Category Archives: defeat

Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, Jeffery R. Webber: “The Impasse of the Latin American Left”

“At the turn of the twenty-first century, Latin American politics experienced an upsurge in progressive movements, as popular uprisings for land and autonomy led to the election of left and center-left governments across Latin America. These progressive parties institutionalized social movements and established forms of state capitalism that sought to redistribute resources and challenge neoliberalism. Yet, as the authors demonstrate, these governments failed to transform the underlying class structures of their societies or challenge the imperial strategies of the United States and China. Now, as the Pink Tide has largely receded, the authors offer a portrait of this watershed period in Latin American history in order to evaluate the successes and failures of the left and to offer a clear-eyed account of the conditions that allowed for a right-wing resurgence.”

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.

“Naomi Klein on How Egypt’s Failed Revolution Continues to Inspire Struggle Worldwide”

“But,” Alaa adds to his stark assessments, “the revolution did break a regime.” It defeated much of Mubarak’s machine, and the new junta that is in its place, while even more brutal, is also precarious for the thinness of its domestic support. Openings, he tells us, remain. In this way, Alaa acts as the revolution’s toughest critic and its most devoted militant.

Karim Alrawi: A Time of Monsters: On Alaa Abd el-Fattah’s “You Have Not Yet Been Defeated”

“In a series of personal accounts and short essays, Alaa takes the reader through the last eleven years, as the progress towards democracy in Egypt was rolled back by a degree of repression unknown in the country’s modern history.”

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.”

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

Brecht de Smet: “Egypt’s Decade of Revolution and Counterrevolution”

“The fall of the Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, ten years ago today, was a triumph for popular mobilization. But the revolutionary forces lacked the political organization and vision needed to head off a counterrevolutionary backlash that restored the authoritarian state’s power.”

Robert Solé: “Ten Years of Hope and Blood”

“But in Lebanon, as in Algeria or Sudan, the game is not over. The same can be said of all the countries that have experienced a “Spring”, however fleeting, followed by a counter-revolution. The Arab peoples now know that it is not enough to overthrow an authoritarian regime to achieve democracy. Elsewhere in the world, the road has always been long and painful. Refusing to despair, the most committed or lucid citizens are trying, in Gramsci’s words, to combine the pessimism of intelligence with the optimism of will.”

“A Decade After the Arab Spring, Autocrats Still Rule the Mideast”

“Ten years later, the collisions between that old order and the popular uprisings across the Middle East in 2011 that became known as the Arab Spring have left much of the region in smoldering ruins.”

Julius Gavroche: “Reading the times with Alain Badiou”

“What such movements call for are myths, myths which as “precious stones of memory” (Marcel Detienne, L’invention de la mythologie) weave a present to a past powerful enough to project a future, myths which fracture the eternal present of capitalist utility generating profaned spaces and times of collective play, of common joyful expenditure (Georges Bataille), myths which bind us to our shared ancestors, to the telluric or chthonic dimension of our lives which are not reducible to the managed and cultivated topoi of Gaia (Giorgio Agamben).”