If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable.
– Murray Bookchin
Gathered on the 15th and 16th of february 2020 in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande in Gironde (France), about fifteen people coming from different backgrounds have founded the Institut d’Écologie Sociale et de Communalisme, convinced that this approach initiated by Murray Bookchin makes it possible to articulate ecological and social struggles by the implementation of communalism.
The IESC’s main activities will be:
– the collection and provision of all kinds of material linked with social ecology and communalism, especially in French;
– the organization of both face-to-face and online training sessions devoted to its different themes of interest;
– research and experimentation in the field of social ecology and communalism;
– the fostering of a mutual assistance between collectives and organizations acting towards social ecology and communalism;
– concrete assistance and services to such collectives and organizations.
The IESC’s fundamental principles and aims are, very concisely: struggle against all kinds of domination, nationalism and xenophobia; radical opposition to capitalism; direct democracy by means of a confederation of general popular face-to-face assemblies; economic self-organization. Communalism rejects, out of principle, the taking part in any electoral endeavor with political parties or professional politicians as well as any “participatory” democracy in which all power doesn’t belong to the popular assemblies. These principles have been detailed in the charter of the institute, which can be read on www.institutecologiesociale.fr. On this website, the activities and materials of the institute are currently being published.
The will to create the institute arose from assembly-ist yellow vest movements, from the Commune of communes initiated in Commercy and from various social ecology initiatives throughout the world (International meetings of social ecology, Transnational Institute of Social Ecology conference in Athens…). It was inspired by the Social Ecology Institute made by Murray Bookchin in Vermont (USA) and echoes the Zapatist experience in Chiapas (Mexico) and the attempt at democratic confederalism in Rojava.