Category Archives: governance

“The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers” (ΝΥ Times)

“In 1791, enslaved Haitians did the seemingly impossible. They ousted their French masters and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom — in cash.”

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.

Ronan Burtenshaw: “The Irish Chartist who Led Britain Towards Revolution”

The Chartist movement made one last heave—inspired by revolution in Paris—during 1848, as another petition was drawn up to be presented to parliament. But, facing enormous police mobilisation, the mass demonstration they organised became a mass meeting in Kennington Common, and although the images from the day remain impressive, it marked the end of the movement as a force.”

“Nicaragua Descends Into Autocratic Rule as Ortega Crushes Dissent”

“Daniel Ortega became a hero in Nicaragua for helping overthrow a notorious dictator. Now, 40 years later, he has become the kind of authoritarian leader he once fought against.  After methodically choking off competition and dissent, Mr. Ortega has all but ensured his victory in presidential elections on Sunday, representing a turn toward an openly dictatorial model that could set an example for other leaders across Latin America.”

Raoul Vaneigem: “Back to Basics: Theses on and Observations about the Struggle in France”

“It is up to us to learn to be reborn in the rebirth of the world.”

Brian Meeks: “How a Revolution on the Tiny Island of Grenada Shook the World”

Revolutions are, inevitably, fraught periods of great danger and uncertainty. At their moment of triumph, the old order is temporarily prostrate, but there remains great hostility to the new regime both internally and internationally. The chances of initial consolidation and success are slim, and the very act of asserting authority in order to survive becomes the definitive and often negative signature of revolution.”

Johnisha Levi: “A Tale of Two Insurrections”

“The Capitol insurrection and the 1898 Wilmington coup share key similarities. They both divided our citizenry between those wanting to guarantee rights for a broader cross section of individuals versus those wanting to restrict them to a privileged few. Both events were also orchestrated from the top down in an attempt to place party above country and to delegitimize our election process. And finally, both instances were perpetuating a so-called Lost Cause.”

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.”

Christine Adams: “4 Cautionary Tales from the French Revolution for Today”

“The unsettled era of the French Revolution (1789–1799) offers insight to our current historical moment as the former U.S. president still refuses to accept recent election results as legitimate, firing up an already potent and dangerous White nationalist movement that feeds on social media-fueled fever dreams.”

Luam Kidane: “Provocations to rupture and the power to act”

Movements made up of cultural producers and trade unionists, farmers and feminists are calling us to action through the work that they do. Mutual aid initiatives, land occupations and people’s assemblies are setting an example of how movement building practices can help us to break out of the marginalizing and oppressive confines imposed by the neoliberal system.”