“What I am arguing for is the need to closely examine the premises of one’s views, and the ways they could potentially unfold if they are not critically examined and subjected to rational evaluation.”
– Murray Bookchin from the introduction to Which Way for the Ecology a Movement.
I fell into this statement today during some casual reading. The context for the statement is a deconstruction of some of his contemporaries that identified as “deep ecologists.” I appreciate it for it’s radically reflective mandate.
The first two things that come to mind while reading Bookchin’s introduction to “Which Way for the Ecology a Movement” are the exclusionary practices of some vegan and environmental groups, and the argument over whether or not “liberalism” or “the right” is the fastest path to fascism. You’ve likely seen the latter used strategically in opposition politics.
In our current political environment, I generally view this question as purposely muddled and void of context. The people who often raise this question in today’s mainstream discourse often serve merely as talking heads for some variant of Neoliberalism/colonialism—or they’re just flat-out reactionary. Their desired goal in either case is to build up to some form of witch-hunt. It’s often pulls real revolutionaries and innovators into the crosshairs of those guiding the campaign.
On the other hand, for example, when looking at the very pro-environmental perspectives of fascist regimes of the past, you can start to see the need to apply “rational evaluation” to our thinking around our pressing environmental challenges.