Category Archives: fraternity

Kevin Van Meter interviewed “On Everyday Resistance”

Everyday resistance is simply one way of framing acts that take place outside the official organizations of the Left (unions, political parties, nonprofit organizations, progressive religious groups, foundations, etc.) and the gaze of the state; acknowledging that there are whole ways of life that exist beyond these organizational forms, entire ways of life that express working-class or revolutionary potential and power. Some have referred to this as “the commons” or “commoning.” Autonomist Marxists call it “self-activity” or “self-valorization.” Anarchists identify this as “mutual aid.” So, different revolutionary traditions have looked at these ways of life and come up with different phrasing, different methods of conceptualizing how this type of activity functions. And while I predominately work within the autonomist tradition, I draw upon others as well.’

Salar Mohandesi: “Identity Crisis”

“Instead of taking for granted the existence of a collection of bounded, undifferentiated, organic communities, perhaps we should look to the concept of class composition, that is, tracking the correlation between the manner in which a class is materially constituted at a specific moment in history and the manner in which that class composes itself, or how it actively combines the different parts of itself to construct into a single force. Instead of making assumptions about the needs of marginalized people, perhaps it might be worth undertaking concrete inquiries and self-inquiries to discover what people really want, why they have adopted certain political positions.  Finally, instead of assuming an automatic link between one’s DNA and one’s politics, we should turn to the concept of articulation to understand the contingent ways that different subjects arrive at different politics. … By challenging deterministic thinking, articulation can better explain why people adopt seemingly alien political positions, why antagonistic social forces enter into contradictory alliances, and why those who may not immediately face a particular oppression may still be in a position to combat those oppressions.”

Sunil Iyengar reviews ‘Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris’ (2017) by Peter Brooks

“When Flaubert came to write Sentimental Education, he was looking back on at the failed revolution of 1848. … In 1870-1871, soon after Sentimental Education saw print, Paris was gripped by another revolution, leading to another radical experiment in self-government (the ill-fated Paris Commune), which yet again provoked a brutal crackdown from reactionary forces.”

Sam Adler-Bell: “A Tough-Love Letter to the Left”

On Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals (2017) by Jonathan Matthew Smucker:  ‘Building political power is not just a matter of telling the right story. It involves organizing, building numbers. On this front, Smucker offers some concise, practical advice: “Develop a core and a broader base; build a culture and a system of plugging new members into meaningful and capacity-building roles; maintain an outward focus so as to avoid insularity, and engage with existing infrastructure [and networks] rather than constantly starting from scratch.” … We should think of our organizations as vehicles for mobilizing existing blocs, allowing people to take action as teachers, as union members, as Quakers, as students. These blocs will be compelled to take action with us if we have presented a compelling enough counter-narrative: a story about the world we want, an inclusive “we” in which they see themselves, a vivid “them” in which they see their enemies.’

Panagiotis Sotiris: “How do we create a people? Rethinking resistance, solidarity, and transformation in the European South”

The formation of the people “as the collective subject of emancipation, as the unity in struggle of the subaltern classes, as the collective process of making possible an alternative future, is not something spontaneous or autopoetic but the contingent result of political interventions and projects.”  We should see the people as a process, not as construction or performance.”

‘Protest groups to unite as “The Majority” for massive actions across the country on May 1’

“More than 50 partners representing black, Latino, the indigenous, LGBTQ, refugees, immigrants, laborers and the poor will collaborate from April 4 through May 1, International Worker’s Day, when they’ll launch massive protests across the country.”

Lia Haro & Romand Coles: “Eleven Theses on Neo-Fascism and the Fight to Defeat it”

‘We also need new surges of radical creativity that can generate a complex ecology of democratic sensibilities, alternative solidarities, political modes, and relationships that move beyond the ruts of rote protest politics. Here, we offer eleven theses on emergent neo-fascism and a receptive, full-bodied politics that can vitalize a formidable demos to defeat the regime.

11. We propose immediate mobilization around an expansive, active and transformative notion of sanctuary as a magnetic symbol that can interweave receptive, muscular and radical democratic practices to “defibrillate” the heart of the demos and rapidly undermine the all-out assault of the neo-fascist regime while building a foundation for revitalizing democracy.’

Cinzia Arruzza & Tithi Bhattacharya: “What the Women’s Strike Means”

Reconstructing an international mobilization against neoliberalism and imperialism:  “Feminist, grassroots, and socialist organizations around the world have called for an International Women’s Strike on March 8 in defense of reproductive rights and against violence, understood as economic, institutional, and interpersonal violence.  The strike will take place in at least forty countries — the first internationally coordinated day of protest on such a large scale in years.”

“Why Popular Assemblies Sweeping the Country Are Building Blocks of the Resistance”

Popular assemblies:  “From Raleigh to Los Angeles, communities on the frontlines are building the movement infrastructure for a coordinated fightback.”

Michael Bond: “The intimacy of crowds”

Crowds “are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals”:    “The idea that in crowds we might give the best versions of ourselves runs counter to the common view that has prevailed since the French Revolution. Yet it has science on its side: from the cohesion of football crowds to the altruism of disaster victims and the solidarity of revolutionaries, the evidence for the sanity and intimacy of crowds has become overwhelming.”