Anarchism for an Ecological Crisis?

According to “green” theorists, humanity is on the brink of catastrophe. One influential group of green writers traces these problems to a common source: the scale of modern social arrangements. These authors claim our salvation can be found in smaller communities, smaller systems of economic production, and smaller impacts on the natural world. Such views have been advanced under various names—green anarchism, bioregionalism, social ecology—but they are unified by a conviction that our circumstances demand a radical and transformative program of decentralization. Greens’ calls for decentralization can be traced to serious concerns about modern society. For one thing, greens worry that the unprecedented economic achievements of recent centuries have been made possible only by wreaking havoc on the biosphere. Our ever-growing gross domestic products (GDPs) have come alongside emerging crises of ecological degradation, biodiversity loss, and global climate change.

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