Category Archives: the Left

Daniel Gutiérrez: “Seizing the Times: Five Theses on Militant Development”

“We are confronted by a moment of impossible historical importance where the decisions we make, and the possibilities we seize or do not seize, will define the shape of what all our tomorrows look like. This moment has been produced by the overlapping crises of neoliberalism, social reproduction, climate catastrophe, and the coronavirus pandemic that have articulated and fused into a combined crisis of unfathomable proportions. So long as this objective crisis remains unresolved, a revolutionary opportunity is presented to us, but we must organize ourselves into a subjective force capable of seizing it.”

David Ost: “The Triumph and Tragedy of Poland’s Solidarity Movement”

“To say that Solidarity was a democratic left alternative to state socialism thus does not mean that all of its leadership and members saw it that way. Nevertheless, from August 1980 to December 1981, Solidarity invented in Poland the kind of grassroots, democratic, noncapitalist, participatory social experiment that the Left has always tried to bring about. This is what should be remembered, commemorated, and highlighted today.”

Thomas Jeffrey Miley: “The Kurdish Freedom Movement, Rojava and the Left”

The Kurdish revolution faces great challenges going forward. But the revolutionary forces have already made history. Their project of Democratic Confederalism, with its emphasis on direct democracy against the state, multicultural accommodation, gender emancipation and social ecology, inspired people across the globe. At a time when the future of humanity and life on the planet are facing unprecedented threats, the revolutionary experiment in Rojava stands out as a valiant attempt in the midst of a still-unfolding catastrophe to construct a radical democratic alternative to spiraling violence and tyranny.”

“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