Murray Bookchin is a Lifestylist

Submitted by heckthepolice2 in Anarchism

So, I have a confession. I have not read much Bookchin. There was a time when this bothered me, and when I made a sincere effort to change it.

You see, back when I was but a young ancom lad, before I was corrupted into the post-left post-civ post-structuralist queer insurrecto-nihilist you know and love, the anarcho-redditors duped me into "googling Murray Bookchin". Not only that, they even duped me into purchasing a collection of his essays (PHYSICALLY PRINTED!!! ON PAPER!!!!!!!!!!). In this time, I made precisesly one attempt at reading any significant portion of these essays, and I managed to get through one of them: the title essay of the anthology, "Post-Scarcity Anarchism".

Anyway, here's my favorite quote from that essay

If for this reason alone, the revolutionary movement is profoundly concerned with lifestyle. It must try to live the revolution in all its totality, not only participate in it. It must be deeply concerned with the way the revolutionist lives, his [sic] relations with the surrounding environments, and his [sic] degree of self-emancipation. In seeking to change society, the revolutionist cannot avoid changes in himself [sic] that demand the reconquest of his [sic] own being. Lie the movement in which he [sic] participates the revolutionist myst try to reflect the conditions of the society he [sic] is trying to achieve-- at least to the degree that this is possible today.


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heckthepolice2 OP wrote (edited )

Having to write all those [sic]'s reminded me of a footnote in the introduction (well, the first of 3) that reads as follows:

Here I must apologize for using terms like "man," "mankind," and "humanity" and the masculine gender in this book. In the absence of substitutes for "people" and "individuals" my wording would have become awkward. Our language must also be liberated.

And if that ain't the most Bookchin shit

"Yeah, of course we should use gender-neutral language, but not until after the revolution, okay"


rot wrote

I still dont know what lifestlylism is


heckthepolice2 OP wrote

Basically it means "any type of anarchism Murray Bookchin doesn't like". More specifically, it includes all individualist, nihilist, anti-civ, post-left, egoist, illegalist, and insurrectionist strains (just off the top of my head). He claims that people of these tendencies view anarchy as a "lifestyle," in contrast to "social anarchists" like himself who focus on building a broad social movement to overthrow capitalist (though he later disavowed anarchism entirely to focus on building his own patented brand of "Libertarian Socialism"). You'll note, of course, that this is an obvious false dichotomy and that in fact the people who live anarchist "lifestyles" are often the most committed to activism and revolution.


rot wrote

ah, so rather than individual direct actions he favors large scale social movements.


amongstclouds wrote

I've most often seen it used against queers. Bookchin is all about in-group/out-group behavior and if you don't fit the mold you get out!


ziq wrote

I wish we were on reddit so I could bask in the glow of your swarm of downvotes.


phantomPower wrote

I wouldn’t expect one person to get everything right. Getting things right is a process that needs to be done collectively. That said I think it’s important to call out the bullshit and try not to miss the interesting thoughts influenced by the bulshit. For example, let’s not forget Proudhon’s views on women and jewish people...


heckthepolice2 OP wrote (edited )

Another favorite quote, from the third indtroduction to this book:

There can be no society as such without institutions, systems of governance, and laws. The only isse in question is whether these structures and guidelines are authoritarian or libertarian, for they constitute the very forms of social existence.

Fucking libertarian laws lol.