Category Archives: autonomy

The tragedy of post-colonial self-determination

In her challenging book Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (2019)political scientist Adom Getachew discusses self-determination in the Anglophone Black Atlantic, with special emphasis on post-colonial independence as well as Caribbean and African federations.  It would be interesting to compare the political thought of intellectuals and statesmen such as George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, Eric Williams, Michael Manley, and Julius Nyerere, which she explores, with that of contemporary writers.  In particular, it would be fascinating to study the failure of self-determination that started in the 1960s in light of contemporary tragedies of autonomy that focused paradigmatically on Haiti, such as Monsieur Toussaint (1961) by Edouard Glissant, Toussaint (1961) by Lorraine Hansberry, Drums and Colors (1961) by Derek Walcott, The Tragedy of King Christophe (1963) by Aimé Césaire, and C. L. R. James’ revisions to The Black Jacobins (1962) that recast it as a post-colonial tragedy.

8 June 2022

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.”

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.

Chiara Bottici: “Anarchafeminism”

“But if freedom is both the means and the end, then one could also envisage a world free from the very notion of gender as well as the oppressive structures that it generated. Because gendered bodies are still the worldwide objects of exploitation and domination, we need an anarchafeminist manifesto here and now. But the latter should be conceived as a ladder that we may well abandon once we have reached the top. Indeed, it is implicit, in the very process of embarking in such an anarchafeminist project, that we should strive toward a world beyond the division between men and women and thus also, in a way, beyond feminism itself.”

Amador Fernández-Savater: “15M in the Spanish labyrinth”

15M invents a place from which to feel, think and act with autonomy, a space that does not sell promises or solutions, that does not ask for adherence, but rather invites anyone to elaborate questions about and take actions with regard to life in common.”

Sumanta Banerjee: “Embers of the Paris Commune”

“This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune of 1871 – the biggest urban insurrection of the nineteenth century, that led to the setting up of a grass roots based popular government in Paris, albeit for only about two months, before it was crushed by the Versailles troops at the end of May that year. But during that brief period of popular sovereignty, that government – known as the `Commune’, meaning the smallest unit of local governance – laid the foundations of a model of decentralization of power, that has continued to inspire generations all over the world.”

Raoul Vaneigem: “Back to Basics: Theses on and Observations about the Struggle in France”

“It is up to us to learn to be reborn in the rebirth of the world.”

Articles on the Paris Commune at 150

The Paris Commune at 150

From the Commune to communalism

The Paris Commune Taught the Bolsheviks How to Win a Revolution

From red scarfs to yellow vests: the communalist tradition

La Commune de Paris

The Paris Commune

“Neither an Insurrection nor Revolt: An Anarchist Response to the Permitted Fascist Temper Tantrum”

“As anarchists, abolitionists, and revolutionary movements continue ahead with a struggle more sincere than trending concerns performed by aloof citizens and pretentious celebrities, we must double down on solidarity in order to not remain isolated, as the violence intended by grassroots right-wing groups coincide with a brutal police crackdown under the smiling and deceptive face of the democratic liberal establishment.”