Green anarchism

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Green anarchism refers to a wide range of theoretical and tactical perspectives that combine and expand upon anarchism and environmentalism. In terms of practice some green anarchists engage in or support a diversity of tactics by environmental groups such as Earth First!, Earth Liberation Front, Greenpeace, Rising Tide and Sea Shepard. Theoretical influences are also broad including Social Ecology, Deep Ecology, bioregionalism, Neo-Luddism, animal liberation, indigenous perspectives & history, the works of Daniel Quinn (author of Ishmael), feminism and anti-racism.

Green anarchism has precedents including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henry David Thoreau and the cross-over of Nineteenth Century anarchism and the Romantic movement in Europe and North America. Contemporary and historic primitive societies are also seen as predecessors to anarchism and green anarchism in that they maintain or maintained sustainable, ecologically-sound societies without capitalism and the state. Green anarchism arose out of the environmental movement of the early 1970's. Prominent early members include Rich Hunt, who advocated autonomous eco-villages (but later left the movement due to support for British nationalism) and Murray Bookchin, anti-nuclear activist and founder of the Social Ecology movement. During this period green anarchism did not have much to distinguish itself from the rest of the environmental movement except for anarchist politics. During the late 1970's and early 1980's direct action environmental tactics were being employed by groups like Earth First! and Greenpeace. Green anarchists readily adopted these practics and join such groups. Earth First!'s theoretical perspective has widened as a result, dropping the strongly nationalistic tone inherited from Edward Abbey, author of The Monkeywrench Gang.

By the 1990's two major paradigms had developed within eco-anarchism: Social Ecology and the Anti-civilization movement. Social Ecology emphasizes the institution of direct democracy on an urban scale, influenced by ancient Greek democracy. Social ecologists seek to create sustainable cities and are critical of centralized technological systems. The anti-civilization movement combines the biocentrism of deep ecology (itself widely diffused within ecological movements by this time) with the conviction that civilization was (as phrased by Jared Diamond) "the worst mistake in human history," leading to deforestation, erosion, imperialism, commodification of women, alienation, and ultimately industrial capitalism. Anti-civilization anarchists have varied perspectives about technology ranging from outright rejection to a practical utilization of appropriate technologies. Approaches advocated by anti-civilizationists range from attempting to "rewild" to attempting to dismantle civilization.

Many other perspectives exist that are not strongly influenced by either of these paradigms. There even exists the hybrid anti-civilization Social Ecology espoused by David Watson. Green anarchists are united in their opposition to green consumerism (the marketing of products, often misleadingly, as environmentally-friendly), environmental racism (the polluting of and ecological destruction of lands inhabited by people of color), exploitation of labor, and many industrial-scale technologies especially GMOs, polluting and dangerous factories, centralized energy systems, military technologies and surveillance technologies.

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