Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Anarchism, Libertarianism and Environmentalism: Anti-Authoritarian Thought and the Search for Self-Organizing Societies

By Damian Finbar White and Gideon Kossoff

Few intellectual currents have played as influen-tial a role in the development and shaping of mod-ern environmentalism as the anarchist andlibertarian tradition of social and political thought.Generalizations about common ideological rootsto a politics as diverse and internally divided asenvironmentalism are of course hazardous. Yet,when we consider some of the currents that runthrough much of the radical green worldview:philosophical naturalism, advocacy of economic,political and technological decentralization orthe desire to ground a sustainable society in par-ticipatory institutions, the spirit of the classicanarchists clearly looms over much of this conver-sation. Indeed, it could be noted that at one time oranother in the last two centuries many of theorganizing ideas of the more radical currents ofcontemporary ecological politics have been initi-ated and developed by people who would havecalled themselves ‘anarchists’ or ‘libertarians’.


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