This piece was originally published in Home! A Bioregional Reader, edited by Van Andruss, Christopher Plant, Judith Plant, and Eleanor Wright, New Society Publishers, copyright 1990.
This is a whole new kind of home-grown politics. The bioregional movement is in some very profound way political. It is not largely concerned with the political institutions that now exist but with replacing those with new, organic and regionally-based ones. This is the sort of politics, I think, that is very much like what Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was looking for. You look at the Port Huron statement in 1962—it has no ecological sense, really, because it wasn’t until the late ’60s and Silent Spring’s effects that this began to dawn on people. But nonetheless, the vision of a future America that the Port Huron statement embodies is not all that different in terms of participatory democracy, community empowerment, workplace democracy, etc., from what the bioregional movement is pointing toward. It’s probably a kind of organic outgrowth of what happened in the ’60s. We’ve grown up!
Excerpted from an interview in The New Catalyst, Spring 1987.
Kirkpatrick Sale (b. 1937) was born in Ithaca, New York, attended Cornell University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper and participated in student activism, and still lives in the area. His career as a journalist began with the socialist-founded magazine New Leader and in the ensuing decades has included contributions to multiple progressive magazines and radio stations, as well as his own books on topics including history and bioregionalism.