“Most reactions to this [Trump’s reference to Haiti and African nations as ‘shithole countries’] have understandably focused on Trump’s berserk racism. But it’s worth remembering that his comments are grotesque for another reason: Without the bravery of Haitians, Thomas Jefferson would never have been able to complete the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the United States as we know it today would not exist.”
Category Archives: freedom
“So to say the Catalan independence movement is Quixotic is not to suggest it has nothing to struggle against, but that it does so with ideals that have become abstract and formal, divorced from their material conditions. Behind the epic narrative of cultural and political resistance, Catalan independentism is deeply limited by the political economy, class composition and geopolitical intertwinements of Catalonia.”
“Dechristianization was a key feature of the revolution, but so too was rechristianization, or at the very least, a revolutionary recalibration of faith.”
“According to the European Union, its 28 member states contain 276 separate regions with varying political structures and categories, including states, countries, regions and communities. Some … are pressing for independence or much greater autonomy.”
“The conflation of leader and national epic (or tragedy) dates to the very moment when the Cuban rebels first erupted onto the island’s political stage. … the Revolution’s chief was the main architect and beneficiary of a rendering of Cuba’s past as deferred deliverance. And plenty of Cubans, at least at the start, were eager to believe. Cuba’s official history thus yoked a cyclical saga of political failure to a vision of final triumph in the present.”
Seminal works on the roles Native Americans played in the Age of the American Revolution.
A. James McAdams: Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton 2017) “from the drafting of The Communist Manifesto in the 1840s to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s”.
Martin Breaugh: The Plebeian Experience: A Discontinuous History of Political Freedom (Columbia, 2013) “identifies fleeting yet decisive instances of emancipation in which people took it upon themselves to become political subjects.”
Jeffrey James Byrne: Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order (Oxford 2016). “It argues that the Third World movement evolved from a subversive transnational phenomenon in the late-colonial era into a diplomatic collaboration among postcolonial elites to exalt state sovereignty and national authority.”
‘Democratic confederalism is a radical democratic project based on citizens’ assemblies, defended by citizens’ militias. It is a program and model which constitutes a radical reconceptualization of self-determination, one defined in terms of direct democracy against the state. A reconceptualization of “self-determination” that renounces as divisive and utopian the equation of the struggle for national freedom with the goal of an independent nation-state, and that seeks to overcome the danger of majority tyranny by institutionalizing a “revolutionary-consociational” regime. A consociational regime whose “social contract” guarantees multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, and multi-religious accommodation, by implementing quotas for political representation (concretely, in Rojava, for Arabs and for Assyrian Christians), by direct assemblies of different constituent groups, and by mobilizing these groups in their own militias of self-defense.’