Category Archives: Concepts

“The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers” (ΝΥ Times)

“In 1791, enslaved Haitians did the seemingly impossible. They ousted their French masters and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom — in cash.”

Rodrigo Karmy Bolton: “The Anarchy of Beginnings: Notes on the Rhythmicity of Revolt”

“When we say that revolt assumes a destituent character, we mean that its wager no longer lies in the fulfillment of determinate end (the establishment of a new regime), but in its capacity to delegitimize a determinate regime while itself inhabiting a space of pure means.”

Onur Isci: Book Review: “Nationalism, Secessionism, and Autonomy” by André Lecours (2021)

“Throughout the book, the author seeks to answer the question of why some nationalist movements take a secessionist form while others do not. The answer he gives lies not in the character or content of the nationalist movement in question, but in the autonomy of the region in which the movement emerged within a sovereign state.”

Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, Jeffery R. Webber: “The Impasse of the Latin American Left”

“At the turn of the twenty-first century, Latin American politics experienced an upsurge in progressive movements, as popular uprisings for land and autonomy led to the election of left and center-left governments across Latin America. These progressive parties institutionalized social movements and established forms of state capitalism that sought to redistribute resources and challenge neoliberalism. Yet, as the authors demonstrate, these governments failed to transform the underlying class structures of their societies or challenge the imperial strategies of the United States and China. Now, as the Pink Tide has largely receded, the authors offer a portrait of this watershed period in Latin American history in order to evaluate the successes and failures of the left and to offer a clear-eyed account of the conditions that allowed for a right-wing resurgence.”

Miquel Vila: “Why Catalonia Failed”

Spanish authorities have recognized the continuing threat to state sovereignty. They have closely monitored the pro-independence movement and Catalan politicians since 2017. The events following the referendum left a scar on the activists and sympathizers of independence. Sympathy for civil disobedience like that seen in 2019 continues to rise. While Madrid has disciplined Catalonia’s politicians, the new generation of movement leaders is growing up with more radical, confrontational tactics and less faith in the electoral process.

Malin Bång: “splinters of ebullient rebellion”

“We are also seeing many influential institutions, organizations, even governments gradually facing collapse when their actions and manifestations are colliding with the core values of the individuals they are made up by. We see how this friction generates a new spine of idealism with the aim to shift back the focus from simplified, one-dimensional explanations to contexts where the full spectrum of intricate details appear and where the multitude of voices that surround us are present.”

 

Maximillian Alvarez: “Lessons from Wisconsin’s 2011 worker uprising”

“The 2011 statewide protests in Wisconsin were among the largest in US history, but they didn’t stop the passage of Act 10. One decade later, we ask: How can the labor movement recover?

Mark R. Beissinger: “The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion”

“Using original data on revolutionary episodes since 1900, public opinion surveys, and engaging examples from around the world, Mark Beissinger explores the causes and consequences of the urbanization of revolution in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He investigates the struggle for control over public space, why revolutionary contention has grown more pacified over time, and how revolutions involving the rapid assembly of hundreds of thousands in central urban spaces lead to diverse, ad hoc coalitions that have difficulty producing substantive change.”

“Naomi Klein on How Egypt’s Failed Revolution Continues to Inspire Struggle Worldwide”

“But,” Alaa adds to his stark assessments, “the revolution did break a regime.” It defeated much of Mubarak’s machine, and the new junta that is in its place, while even more brutal, is also precarious for the thinness of its domestic support. Openings, he tells us, remain. In this way, Alaa acts as the revolution’s toughest critic and its most devoted militant.

Omar Zahzah : “A New Generation of Palestinian Organizers Has Arisen From the Ashes of the Oslo Accords”

“Indeed, from Sheikh Jarrah to Gaza to hunger-striking Palestinians within regime jails, Palestinians have risen up in collective resistance, showing that we will not accept the fragmentation of Oslo and that resistance is our duty wherever we find ourselves. The revolution will be refuted no longer.”