Category Archives: the Left

Joseph Fronczak: “Melancholy and Mobilisation”

A review of Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory by Enzo Traverso

Raoul Vaneigem: “Everything Starts Here and Now”

Peaceful insurrection is demilitarized guerilla war. It must have the self-organization of autonomous communes as its basis and goal. Our most powerful enemy isn’t so much the authority of the master as the resignation of the slaves.”

Cédric Durand: “It should have been a great decade for the European left – what happened? “

“If there’s a single moment that characterises the end of this moment, it’s the tragic Greek betrayal of July 2015. In this deadly summer, the Greek people voted against (“oxi”) the bailout conditions imposed by the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF. But this victory was transformed by Syriza – the only left-of-social-democracy government in Europe – into a humiliating submission. When then prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, accepted harsher structural reforms to keep Greece’s membership of the eurozone, he proved that democracy could be blackmailed. Capital, not people, has the last say.”

Joseph Choonara: “A new cycle of revolt”

“This is the third cycle of struggle since the turn of the century. The first, from the late 1990s until the mid-2000s, saw the development of movements against corporate globalisation and neoliberalism. … A second cycle developed in 2011. In Europe it was reflected in occupations of public squares by movements … The claim that a third cycle of revolt is now emerging should be qualified in two ways. First, the struggles do not constitute a coordinated movement. … Second, none of the cycles mentioned above are universal in scope.”

Daniel Denvir: “Today’s Socialist Revival Began on the Streets of Seattle 20 Years Ago”

The global justice movement exploded onto the scene in protests against the Seattle WTO meetings twenty years ago today. The movement was far from perfect, but its anarchist, direct action-oriented politics were crucial learning experiences for a left that has today finally found its footing.”

A statement: “Leftists worldwide, stand by the protesters in Iran!”

“The following is a statement by the Iranian leftist diaspora in the United Kingdom, France and Germany who have formed a loose coalition of academics and militants to express their support for the ongoing popular uprising in Iran.”

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.’