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The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy

The ideas about political organization that have animated the new radical movements worldwide

From Athens to New York, recent mass movements around the world have challenged austerity and authoritarianism with expressions of real democracy. For more than forty years, Murray Bookchin developed these democratic aspirations into a new left politics based on popular assemblies, influencing a wide range of political thinkers and social movements.

With a foreword by the best-selling author of The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin, The Next Revolution brings together Bookchin’s essays on freedom and direct democracy for the first time, offering a bold political vision that can move us from protest to social transformation. A pioneering voice in the ecology and anarchist movements, he is the author of The Ecology of Freedom and Post-Scarcity Anarchism among many other books.

Reviews

  • “Over the years, Murray Bookchin has dedicated his remarkable talents and energy to many different domains: history, technology, social organization, the search for justice and freedom, and much else. In every case, he has brought illumination and insight, original and provocative ideas, and inspiring vision. His new collection on radical democracy carries forward this lifetime of great achievement.”
  • “Murray Bookchin is one of the most original and important radical thinkers and writers of the modern era. He understands the destructive force of corporate capitalism and the revolutionary zeal it will take to extricate ourselves from its grip.”
  • “By far the most sophisticated radical proposal to deal with the creation and collective use of the commons across a variety of scales, and is well worth elaborating as part of the radical anticapitalist agenda.”
  • The Next Revolution is the most useful book I have read since participating in Occupy Wall Street. These essays are incredibly insightful on the questions of organization, structure and what could be next for our horizontal movements...I believe this book will help others, as it has helped and is helping me think through this political moment.”
  • “As an introduction to the thought of Murray Bookchin it is incredibly valuable and serves to motivate deeper engagement with his more detailed works on urbanization, social ecology, and “libertarian municipalism.””

Blog

  • Libertarian Kurdistan: it matters for us, too!

    This essay by Michael Löwy was written as a preface for the multiauthor collection La Commune du Rojava, and published online at Entre les lignes entre les motsThanks to Éditions Syllepse for their permission to republish. Translated by David Broder.    


    Detail from the cover of La Commune du Rojava

    Western public opinion became aware of Rojava’s existence in 2014 with the battle of Kobane, when the combatants of the YPG-YPJ succeeded in doing what the armies of Assad’s dictatorial regime or the Iraqi government could not do, even with Russian and American backing: namely, they inflicted a military and political defeat on Da’esh. The photos of Kurdish militiawomen, arms in hand, in the front rank of the fight against "Islamist" fascism, circulated around the world. They revealed to surprised, astonished readers a singular experience: libertarian Rojava.

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  • Five Book Plan: History of US Political Organizing

    For May Day, we present our latest Five Book Plan: L.A. Kauffman, author of Direct Actionselects five essential histories of political organizing in the United States.


    Black Panther women, West Oakland, 1970.

    Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (ed. David J. Garrow), The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson (University of Texas Press, 1987)

    Many people know that Rosa Parks was a trained and seasoned political activist before the famous day when she decided to stay in her bus seat. But few are aware of the large, well-organized network of black women in Montgomery that transformed her arrest into a historic campaign of mass noncompliance. This engaging memoir by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, a key initiator of the Montgomery bus boycott, reveals the behind-the-scenes work of local organizers who had long been waiting and planning for the right opportunity to challenge racial segregation in their city when Parks was arrested. In an era when movements rely heavily on the internet to mobilize participation, there's much to learn from the extraordinary tale of how black women in Montgomery sprang into action the moment Parks was arrested, secretly distributing more than 50,000 leaflets throughout their community in fewer than 24 hours, and thus launching the boycott without tipping off the city's white leadership.

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  • Time on the Clock of The World: Amin Husain on How We Handle Trump

    Susie Day's interview with organizer and artist Amin Husain was first published in Monthly Review online



    Rounding up immigrants, pissing on transgender bathroom rights, barring press from press briefings… The only good thing Donald Trump has done is to galvanize millions of people into political outrage. For months now we've gone to dozens of marches and rallies. Of course, this isn't enough, but what more to do?

    Then I happened on a Facebook post by Amin Husain:"I wish I could share what's wrong and what's missing in how we're handling the Trump era without many of my dear friends thinking that I am just being a downer on the 'resistance.'" I had to hear more.

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