Category Archives: hubris

Daniel Herwitz: “Good ideals gone bad or bad ideals made good?”

“one wonders if freedom meant to them the freedom to take on the responsibility of creating an equitable and dignified society for all, or if in their heart of hearts freedom meant … freedom as a surge of power, power of self over others, power to command, power to become, to have things and control things.”

“Belarus’ Lukashenko carries assault rifle as protesters demand his resignation at mass rally”

“Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Belarus’ capital city of Minsk over the weekend, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko following his contested re-election earlier this month.  Demonstrators marched toward Lukashenko’s residence at the Independence Square on Sunday, brandishing red and white flags to symbolize their opposition to the president and chanting for the long-time ruler to step down and for new elections to be held.”

Julius Gavroche: “Dignity: On the George Floyd Rebellion”

There is unrest in every state. A generation is learning what it means to live and fight. The racist urbanism that structured our cities is being torn apart. Landscapes are being reconfigured with the art of distance and the spirit of rebellion. Outside the burning Third Precinct, laughter and speeches. Outside the burning Wendy’s, sideshows with dirt bikes and cars doing donuts. In cities everywhere, fireworks and gunshots in the distance. The mood of this uprising oscillates from rage to exuberance, from celebration to seriousness—somewhere between block party and civil war.”

“More Precisely Revolution”​: Notes from the Protests Worldwide

“In an ongoing series, The Drift is inviting short reflections on global protest movements. We ask: What are we learning about direct political action in the midst of this unprecedented crisis? What are we risking, and what are we gaining, by gathering together—many of us for the first time in months?”

Antonia Malchik: “Riot acts”

“History shows that tumult is a companion to democracy and when ordinary politics fails, the people must take to the streets.”

Alex von Tunzelmann: “The Evil Repercussions of the American Revolution”

A review of TO BEGIN THE WORLD OVER AGAIN: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe (2019) by Matthew Lockwood.  “He finds it at the root of a long list of ills, including increasing authoritarianism within Britain itself and the wider British Empire, the failure of Irish, Indian and Peruvian movements against imperialism, the Russian conquest of Crimea, the establishment of penal colonies in Australia and the growth of the global opium trade.”

Jeffery R. Webber & Forrest Hylton interviewed on the Coup in Bolivia

“In a regional perspective, we might situate the Bolivian coup more or less mid-way between the “hard” military coup in Honduras in 2009, and the “soft” parliamentary coups against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012 and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil in 2016, with a crucial difference—in Bolivia, the far right co-opted and hijacked mass centrist protest by urban middle classes that preceded the coup, pushing it in a violent direction.”

Luis Hessel: “Women and a revolution betrayed: Nicaragua”

‘During the revolution we knew situations that we disapproved of, but we were not aware of the damage they would eventually cause by not correcting them in time. The “defence” of the Revolution, the early and fierce attack of the US, the economic and military blockade, the formation of the counterrevolution, the emotional commitment and the personal and collective cost that was necessary to pay to achieve Somoza’s departure, as well as many other factors, affected the lack of criticism or its limits of those who had already committed abuses since the beginning of the Revolution.’

A.O. Scott: “Review: ‘Edge of Democracy’ Looks at Brazil with Outrage and Heartbreak”

‘One of the implications of “The Edge of Democracy” is that as Lula and the Workers’ Party lost touch with the mass movement that brought them to power and mastered the levers of the political system, they made themselves vulnerable to popular anger on the right. Corruption and back room dealing were longstanding norms of Brazilian governance that the party didn’t do much to challenge.’

Peter Ludlow: “Maduro’s Venezuela”

“So here we are, stuck with a catastrophically inept and possibly deeply corrupt clown blowing up the socialist brand, and the Left, or at least the Left that I get exposed to in social media, falling all over itself trying to defend the guy. Honestly, if socialism is any sort of global movement, it has to find a way to pull the plug on this sort of human catastrophe. When it doesn’t, it effectively invites the United States and other western powers to come in and clean up the mess, which is to say, to install a brand new imperial mess.”