Murray Bookchin is something of a saint in the anarchist community. His ideas on social ecology and what he termed “libertarian municipalism” and “communalism” have influenced generations of self-declared leftists, and he was frequently cited as an ideological force behind the anti-globalization and Occupy Wall Street movements.
Bookchin became especially influential in Kurdish circles after Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), adopted his ideas to advance a vision of “democratic confederalism,” a vision his followers later attempted to implement in northeast Syria — with the help of the US military.
What is not often mentioned, however, is that — like many of his anarchists and “libertarian socialist” peers — Bookchin was very soft on imperialism, and in some cases downright apologetic.
Specifically, Bookchin was a Zionist who publicly whitewashed and even rationalized Israel’s crimes against humanity. He also frequently demonized independent post-colonial governments in the Global South, echoing imperialist propaganda and chauvinistic myths about countries targeted by the United States for regime change.