“Certain years acquire an almost numinous quality in collective memory—1789, 1861, 1914. One of the more recent additions to the list is 1968. Its fiftieth anniversary has brought a flood of attempts to recapture it—local, national, and transnational histories, anthologies, memoirs, even performance art and musical theater.” Review essay on several books.
Category Archives: crisis
A documentary film-testimony of struggles for autonomy in Greece, letting those who are directly engaged in these struggles speak for themselves.
“In the twenty-first century any world war is a civil war, and any civil war affects the world. Does this mean the end of the Age of Revolutions, or a whole new understanding of what revolution entails?”
“Today, it seems that the regime has swept away the barricades, … and perhaps has begun to quell the three-month uprising, at least for the moment. The international left cannot contribute to a more permanent peace rooted in social justice by providing the regime with a legitimacy that it has squandered in violence.”
“In the past three months, tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have protested against Mr. Ortega’s government. The demonstrations have led to deadly clashes with police and paramilitary forces, killing nearly 300 people, including several officers and many students. Neither side has shown any signs of relenting.”
“Revolution is a response to the immense effort to decolonize self and society and engender an ontological shift away from cultural and mental structures, and assumptions of colonial modernity. To understand this connection we need to be mindful of the fact that these revolutions are directed internally as a purifying and a regenerative force.”
‘If there are to be global goals, goals that cross boundaries to inspire the multitudes, where might they be found? … So should idealists across borders persist in seeking the universalist grail—the moral equivalent of “The Internationale”? Some settle for anti-fascism; others strive to resurrect the lost traditions of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism; a few scavenge among the ruins of communism. Nearly three decades after the collapse of the communist phantasm, the left has still not recovered its voice, let alone composed a melody you can’t get out of your head.’
“France seemed on the precipice of revolution; a festival of people was glimpsed. Alienation was cast off, momentarily; freedom was real; capitalised time abandoned. Without trains, cars, Metro and work, leisure time was reclaimed, time lived. Students and workers seized the contingent situation, acted spontaneously, created new situations, realising something what no trade union or party could ever do, or wanted to do. And yet, as quickly as things erupted, they were almost as speedily repressed, by state and bourgeoisie, soon backed by the Communists and the CGT. The optimistic promise, the beach beneath the paving stones, had dissipated, for now. The music was over. There was no other side to break on through to.”
“The left was wildly guilty of misrecognition. Although most on the radical left thrilled to the prospect of some kind of revolution, … the main story line was far closer to the opposite—a thrust toward retrogression that continues, though not on a straight line, into the present emergency. … The main new storyline was backlash.”