Category Archives: the Left

Loren Balhorn: “The World Revolution That Wasn’t”

“The Comintern was founded on this day in 1919 to carry revolution around the world. We are only now recovering from the legacy of its failure.”

Temps Critiques: “The envy of the French Revolution of the Yellow Vests”

“Spontaneously, the reference to the French Revolution constituted for the Yellow Vests the only historical reference, because only it carries the collective memory of a social and political upheaval with which they can identify.”

Ines Schwerdtner: “One, Two, Many Rosa Luxemburgs”

“On the 100th anniversary of her murder, Rosa Luxemburg’s incredible life provides us with a model — not necessarily of what to do, but of how to do it.”

CrimethInc.: “Between the Reaction and the Referendum”

“Several questions remain. How can we make sure that the ways we participate in the yellow vest movement and others like it won’t be simply perceived as an “apolitical” expression of anger, giving nationalists a platform to take credit for our efforts? When we act to create a crisis, how do we prevent far right parties from capitalizing on it by promising a return to normal? How do we confront legalist and reactionary ideas within the movement? How should we prepare for the next round, in which we will either face a stronger repressive and authoritarian state or a massive nationalist and reactionary wave? But also—how can we reinforce our connections with everyone else in the streets and traffic circles?”

Lundimatin: “Contribution to the Rupture in Progress”

“After the collapse of the Social Democrats signified in France by Macron’s election, we see the collapse of the communists, the (in)soumis, the leftists, anarchists, members of the “ultra-left,” and other class struggle professionals or spokespeople of radical chic: and a majority of them, after sneering or holding their noses, are running at full speed after the movement with their factions, unions, parties, media coverage, and blog posts. Welcome to the rearguard!”

Chantal Mouffe interviewed on “The ‘gilets jaunes’: ‘A reaction to the explosion of inequalities between the super-rich and the middle classes’”

“The fuzzy and horizontal nature of the movement, with Macron as its only enemy, recalls the origins of the Five Stars Movement. Like the Italian example, it is neither right nor left, and is currently taking a heterogeneous and anti-political form. It is a rejection of everything to do with political parties and representing the establishment. If the gilets jaunes movement does not find an institutional political form, it may quite possibly take a dangerous turn. That’s what happened with Five Stars. Since joining the government, the movement has adopted a right-wing stance. This is an issue that will confront the gilets jaunes movement if it continues.”

Max Elbaum: “Revolution in the Air: Lessons from the 1960s”

‘Fortunately, there are more and more young people today who, like the generation of 1968, are flocking toward a revolutionary vision and looking for illuminating theory and effective strategy and organization. The task of my generation is to get in behind the new radicals, support them, offer what we’ve learned from our experience in the spirit of “take whatever is useful and leave the rest.”  And let’s see if together we can move history along a little further this time around.’

Alain Badiou interviewed: “We are at a new beginning of Marxist thought”

“We can only fall back on Lenin’s maxim: ‘Either revolution – I would say, communist politics – will prevent war, or war will provoke revolution.’ Let’s hope for the first alternative, but time is pressing…”

“Editorial Note: The Question of Political Revolution”

Introduction to issue No. 1 (Fall 2018) of Socialist Forum

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.”