Category Archives: the Left

“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?”

CrimethInc.: “Snapshots from the Uprising: Accounts from Three Weeks of Countrywide Revolt”

“In the following analysis, we review the series of movements that led to the uprising in response to the murder of George Floyd, explore the factors that made the uprising so powerful, discuss the threats facing it, and conclude with a series of accounts from participants in Minneapolis, New York City, Richmond, Grand Rapids, Austin, Seattle, and elsewhere around the country.”

Kali Akuno: “From Rebellion to Revolution”

“What we have been proposing, and will offer in this process, is that we organize and build towards the execution of a general strike. The beginning of a general strike under current conditions starts with People’s Assemblies in the streets debating and voting on having a general strike. This is how a largely street protest movement can blossom into an instrument of dual power that could radically transform society.”

Assembling a revolutionary movement

My reflections on Robert Kramer’s movie Ice (1970)

10 June 2020

CrimethInc: “What Will It Take to Stop the Police from Killing?”

“So what will it take for us to end police murders once and for all? Nothing short of revolutionBut that revolution isn’t a distant utopia, or a single spasm in which we storm the Winter Palace. It’s an ongoing process of building relationships, sharing resources, defending ourselves, undoing the interlocking structures of white supremacy, and organizing to meet our needs together without police or politicians—and it’s already happening.”

Asad Haider: “Pessimism of the Will”

“Optimism of the intellect, because we have to start by recognizing that all people are capable of thought, that they are able to not only form conceptions of the world but also to experiment with new possibilities. … But pessimism of the will, because we know that the will has to take a material organizational form, and that across the history of revolutionary politics the classical form assumed by the young Gramsci is no longer available to us. We lack the concrete basis for organizations on the model of the twentieth century revolutions, and we know from the history which followed these revolutions that the emancipatory potential of the party seizing the state has been exhausted. … Our subjective horizon is the optimism of the intellect; our objective, structuring condition is pessimism of the will. Without optimism of the intellect, we have the party without the people. Without pessimism of the will, we have the illusion of power. Until we recognize this there is no path for action.”

Joseph Fronczak: “Melancholy and Mobilisation”

A review of Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory by Enzo Traverso

Raoul Vaneigem: “Everything Starts Here and Now”

Peaceful insurrection is demilitarized guerilla war. It must have the self-organization of autonomous communes as its basis and goal. Our most powerful enemy isn’t so much the authority of the master as the resignation of the slaves.”

Cédric Durand: “It should have been a great decade for the European left – what happened? “

“If there’s a single moment that characterises the end of this moment, it’s the tragic Greek betrayal of July 2015. In this deadly summer, the Greek people voted against (“oxi”) the bailout conditions imposed by the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF. But this victory was transformed by Syriza – the only left-of-social-democracy government in Europe – into a humiliating submission. When then prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, accepted harsher structural reforms to keep Greece’s membership of the eurozone, he proved that democracy could be blackmailed. Capital, not people, has the last say.”

Joseph Choonara: “A new cycle of revolt”

“This is the third cycle of struggle since the turn of the century. The first, from the late 1990s until the mid-2000s, saw the development of movements against corporate globalisation and neoliberalism. … A second cycle developed in 2011. In Europe it was reflected in occupations of public squares by movements … The claim that a third cycle of revolt is now emerging should be qualified in two ways. First, the struggles do not constitute a coordinated movement. … Second, none of the cycles mentioned above are universal in scope.”