Category Archives: the Left

Raoul Vaneigem interviewed On alienation, the Situationists and everyday revolution

“The movement of self-managing assemblies that is emerging today is the heir (though it is not yet fully aware of it) of all the struggles for emancipation that have shaken history. Where they stopped, where they were crushed, they will resume and, without even mentioning victory or defeat, they will start again without interruption, like the life that inspires them.”

John McClure: “Something Darker than Farce: the Spanish Left again Turns Victory to Defeat”

“In the end, history repeats itself, although what occurs is something darker than farce. As they did in 2016, the Socialists fail on July 25th to get the support they need in order to form a government. As for Podemos, it once again strikes a pose of stubborn, puerile defiance that will almost certainly cost it dearly in the next elections.”

Jacques Rancière interviewed on “The singularity of rebellion and autonomy”

“The only real inheritance which we have today is the inheritance left by momentary movements. There is no inheritance of the parties of the Left, nor of the revolutionary parties that barely get a few percentages points in elections. … The ephemeral is what breaks the course of time of domination and what leaves an inheritance.”

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.’

lundimatin: “Theses on the concept of the absence of an epoch”

“When friends say, for years, that the revolution is no longer an absolute goal, they do not say so much that they do not want to take power or that they want to preserve some aspect of their princely life, they say above all that the great night, as a total upheaval of the conditions of existence, is impossible, among other reasons, because power is everywhere and especially in everyone.”

Tasos Theofilou: ‘“I am not innocent”: Writings from a Greek prison’

“Theofilou gives testimony on the brutality of prison life, and its centrality in contemporary capitalism, through a blur of memoir, social commentary and free verse. His work centers on exposing the conditions of widespread exploitation and social struggle that persist in Greece as a result of the debt crisis — in prisons as well as in mainstream society.”

Bernard E. Harcourt: “Compagnon de route [Fellow Traveler]”

‘So for now, rather than put on the yellow vest, I would take on the mantle of “companion de route” – fellow traveler, like those who, famously, in the twentieth century, did not join the Communist Party, but sympathized with the aims and goals of Communists and were willing to work with the movement.’

Gabriel Rockhill: “The Failure of the French Intelligentsia? Intellectuals and Uprisings in the Case of the Yellow Vests”

“Although France has the reputation of having a leftwing intelligentsia, some of the most visible theorists on the Left—including the self-proclaimed torchbearers of the ‘spirit of ’68’—have positioned themselves firmly against the movement or admonished it from the sidelines.”

Alain Badiou interviewed about the Gilets Jaunes, Macron and future of the French left.

“Things are happening, anarchically, as is always the case with beginnings. Experiments must be linked to a careful, prolonged and systematic examination of Marxism, but also to the revolutionary attempts of the twentieth century as a whole. What really happened in Petrograd and Shanghai? What is the balance sheet? What formulation allows us to avoid the failures of these undertakings?”

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.”