Category Archives: revolt

Valerio Starita: “L’autonomie s’organise”

The French movement against the ‘Labour Law’ “last year was a movement in revolt against precarity, a movement which was crystallised by the Labour Law, and which was quickly redoubled by a wide movement in revolt against police repression, owing to the particular context it had to face – namely, the state of emergency. This was the context in which we saw autonomous contingents forming on the protests, bringing together as many as several thousand people.”

Neda Semnani: “Not a Revolution”

On Iranian protests:  “The start [of revolution] is lofty, chaotic, and idealistic, while the aftermath is often a painful and difficult disappointment. Nonetheless, people do revolt. And, I believe, there are times they should. But arriving at revolution is never a victory. It is a deep and violent trauma and people choose it because they feel the old system was so broken and had failed them profoundly that they have no choice. Revolution is the primal scream of a dissatisfied collective. You did us wrong, the people shout in unison, so we are wresting power from you and placing our faith in a new, untested future.”

Kaveh Ehsani & Arang Keshavarzian: “The Moral Economy of the Iranian Protests”

The Iranian demonstrators share the familiar anxieties produced by global capitalism’s rampant inequalities and environmental destruction. … What makes the demonstrations against malfeasance and the calls for political change and social justice powerful is the fact that the protesters are accusing Iran’s rulers of violating the revolution’s commitment to a moral economy.”

Mohammad Ali Kadivar & Neil Ketchley: “Sticks, Stones and Molotov Cocktails: Unarmed Collective Violence and Democratization”

“The literature on civil resistance finds that nonviolent campaigns are more likely to succeed than violent insurgencies. A parallel literature on democratization poses mass mobilization as exogenous to political liberalization. Contributing to both literatures, we propose the category of unarmed collective violence to capture an empirically recurring form of unruly collective action.”

Harrison Fluss: “Behemoth and Leviathan: The Fascist Bestiary of the Alt-Right”

“The alt-right imagination … is torn between two opposing ‘animal spirits’. These are Behemoth and Leviathan. Originating in the Bible, these beasts gained philosophical meaning in Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy, and entered fascist thought through the writings of the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt. … These beasts are a pair of opposites: Behemoth is autochthonous, representing the stable order of earth-bound peoples. Leviathan is thalassocratic, embodying the fluid dynamism of seafaring peoples. Behemoth signifies terrestrial empires, while Leviathan suggests commercial trade and exploration. The former stands for traditional, divinely sanctioned state authority, the latter for the spirit of pirate-capitalist enterprise (what Schmitt calls ‘corsair capitalism’). … Today, the ‘Traditionalist’ philosopher Aleksandr Dugin and the ‘neoreactionary’ philosopher Nick Land are the standard bearers of Behemoth and Leviathan, respectively. “

Jonah Birch & Bhaskar Sunkara discuss “Lessons From the First Red Century”

“For those of us between the two traditions of revolutionary socialism and social democracy, we have no program, no clear alternative to either. Either we choose to fight for gains for workers within the system, while re-stabilizing the system, the path of social democracy, or we choose an insurrectionary path in an era where state legitimacy and other factors makes that seem unrealistic in advanced capitalist countries. The challenge for us today is developing that alternative, the type of strategy and politics that can actually transform the world.”

Yoav Haifawi: “Democratic Confederalism and the Palestinian Experience”

“While in most Arab countries the left is in a prolonged retreat, we see how the Kurdish left succeeded to establish itself as the dominant force between the Kurdish masses in most of Kurdistan, even as it is divided between different nation-states. This makes the study of the Kurdish experience and of the revolutionary theory that inspires it an essential effort for Palestinian and Arab activists looking for new agenda for liberation from Imperialism, Zionism and local tyrannies.”

“Native American Revolutions” Bibliography

Seminal works on the roles Native Americans played in the Age of the American Revolution.

“What to Wear to Smash the State”

‘Min is an artist. For her, this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of black bloc as a style. It’s tactical, and practical, and it’s also an art form with the effect of building solidarity long after the boots go into the closet. The experience of being enveloped in anonymity helps retain the movement’s ideology, after the balaclavas get folded up and stacked in the drawer.  “In spheres where we don’t have uniforms, we really embrace individuality,” Min said. “But black bloc creates a feeling of ‘Who you are is who I am.’ Of ‘It doesn’t matter who I am when we’re fighting together.’”’

“July 23, 1967 – Riot or Rebellion?”

Scott Kurashige:   The Fifty-Year Rebellion:  How Today’s Political Crisis Began in Detroit (California 2017).  “Detroit has stood at the center of a growing crisis in the United States tied to racial conflict, the collapse of the middle class, and political polarization.”