Category Archives: the common

Carolyn Eichner: “Women at the barricades”

The Paris Commune exploded onto the world stage. At the intersection of political developments, resistance movements, emerging liberatory ideologies and community-based organisations, the Commune resulted from the political will of a wide range of actors to embrace the revolutionary opportunity, and put hopes and ideas into action. They drew not only on their prior liberatory plans and resistant experiences, but also on Paris’s revolutionary legacy – a potent set of available memories embraced by socialists and feminists of many stripes. This combination of history, ideology, opportunity, lived experience and hope facilitated a radically democratic urban experiment.”

“In a Hospital Ward, the Wounds of a Failed Democracy Don’t Heal”

Tunisia’s road to democracy began with a self-immolation, and such cases have filled hospital burn wards ever since, as elected leaders failed to deliver on a promise of prosperity.”

David A. Bell: “The Experiment: The life and afterlife of the Paris Commune”

“The ghost of the Commune continued to haunt the regime that had killed it and helped to push the Third Republic and future regimes in the more progressive direction they eventually took. For all of the contradictions that accompanied its short life, the Commune, as Carolyn Eichner insists, played a key historical role.”

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.”

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.”

The Paris Commune

Franco “Bifo” Berardi

Antonio Negri

Zaynab El Bernoussi: “The Arab Uprisings Ten Years On”

“a dignity lesson from the Arab world to the rest of it … about a need to develop political institutions, empower the youth and expand their share of the economy, and, finally, accept diversities at last.”

Warren Breckman: “Can the Crowd Speak?”

Occupy Wall Street shows that the constituent moment of democracy should include more than merely bodies gathered in public space; that the collective voice is not discovered but invented; that the spectacle of mass gathering and bodies in motion should give way to talking and listening; and that, if the crowd is to speak in a democratic voice, then that voice must be both singular and plural.”