Category Archives: justice

“Hit Men and Power: South Africa’s Leaders are Killing One Another”

“Political assassinations are rising sharply in South Africa, threatening the stability of hard-hit parts of the country and imperiling Mr. Mandela’s dream of a unified, democratic nation. But unlike much of the political violence that upended the country in the 1990s, the recent killings are not being driven by vicious battles between rival political parties. Quite the opposite: In most cases, African National Congress officials are killing one another, hiring professional hit men to eliminate fellow party members in an all-or-nothing fight over money, turf and power, A.N.C. officials say. The party once inspired generations of South Africans and captured the imagination of millions around the world — from impoverished corners of Africa to wealthy American campuses. But corruption and divisions have flourished within the A.N.C. in recent years, stripping much of the party of its ideals. After nearly 25 years in power, party members have increasingly turned to fighting, not over competing visions for the nation, but over influential positions and the spoils that go with them.”

Rebecca Solnit: “All the Rage: What a literature that embraces female anger can achieve”

“Instead of a theory of male anger, we have a growing literature in essays and now books about female anger, a phenomenon in transition.” Rebecca Solnit on three new books about women’s anger.

Philip Argeș O’Keeffe: “Tekmîl: Creating a Culture of Constructive Criticism”

“It is rooted in the aspect of the philosophy of democratic confederalism which emphasizes humility, open-mindedness and progress in all aspects of revolutionary life.”

“Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics” by Stephen Greenblatt (2018)

“We learn not simply what Trump tells us about Shakespeare but what Shakespeare tells us about Trump. Illuminating scene after scene, Greenblatt is especially fine on the mechanisms of tyranny.”

Todd Gitlin: “The Missing Music of the Left “

‘If there are to be global goals, goals that cross boundaries to inspire the multitudes, where might they be found? … So should idealists across borders persist in seeking the universalist grail—the moral equivalent of “The Internationale”? Some settle for anti-fascism; others strive to resurrect the lost traditions of anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism; a few scavenge among the ruins of communism. Nearly three decades after the collapse of the communist phantasm, the left has still not recovered its voice, let alone composed a melody you can’t get out of your head.’

Jamil Khader: “Liberal Politics and the Challenge of White Supremacy: Anti-anti-Eurocentrism and the Question of Identity Politics”

‘Liberal and leftist commentators thus need to draw the ultimate radical conclusion from this anti-anti-Eurocentric position: The struggle for racial justice must be grounded in a dialectical materialist understanding of “the gap” between the particular and the universal which, according to the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, not only destabilizes identity from within, but also serves as the foundation for a true universality. Žižek’s crucial point here is that identities should be taken up on the promise of actualizing this immanent universal dimension that was opened up precisely through the brutal history of genocide, slavery, colonialism, internment, etc.’

Branko Marcetic: “Between Montgomery and Gaza”

“Mainstream columnists’ justification of Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters sounds a lot like condemnations of black civil rights activists five decades ago.”

“Is Revolution Brewing in Iran?”

“While women and youth have been at the helm of the everyday form of resistance, it is their collective efforts with the labor movement, the teacher’s union, the farmers, the impoverished, the environmentalists, the families of the victims of the 1988 massacre, and many other oppressed sectors of the society that have now created a clear path to real and popular revolution in Iran.”

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.”

Todd Gitlin: “1968: Year of Counter-Revolution”

“The left was wildly guilty of misrecognition. Although most on the radical left thrilled to the prospect of some kind of revolution, … the main story line was far closer to the opposite—a thrust toward retrogression that continues, though not on a straight line, into the present emergency. … The main new storyline was backlash.”