offer concrete suggestions for practice. What political circumstances made it seem especially important to produce this book now?
As the political dimension of social ecology – the body of ideas developed by Murray Bookchin since the 1950s – libertarian municipalism is a libertarian politics of political and social revolution. It constitutes both a theory and a practice for building a revolutionary movement whose ultimate aim is to achieve an equal, just, and free society. My book is intended as a simple articulation of these ideas, which Bookchin himself has expounded elsewhere Continue reading Radical Cities and Social Revolution: An Interview with Janet Biehl