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GAF Lockdown Reading Group discusses: Social Ecology

7 May, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

After our first successful online reading and discussion group meeting, we are happy to invite you to our second one. Our aim with these meetings is to discuss different subjects each time so it is not necessary to have joined a previous session to participate. Before each meeting we will share a variety of readings of different lengths to give some background information on the subject to be discussed. Participants are invited to pick and choose what they would like to read in preparation. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary as our aim is to make these events as inclusive and broad as possible.

Following off of our second livestream, our second reading group discussion will also deal with the topic of social ecology. Social ecology is the recognition of the often overlooked fact that all our ecological problems arise from our deep-seated social problems.

Join us as we discuss the questions:

  1. How does a Democratic Confederation differ from a State? How could a similar political system be realistically implemented in our current climate?
  2. What are the current institutional blockers to the instatement of a direct democracy model? What structures would need to be abolished? What new structures would be needed?
  3. How can we cultivate the necessary political education and experience in western societies needed for the functioning of direct democracy models? For example how do we get people to participate meaningfully in neighbourhood assemblies?
  4. How is hierarchy and domination reflected in the structure of contemporary cities and states? How can we dismantle these structures and decentralise already existing cities and regions?
  5. How can community and ecology relate to each other? How can we decolonise and decommodify our relationship to nature? How can we erase the boundary between civilisation and ‘wilderness’?


Basic readings

  • TEXT – McGuire, Emily. Social Ecology Libcom.org
    • An easy to read but comprehensive comic on the basics of social ecology.
  • VIDEO – Social Ecology Youtube
    • Short and easy video on the foundational premises of social ecology. (12 mins)
  • TEXT – Death of a Small Planet by Murray Bookchin (Text)
    • How social ecology ties up with degrowth and anticapitalism.
  • TEXT & AUDIO – Democratic Confederalism by Abdullah Ocalan (Text, Audio)
    • A treatise on an alternative model of political governance inspired by social ecology.
  • VIDEO – The Communes of Rojava: A Model In Societal Self Direction Youtube
    • A look into the inner workings of the commune system in Northeast Syria (Rojava). (43mins, but split into smaller directly accessible subsections)
  • AUDIO – GAF does lockdown livestream episode 2: Bookchin and Covid-19 Youtube
    • A presentation and discussion on Bookchin’s theories and how they relate to the Covid-19 crisis (70mins)

Further readings

  • TEXT & AUDIO – Communalism: A Liberatory Alternative by Marcus & Stephanie Armagi (Text, Audio)
    • A detailed and comprehensive introductory pamphlet to social ecology.
  • TEXT & AUDIO – The Trouble With Wilderness by William Cronon (Text, Audio)
    • Critique of the west’s understanding of ‘nature and ‘wilderness’.
  • TEXT – Cities Against Centralization by Greg Bryant (Text)
    • An examination of the history of western cities and the ways they were governed.
  • TEXT – To Be Realistic, Demand The Impossible by Blair Taylor (Text)
    • An analysis of the current political culture and the shortcomings of the left. (US-centric)
  • VIDEO – Nature and Ideology, a talk by Murray Bookchin. Youtube
    • Audio only lecture by Bookchin. (50mins)
  • Further reading: https://wiki.sunbeam.city/doku.php?id=communalism

Join Zoom Meeting:

Event times are set at BST (British Summer Time), the time zone being UTC+1.


7 May, 2020
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Green Anticapitalist Front London

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