Category Archives: Concepts

lundimatin: “Theses on the concept of the absence of an epoch”

“When friends say, for years, that the revolution is no longer an absolute goal, they do not say so much that they do not want to take power or that they want to preserve some aspect of their princely life, they say above all that the great night, as a total upheaval of the conditions of existence, is impossible, among other reasons, because power is everywhere and especially in everyone.”

Crimethinc: “Against the Logic of the Guillotine: Why the Paris Commune Burned the Guillotine—and we should too”

“Even when we are engaged in pitched physical struggle with our adversaries, we ought to maintain a profound faith in their potential, for we hope to live in different relations with them one day. As aspiring revolutionaries, this hope is our most precious resource, the foundation of everything we do. If revolutionary change is to spread throughout society and across the world, those we fight today will have to be fighting alongside us tomorrow.”

Tasos Theofilou: ‘“I am not innocent”: Writings from a Greek prison’

“Theofilou gives testimony on the brutality of prison life, and its centrality in contemporary capitalism, through a blur of memoir, social commentary and free verse. His work centers on exposing the conditions of widespread exploitation and social struggle that persist in Greece as a result of the debt crisis — in prisons as well as in mainstream society.”

Carlos Delclós: “Fear of the far right and the collapse of Podemos gave Spain’s socialists victory”

“The second trend that explains Sánchez’s staggering victory is the decline of Unidas Podemos, the radical-left party that emerged in the wake of the anti-austerity indignados movement. Though the party initially promised to implement a progressively participatory new style of politics, over time its leadership has adopted a more traditional top-down approach that has been overly reliant on individual personalities.”

Bernard E. Harcourt: “Compagnon de route [Fellow Traveler]”

‘So for now, rather than put on the yellow vest, I would take on the mantle of “companion de route” – fellow traveler, like those who, famously, in the twentieth century, did not join the Communist Party, but sympathized with the aims and goals of Communists and were willing to work with the movement.’

Etienne Balibar: “‘Gilets jaunes’: the meaning of the confrontation”

“That is how democracy is invented and perhaps, at the end of the day, how a regime can change. It is not a long road from the roundabout to the town hall, via the public square, which does not mean it is easy to travel. Demonstrations, popular assemblies, municipal counter-power, États Généraux or their modern equivalent, such is perhaps the squaring of the circle; it must be resolved on a daily basis and over the coming weeks, probably quite quickly, so that a political idea that everyone now needs can emerge from a revolt that no one had expected.”

Gabriel Rockhill: “The Failure of the French Intelligentsia? Intellectuals and Uprisings in the Case of the Yellow Vests”

“Although France has the reputation of having a leftwing intelligentsia, some of the most visible theorists on the Left—including the self-proclaimed torchbearers of the ‘spirit of ’68’—have positioned themselves firmly against the movement or admonished it from the sidelines.”

Julius Gavroche: “From extinction rebellion to desirous rebellion”

“From the Extinction Rebellion movement, we learn that we are in the midst of an ecological emergency.”

Raquel Varela: “Learning from Portugal’s Carnation Revolution”

“A revolution took place in Portugal. We can date this precisely: between April 25, 1974 and November 25, 1975. The revolution was the most profound to have taken place in Europe since the Second World War. During those 19 months, hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike, hundreds of workplaces were occupied sometimes for months and perhaps almost three million people took part in demonstrations, occupations and commissions. A great many workplaces were taken over and run by the workers.  Land in much of southern and central Portugal was taken over by the workers themselves. Women won, almost overnight, a host of concessions and made massive strides towards equal pay and equality. Thousands of houses were occupied. Tens of thousands of soldiers rebelled.”

Joseph Nechvatal: “How Artists of the French Revolution Embraced Neoclassical Revivalism”

“The exhibition Revolutionary Generation: French Drawings (1770-1815) from the Fabre Museum illustrates how, as the Rococo movement went out of fashion, France’s insurrectionist artists drew on ancient Greek and Roman art for inspiration.”