Category Archives: power

Mona El-Ghobashy: “The Arab Uprisings and the Many Meanings of Revolution”

After ten years as the Arab region’s only functioning democracy, Tunisia is now imperiled by a presidential strongman who in 2021 dissolved parliament and attacked the judiciary, and in 2022 rewrote the constitution to reflect his plebiscitary conception of direct democracy. Egypt is governed by a personalized military dictatorship that incarcerates or eliminates all forms of opposition, even its erstwhile business cronies. Yemen, the Arabian peninsula’s sole republic, is ravaged by an air war between a Saudi-UAE alliance and Houthi rebels, rendering 80% of Yemenis in need of humanitarian aid. In Syria, the nationwide uprising did not end the 50-year rule of the al-Assad dynasty. With military support from Russia and Iran, Bashar al-Assad has subjected Syrians to staggering state violence; over half a million have perished and 13 million forced to flee their homes.”

Jared Marcel Pollen: “How the 1905 Revolution Inspired Rosa Luxemburg’s Vision of Emancipation”

Review of The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume IV: Political Writings 2, “On Revolution” (1906–1909), edited by Peter Hudis and Sandra Rein (Verso, 2022)

Enzo Traverso: “Revolutions are still breathing life into history”

“The new social and political movements have considerable potential, but they are the offspring of a historical turning point that has evacuated the utopian horizon of the past, identified precisely with the idea of revolution.”

Malcolm Nance: “The Republican Party Now Backs an Anti-Democratic Insurgency”

“By 2021, Trump transformed moderate republicanism into an openly radical fascist party advocating the elimination of democracy.”

Conor Bean reviews “Capital Hates Everyone: Fascism or Revolution” (2021) by Maurizio Lazzarato

“He remains adamant that any revolutionary organizing on the horizon must accept the effective displacement of the working class from the position of central revolutionary subject, set aside Leninist and Maoist organizing models, and embrace the potentials for historically oppressed subjectivities’ ‘becoming-revolutionary’ in the course of anti-capitalist activity (232)”

Steve Ellner: “The impasse of the Latin American left”

“As the left returns to power across Latin America, the lessons of the Pink Tide have become increasingly relevant. ”  A review of The Impasse of the Latin American Left.  Franck Gaudichaud, Jeffery R. Webber, and Massimo Modonesi, eds. Duke University Press, 2022.

Onur Isci: Book Review: “Nationalism, Secessionism, and Autonomy” by André Lecours (2021)

“Throughout the book, the author seeks to answer the question of why some nationalist movements take a secessionist form while others do not. The answer he gives lies not in the character or content of the nationalist movement in question, but in the autonomy of the region in which the movement emerged within a sovereign state.”

Franck Gaudichaud, Massimo Modonesi, Jeffery R. Webber: “The Impasse of the Latin American Left”

“At the turn of the twenty-first century, Latin American politics experienced an upsurge in progressive movements, as popular uprisings for land and autonomy led to the election of left and center-left governments across Latin America. These progressive parties institutionalized social movements and established forms of state capitalism that sought to redistribute resources and challenge neoliberalism. Yet, as the authors demonstrate, these governments failed to transform the underlying class structures of their societies or challenge the imperial strategies of the United States and China. Now, as the Pink Tide has largely receded, the authors offer a portrait of this watershed period in Latin American history in order to evaluate the successes and failures of the left and to offer a clear-eyed account of the conditions that allowed for a right-wing resurgence.”

Malin Bång: “splinters of ebullient rebellion”

“We are also seeing many influential institutions, organizations, even governments gradually facing collapse when their actions and manifestations are colliding with the core values of the individuals they are made up by. We see how this friction generates a new spine of idealism with the aim to shift back the focus from simplified, one-dimensional explanations to contexts where the full spectrum of intricate details appear and where the multitude of voices that surround us are present.”

 

Maximillian Alvarez: “Lessons from Wisconsin’s 2011 worker uprising”

“The 2011 statewide protests in Wisconsin were among the largest in US history, but they didn’t stop the passage of Act 10. One decade later, we ask: How can the labor movement recover?