Category Archives: revolution

“The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers” (ΝΥ Times)

“In 1791, enslaved Haitians did the seemingly impossible. They ousted their French masters and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom — in cash.”

Rodrigo Karmy Bolton: “The Anarchy of Beginnings: Notes on the Rhythmicity of Revolt”

“When we say that revolt assumes a destituent character, we mean that its wager no longer lies in the fulfillment of determinate end (the establishment of a new regime), but in its capacity to delegitimize a determinate regime while itself inhabiting a space of pure means.”

Mark R. Beissinger: “The Revolutionary City: Urbanization and the Global Transformation of Rebellion”

“Using original data on revolutionary episodes since 1900, public opinion surveys, and engaging examples from around the world, Mark Beissinger explores the causes and consequences of the urbanization of revolution in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He investigates the struggle for control over public space, why revolutionary contention has grown more pacified over time, and how revolutions involving the rapid assembly of hundreds of thousands in central urban spaces lead to diverse, ad hoc coalitions that have difficulty producing substantive change.”

“Naomi Klein on How Egypt’s Failed Revolution Continues to Inspire Struggle Worldwide”

“But,” Alaa adds to his stark assessments, “the revolution did break a regime.” It defeated much of Mubarak’s machine, and the new junta that is in its place, while even more brutal, is also precarious for the thinness of its domestic support. Openings, he tells us, remain. In this way, Alaa acts as the revolution’s toughest critic and its most devoted militant.

Ronan Burtenshaw: “The Irish Chartist who Led Britain Towards Revolution”

The Chartist movement made one last heave—inspired by revolution in Paris—during 1848, as another petition was drawn up to be presented to parliament. But, facing enormous police mobilisation, the mass demonstration they organised became a mass meeting in Kennington Common, and although the images from the day remain impressive, it marked the end of the movement as a force.”

Jason Farago: “The Dangerous Beauty of Jacques-Louis David”

“A landmark exhibition of drawings at the Met brings us into the studio of the French Revolution’s chief propagandist, and stages the ultimate showdown of culture and politics.”

“Nicaragua Descends Into Autocratic Rule as Ortega Crushes Dissent”

“Daniel Ortega became a hero in Nicaragua for helping overthrow a notorious dictator. Now, 40 years later, he has become the kind of authoritarian leader he once fought against.  After methodically choking off competition and dissent, Mr. Ortega has all but ensured his victory in presidential elections on Sunday, representing a turn toward an openly dictatorial model that could set an example for other leaders across Latin America.”

‘What Have We Done With Democracy?’ A Decade On, Arab Spring Gains Wither

Tunisia, birthplace of the pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Arab world, now looks to many like a final confirmation of failed promise.”

Kiersten Solt, V.I.: “Seven theses on destitution”

Constituent vs. destituent insurrections

Sumanta Banerjee: “Embers of the Paris Commune”

“This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune of 1871 – the biggest urban insurrection of the nineteenth century, that led to the setting up of a grass roots based popular government in Paris, albeit for only about two months, before it was crushed by the Versailles troops at the end of May that year. But during that brief period of popular sovereignty, that government – known as the `Commune’, meaning the smallest unit of local governance – laid the foundations of a model of decentralization of power, that has continued to inspire generations all over the world.”