Category Archives: defeat

Paulius Vijeikis: “Revolution in progress: Voices of Belarusians in exile”

The Belarus Revolution started in 2020 after a rigged presidential election. It ended, at least to outward appearances, with President Lukashenka’s brutal repression and stricter outlawing of future protests. But, for many, the struggle continues: a new study on protestors’ recollections refutes the perception that the revolution failed.”

Mona El-Ghobashy: “The Arab Uprisings and the Many Meanings of Revolution”

After ten years as the Arab region’s only functioning democracy, Tunisia is now imperiled by a presidential strongman who in 2021 dissolved parliament and attacked the judiciary, and in 2022 rewrote the constitution to reflect his plebiscitary conception of direct democracy. Egypt is governed by a personalized military dictatorship that incarcerates or eliminates all forms of opposition, even its erstwhile business cronies. Yemen, the Arabian peninsula’s sole republic, is ravaged by an air war between a Saudi-UAE alliance and Houthi rebels, rendering 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. In Syria, the nationwide uprising did not end the 50-year rule of the al-Assad dynasty. With military support from Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has subjected Syrians to staggering state violence; over half a million have perished and 13 million forced to flee their homes.”

Enzo Traverso: “Revolutions are still breathing life into history”

“The new social and political movements have considerable potential, but they are the offspring of a historical turning point that has evacuated the utopian horizon of the past, identified precisely with the idea of revolution.”

Zeynep Tufekci: “I Wish I Could Ask Alaa Abd el-Fattah What He Thinks About the World Now”

“These days, I wonder even if he would turn into a cynic, observing how far the world has turned its back on the Arab Spring generation of young men and women who dared to hope. Many are languishing as political prisoners, often under horrendous conditions.  I can’t ask what he thinks, though, because he’s been in prison for most of the past eight years.”

Steve Ellner: “The impasse of the Latin American left”

“As the left returns to power across Latin America, the lessons of the Pink Tide have become increasingly relevant. ”  A review of The Impasse of the Latin American Left.  Franck Gaudichaud, Jeffery R. Webber, and Massimo Modonesi, eds. Duke University Press, 2022.

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.”