Category Archives: the Left

Yavor Tarinski interviewed on “Direct democracy and the passion for political participation”

‘If we want create a radically democratic and ecological society, we will have to abandon all bureaucratic and exploitative means. It is not enough to consume ethically or vote for the lesser evil. We have to build democratic and resilient communities capable of confederating with each other so as to tackle large-scale issues. As Castoriadis has said, “an autonomous society cannot be instaurated except through the autonomous activity of the collectivity.” This might sound too general or abstract, but the direct democracy of which we are speaking represents such a paradigm shift, that must surpass both globalization and localism and can lead towards genuine social emancipation.’

Julius Gavroche: “In praise of insurrection”

“There has never been a planned revolution; revolutions occur in the heat and passion of events. Thus what we can strive for is permanent revolution.”

Dimitrina Petrova: “The Egalitarian Promise of 1989—and Its Betrayal”

The paradox of 1989 is that communism was stormed and brought down from the left, by people with unfulfilled egalitarian aspirations, but the revolutionary road led to a new society that has been experienced as more unfair than communism.”

“Chile under a state of emergency”

‘Every protest against inequality, or the perceived assault on former “equality” and the arrogance and blindness of politicians, is today a potential spark for rebellion and insurrection. Today it is chile, lebanon, hong kong; just yesterday, it was ecuador, haiti, nicaragua, france. And if we push back the calendar to the beginning of this century, then it may rightfully be said, with Alain Badiou, that we live in times of riots.’

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.”