Murray Bookchin
Key Player

Professor emeritus, Ramapo College of New Jersey; long-time advocate of societal anarchy; teaches ISE course on “social ecology”“Capitalism is a social cancer. It has always been a social cancer. It is the disease of society. It is the malignancy of society,” says Murray Bookchin, a “red diaper baby” now old enough to wear Depends. Bookchin has been a mainstay of the radical-left fringe since the 1930’s, when he joined the Communist youth movement as a child in New York. He was active in the Congress of Industrial Organizations back when it was still dominated by Communists, and was a leading U.S. Trotskyite throughout the Depression era.

Seeking a niche in the “movement” after World War II, Bookchin published the essay “The Problem of Chemicals in Food” in 1952, followed by “Our Synthetic Environment” a decade later. “Deeply involved in countercultural and New Left movements almost from their inception” according to one biography, Bookchin co-founded ISE in 1974 after the Sixties’ tumult died down. Though Bookchin is now semi-retired, he continues to teach courses at ISE and sits on the editorial advisory board of Anarchist Studies.

Bookchin’s many tracts include “Death of a Small Planet,” “Deep Ecology, Anarcho-Syndicalism and the Future of Anarchist Thought,” “Popular Politics vs. Party Politics,” and “Radical Politics in an Era of Advanced Capitalism.”