Category Archives: the Left

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.”

Kenan Behzat Sharpe: “Trapped in between: 1968 in Greece and Turkey”

“The 1960s explosions in Greece and Turkey were neither of the First or Third Worlds, the core or the periphery: they combined elements of both.”

Todd Gitlin: “1968: Year of Counter-Revolution”

“The left was wildly guilty of misrecognition. Although most on the radical left thrilled to the prospect of some kind of revolution, … the main story line was far closer to the opposite—a thrust toward retrogression that continues, though not on a straight line, into the present emergency. … The main new storyline was backlash.”

Stathis Gourgouris: “Preliminary Thoughts on Left Governmentality”

“In the manufactured politics of crisis that we see increasingly in many societies around the world, the question of what politics can overcome the impasse of so-called democratic rule, which serves as a cover for the domination of liberal oligarchies, has become urgent. Mining the most radical elements in Foucault’s thinking about governmentality, this essay seeks to imagine a politics of left governmentality that would evade the pitfalls of left populism.”

David Broder: “Historically Compromised”

‘The Red Brigades who took Moro hostage sought to prevent a reformist solution to Italy’s institutional impasse. Their actions, or at least the anticommunist blowback it produced, did help block the PCI’s path toward power. But while they thought that this would radicalize the Italian political landscape, they were sorely mistaken. The violence of these years ultimately expressed the decline of the extra-parliamentary left. … Moro’s death was the swansong of the postwar “First Republic,” marking the failed reform of the Christian Democratic order. This brought not renewal, but protracted decline and fragmentation. The debris continues to litter the present, in an Italian political system devoid not just of credibility, but of hope.’

Richard Vinen: “How Europe Got from May ’68 to Emmanuel Macron”

“It is often said that 1968 was a failed revolution in political terms but a successful one so far as cultural change was concerned. There is an element of truth in this. Protesters did not destroy capitalism, or even bring down Charles de Gaulle’s regime in France. There is, though, a broader sense in which ’68 itself eventually went with a realignment of politics so significant that it redefined notions of the right and the left.”

“Basque Group ETA Disbands, after Terrorist Campaign Spanning Generations”

ETA, the Basque separatist group, is dissolving itself, it stated in a letter published on Wednesday, closing a history that included one of the longest terrorism campaigns in modern Europe, which killed over 800 people in Spain. … The news reflected what has been evident for years, that ETA is a spent force, its ranks decimated by arrests, its popularity minimal in the Basque region along Spain’s north coast. In their long struggle, the government has won.”

Nabila Ramdani: “A French revolution that pushed immigrants to the margins”

“The legacy of the ’68 Paris protests was not integration, but increased alienation for minorities.”