Category Archives: revolution

Lakhdar Ghettas: “The Tunisian revolution seven years on”

“Political transitions following bottom up upheavals are very difficult to navigate in that they bring to the surface all the contradictions that were suppressed by the authoritarian regime.”

“Donald Trump’s Vile Words should Remind us that America Owes Everything to Haitians”

“Most reactions to this [Trump’s reference to Haiti and African nations as ‘shithole countries’] have understandably focused on Trump’s berserk racism. But it’s worth remembering that his comments are grotesque for another reason: Without the bravery of Haitians, Thomas Jefferson would never have been able to complete the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the United States as we know it today would not exist.”

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.”

An interview with China Miéville: “A Strategy for Ruination”

“It’s too late to save, but we might repurpose. Suturing, jerry-rigging, cobbling together. Finding unexpected resources in the muck, using them in new ways. A strategy for ruination.”

“Revolution Every Day” at Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art

The exhibition “juxtaposes works of Soviet graphic art—primarily posters from the 1920s and 1930s—with works on video and film.”

Susan Buck-Morss: “Global Civil War: Solidarity by Proxy”

“In the twenty-first century any world war is a civil war, and any civil war affects the world. Does this mean the end of the Age of Revolutions, or a whole new understanding of what revolution entails?” (video)

Stephen Lovell: “The great error”

Yuri Slezkine’s argument in The House of Government: A saga of the Russian Revolution is that ‘the Bolsheviks were not a party but an apocalyptic sect. In an extended essay on comparative religion …, he puts Russia’s victorious revolutionaries in a long line of millenarians extending back to the ancient Israelites; in their “totalitarian” demands on the individual believer, he suggests, the Bolsheviks are cut from the same cloth as the sixteenth-century Münster Anabaptists and the original “radical fundamentalist”, Jesus Christ.’

Bryan A. Banks & Erica Johnson: “Religion and the French Revolution: A Global Perspective”

“Dechristianization was a key feature of the revolution, but so too was rechristianization, or at the very least, a revolutionary recalibration of faith.”

Bhaskar Sunkara: “The Few who Won”

“Yet both the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks were wrong in 1917. The Mensheviks’ faith in Russian liberals was misplaced, as were the Bolsheviks’ hopes for world revolution and an easy leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom. The Bolsheviks, having seen over ten million killed in a capitalist war, and living in an era of upheaval, can be forgiven. We can also forgive them because they were first. What is less forgivable is that a model built from errors and excesses, forged in the worst of conditions, came to dominate a left living in an unrecognizable world.”