Category Archives: autonomy

“La ZAD: Another End of the World Is Possible”

“The French government announced that it had given up on building a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (NDDL). This decision capped five decades of political, economic, legal, environmental, and personal struggle. … What began as a small protest camp grew into a world-famous space of autonomous experimentation that lasted almost nine years.”

“Drawn to a Cause, British Woman Dies Fighting Alongside Kurds in Syria”

“In Britain, Ms. Campbell, 26, was active in causes like animal rights and environmental protection, but until recently, she had no personal connection to the Kurds. Yet she was deeply moved, family and friends said, by the fight to defend an autonomous, mostly Kurdish region in northern Syria, known as Rojava, whose leaders advocate a secular, democratic and egalitarian politics, with equal rights for women.”

David Graeber: ” Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?”

Afrin‘s “inhabitants had taken advantage of their peace and stability to develop the democratic principles embraced throughout the majority Kurdish regions of north Syria, known as Rojava. Local decisions were devolved to neighbourhood assemblies in which everyone could participate; other parts of Rojava insisted on strict gender parity, with every office having co-chairs, male and female, in Afrin, two-thirds of public offices are held by women. Today, this democratic experiment is the object of an entirely unprovoked attack”

“From #MeToo to #WeStrike”

“What can the #MeToo movement learn from Latin American feminists? How can a global perspective help develop new insights into forms of violence and create a politics that challenges the fundamental basis of gender inequality?”

Yavor Tarinski: “City, Municipality, Commons: Rebel Cities in the Neoliberal Age”

“Concepts like libertarian municipalism, which are essentially direct-democratic, could be of great use in our efforts at regaining our right to the city. I.e. notions that are rooted in the historic clash over power between the municipality and the nation state. Unlike statecraft, predisposed to bureaucratic centralization and hierarchy, cities tend to empower local populaces, creating citizens, actively involved in public affairs.”

Suzy Killmister: “Taking the Measure of Autonomy: A Four-Dimensional Theory of Self-Governance” (2017)

“Her view centers on the idea that there are several dimensions to autonomy, and while they are related, one may fall short in one but not the others. The result is a nuanced theory of autonomy that illuminates how the concept applies in a range of domains and to a range of agents.”

“Night School on Anarres”

Night School on Anarres is an educational experiment examining the utopian proposals of twentieth-century anarchism, drawing from Ursula K Le Guin’s seminal sci-fi novel The Dispossessed. … Part sci-fi set, part classroom, part roundhouse theatre, the Night School on Anarres installation is a site where utopic ambitions can be collectively imagined, performed and discussed.”

“Mexico’s Zapatista rebels, 24 years on and defiant in mountain strongholds”

‘Today the Zapatistas, who have never disarmed, claim to control much of the state of Chiapas. “There are 50,000 families, or nearly 300,000 people in 55 municipalities. Their rules of ‘good government’ involve giving their time several days a week to the community, sharing food, helping to teach the young, and organising,” says Heredia. “They are autonomous,” he adds. “Most villages are in the mountains and the great Lacandon forest. They have their own system of education, health, justice, government and security. They are still poor but they train their own teachers and doctors, and some have their own currency. The Mexican government mostly leaves them alone.”’

“The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled.”

“So why should we care about this latest development in the Syrian war? Because Afrin, along with the cantons of Euphrates and Jazira, is experimenting with a form of bottom-up, direct democracy that is arguably more progressive than any other system in the West.”

Steve Wright interviewed on “Italian workerism and its enduring legacy”

“The failure of Potere Operaio to convince other revolutionaries that its goals and methods were suitable led ultimately not only to the group’s collapse, but also a rethinking of aspects of the workerist framework. Some people headed off to the mainstream left, following other workerists who had already embraced the notion of ‘the autonomy of the political’; many others were attracted to a new wave of worker extremism, in which ‘autonomist’ workplace collectives turned their backs on the far left groups and sought to carve out a new project based directly in factories and communities. The appearance of so-called ‘new social movements’, starting with the women’s movement, saw a section of Italian feminists draw upon their own earlier involvement in workerist politics as one means to understand the circumstances around them; it also (eventually) pushed many of their male counterparts to begin to address aspects of the politics of reproduction. Workerism as a branch of marxist theory connected to wider social struggles collapsed by the early 1980s, along with most of those struggles themselves – but it’s fair to say that it was already in crisis by the late 1970s, due to the seemingly growing complexity of revolutionary politics, which cast doubt over the certainties held a decade before.”