Category Archives: the Left

Mehmet Döşemeci & Jennifer Thomson: “Decolonizing society: The legacy of 1968”

“The broad-based anti-imperialist consensus animating 1968 New Left politics allowed activists to identify their shared fight against a common enemy — one whose appearance varied, but whose operations were the same. It allowed them to connect the oppression of different national and sub-national communities, and then to move further and struggle against the interconnection of domestic policing with international warmaking. It allowed them to escape their individual isolation by talking and acting collectively. As importantly, it enabled them to draw connections across national and identitarian grammars of discontent.”

Jackson Lears: “Aquarius Rising”

“Certain years acquire an almost numinous quality in collective memory—1789, 1861, 1914. One of the more recent additions to the list is 1968. Its fiftieth anniversary has brought a flood of attempts to recapture it—local, national, and transnational histories, anthologies, memoirs, even performance art and musical theater.”  Review essay on several books.

“Where Movements Go to Die: The Democrats are Draining the Resistance’s Life”

“The Democrats plan to attach themselves, tick-like, to a political movement that was born from resistance. They’ll drain it of its lifeblood and infect it with a debilitating disease, rendering the movement toothless, tired, and depleted. It’s up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Eleanor Finley: “The revolution will be ecologised: social change in the 21st century”

Revolution toward a directly democratic society represents both a return to humanity’s communal roots, as well as a progressive step into realms of scientific, philosophical, and cultural discovery beyond our current conceptual horizons. Just as the Enlightenment revolutions were closely tied to the development of secular sciences like optics and astronomy, the gradational and relational logic of ecology today provides the conceptual basis of a truly democratic transformation. Revolution in the 21st century advances natural evolution not only in content, but in form. Our time is now.”

“Ortega and the Uprising”

Today, it seems that the regime has swept away the barricades, … and perhaps has begun to quell the three-month uprising, at least for the moment. The international left cannot contribute to a more permanent peace rooted in social justice by providing the regime with a legitimacy that it has squandered in violence.”

Paul Saba: “Lessons from One Left to the Next: Max Elbaum’s ‘Revolution in the Air’ (2002) Reissued”

“Elbaum wrote Revolution in the Air in 2001 to reclaim the lessons of the new communist movement for contemporary militants who, like their early sixties’ predecessors, became activists when the radical left was fragmented and weak.”

“There Is a Revolution on the Left. Democrats Are Bracing.”

“Energized to take on President Trump, these voters are also seeking to remake their own party as a ferocious — and ferociously liberal — opposition force. And many appear as focused on forcing progressive policies into the midterm debate as they are on defeating Republicans.”

Asad Haider interviewed on “How Identity Politics has Divided the Left”

“What was once intended as a revolutionary strategy to take down interlocking oppressions has become a nebulous but charged buzzword co-opted across the political spectrum.”

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.’

Jonah Birch: “How Beautiful It Was”

“For a few brief weeks in France [in 1968], not just a government but an entire system was called into question.”