Category Archives: the common

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.”

Mohamed Abdou: “Let Empire collapse: why we need a decolonial revolution”

“Hopes Fade for New Political Course in Algeria a Year After Popular Uprising”

“The revolt in the streets that began last year, known here as Hirak, initially appeared to signal a new dawn in a country that had been stifled for decades by its huge military. But when the movement’s failure to coalesce around leaders and agree on goals created a vacuum, the remnants of the repressive Algerian state, with its ample security services, stepped in.”

Daniel Gutiérrez: “Seizing the Times: Five Theses on Militant Development”

“We are confronted by a moment of impossible historical importance where the decisions we make, and the possibilities we seize or do not seize, will define the shape of what all our tomorrows look like. This moment has been produced by the overlapping crises of neoliberalism, social reproduction, climate catastrophe, and the coronavirus pandemic that have articulated and fused into a combined crisis of unfathomable proportions. So long as this objective crisis remains unresolved, a revolutionary opportunity is presented to us, but we must organize ourselves into a subjective force capable of seizing it.”

Josep Rafanell i Orra: “The world returns: Outlines of an anti-politics”

‘Only our enemies persist with identities. We cannot consent to our camp, that of friends, being devastated by exasperated social identities, as if it were a new business for politics. We have learned that only de-identification signals the eruption that defeats the police order. … Let us be clear: against the police, what is called for is not a politics of identities, but one of commoners or commonalities under construction; not “I am this or that”, always scarred at not being enough of what one claims to be, but what am I becoming in the infinite variation of the relations between beings?  The important question remains. If the community is the affirmation of shared forms of life, it is also the confrontation with that which denies its possibility.  We are not done with the insurgencies. But how can we get beyond the circle of destitution, and then beyond the new social constitutions which again separate us from the plural worlds of common lives?’

Thomas Jeffrey Miley: “The Kurdish Freedom Movement, Rojava and the Left”

The Kurdish revolution faces great challenges going forward. But the revolutionary forces have already made history. Their project of Democratic Confederalism, with its emphasis on direct democracy against the state, multicultural accommodation, gender emancipation and social ecology, inspired people across the globe. At a time when the future of humanity and life on the planet are facing unprecedented threats, the revolutionary experiment in Rojava stands out as a valiant attempt in the midst of a still-unfolding catastrophe to construct a radical democratic alternative to spiraling violence and tyranny.”