Category Archives: defeat

Jeremy Popkin: “Vive la révolution!”

“Must radical political change generate uncontainable violence?  The French Revolution is both a cautionary and inspiring tale.”

Cédric Durand: “It should have been a great decade for the European left – what happened? “

“If there’s a single moment that characterises the end of this moment, it’s the tragic Greek betrayal of July 2015. In this deadly summer, the Greek people voted against (“oxi”) the bailout conditions imposed by the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF. But this victory was transformed by Syriza – the only left-of-social-democracy government in Europe – into a humiliating submission. When then prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, accepted harsher structural reforms to keep Greece’s membership of the eurozone, he proved that democracy could be blackmailed. Capital, not people, has the last say.”

Alex von Tunzelmann: “The Evil Repercussions of the American Revolution”

A review of TO BEGIN THE WORLD OVER AGAIN: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe (2019) by Matthew Lockwood.  “He finds it at the root of a long list of ills, including increasing authoritarianism within Britain itself and the wider British Empire, the failure of Irish, Indian and Peruvian movements against imperialism, the Russian conquest of Crimea, the establishment of penal colonies in Australia and the growth of the global opium trade.”

Raul Zibechi: “Bolivia: The Extreme Right Takes Advantage of a Popular Uprising”

“If there is anything left of ethics and dignity in the Latin American left, we should be reflecting on power, and the abuses committed in its exercise. As feminists and Indigenous people have taught us, power is always oppressive, colonial and patriarchal. That is why they reject leaders (caudillos), and why communities rotate their leaders so that they don’t accumulate power. We cannot forget that in this moment there is a serious danger that the racist, colonial and patriarchal right manages to take advantage of this situation to impose rule and provoke a bloodbath.”

“Statement of the Internationalist Commune on the Agreement between self-administration and the Syrian state”

“It is important to reemphasize once again that nothing changes in the political administration within northeastern Syria with this agreement. The revolution has its own principles, and these are not negotiable; not with the US, Russia or the Syrian regime.”

James L. Gelvin: “Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds”

‘The key to understanding the Rojava project, as those involved often refer to it, is the notion of “confederalism.” In this form of government, local units – in this case, Kurdistan’s “autonomous regions” – come together in a federation yet retain a great deal of autonomy.’

John McClure: “Something Darker than Farce: the Spanish Left again Turns Victory to Defeat”

“In the end, history repeats itself, although what occurs is something darker than farce. As they did in 2016, the Socialists fail on July 25th to get the support they need in order to form a government. As for Podemos, it once again strikes a pose of stubborn, puerile defiance that will almost certainly cost it dearly in the next elections.”

Alex Press: “The Conscience of a Revolutionary: Victor Serge’s commitment to the individual as collective hero”

Serge is committed “to the individual seen as a collective hero and the product of generations of struggle. … If people, not just revolutions, are centuries in the making, bearing the traces of prior social relations, of political domination and uprisings, it’s important to chronicle them as flesh and blood.”

Amador Fernández-Savater: “Reaching for a politics of pure potentiality, or trying to keep power at bay”

‘In the state of disappointment, we no longer have any position to “defend”, no formula to “sell”, we are all, as it is said, “in the same shit”. It is a moment of not knowing where new knowledge can be elaborated, if we avoid falling into the crossroads of accusations, the settling of accounts, the search for the guilty and the logic of the court.’

lundimatin: “Theses on the concept of the absence of an epoch”

“When friends say, for years, that the revolution is no longer an absolute goal, they do not say so much that they do not want to take power or that they want to preserve some aspect of their princely life, they say above all that the great night, as a total upheaval of the conditions of existence, is impossible, among other reasons, because power is everywhere and especially in everyone.”