Category Archives: founding

Paula Erizanu: “The Revolutionary Sex”

“For one shining moment, being a Russian woman meant sexual freedom and radical equality. Never seen before – or since.”

Ed Simon: ‘Why the French Revolution’s “Rational” Calendar wasn’t’

“The revolutionary zeal to reform all aspects of society burned so intensely that it altered the very names of the days and months. As part of a project of rationalization and dechristianization, the new calendar marked the establishment of the first French Republic in 1792, the first year of the new order.”

Davide Grasso: “Democratic confederalism in Rojava: Has revolution eliminated the state?”

The Kurdish movement challenges the state at a conceptual level before the historical: the notion of the state appears here in relation to a way of organising the institutions rather than to the very existence of the institutions; it’s above all a way of thinking of its function.”

David Graeber: ” Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?”

Afrin‘s “inhabitants had taken advantage of their peace and stability to develop the democratic principles embraced throughout the majority Kurdish regions of north Syria, known as Rojava. Local decisions were devolved to neighbourhood assemblies in which everyone could participate; other parts of Rojava insisted on strict gender parity, with every office having co-chairs, male and female, in Afrin, two-thirds of public offices are held by women. Today, this democratic experiment is the object of an entirely unprovoked attack”

Suzy Killmister: “Taking the Measure of Autonomy: A Four-Dimensional Theory of Self-Governance” (2017)

“Her view centers on the idea that there are several dimensions to autonomy, and while they are related, one may fall short in one but not the others. The result is a nuanced theory of autonomy that illuminates how the concept applies in a range of domains and to a range of agents.”

“The world’s most progressive democracy is being born. Don’t let it get strangled.”

“So why should we care about this latest development in the Syrian war? Because Afrin, along with the cantons of Euphrates and Jazira, is experimenting with a form of bottom-up, direct democracy that is arguably more progressive than any other system in the West.”

“October! The Soviet Centenary”

South Atlantic Quarterly 116: 4 (October 2017), Hardt & Mezzadra, eds.

Lakhdar Ghettas: “The Tunisian revolution seven years on”

“Political transitions following bottom up upheavals are very difficult to navigate in that they bring to the surface all the contradictions that were suppressed by the authoritarian regime.”

Alexa Clay: “Utopia Inc”

“If today’s communities offer escape from the cult of individualism only to end up being ‘walled gardens’ for a privileged class of bohemians, entrepreneurs or spiritual seekers, then perhaps, for all their material success, they might yet be said to have failed. Whether today’s collaborative experiments will create tentacles into more diverse populations or tackle agendas of social justice and economic inequality remains to be seen.”

Bhaskar Sunkara: “The Few who Won”

“Yet both the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks were wrong in 1917. The Mensheviks’ faith in Russian liberals was misplaced, as were the Bolsheviks’ hopes for world revolution and an easy leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom. The Bolsheviks, having seen over ten million killed in a capitalist war, and living in an era of upheaval, can be forgiven. We can also forgive them because they were first. What is less forgivable is that a model built from errors and excesses, forged in the worst of conditions, came to dominate a left living in an unrecognizable world.”