Category Archives: terror

Stephanie Abraham: “Indicting the System”

Khan-Cullors’s book, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, co-written with author and journalist asha bandele, “is about Patrisse Khan-Cullors as much as it is about our current moment, wherein Black people, Muslims, the mentally ill, immigrants, women, trans folks, and others are one fender bender away from being beaten and charged with terrorism. The authors make clear that each of us needs to answer the question: what will I do when they call me a terrorist — because who among us won’t be?”

“October! The Soviet Centenary”

South Atlantic Quarterly 116: 4 (October 2017), Hardt & Mezzadra, eds.

“Venezuela’s Most-Wanted Rebel Shared His Story, Just Before Death”

“Mr. Pérez was an actor, a detective and an insurgent. To the government he was a terrorist. To his followers he was a freedom fighter, a modern folk hero in the ilk of Robin Hood or Che Guevara. Some skeptics said his story was too improbable to be true — they mused that he must have been a double agent of some sort, meant to cast the opposition in a bad light.  However people viewed him, his actions resonated across the whole country.”

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.’

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.”

“Think Globally, Act Historically: Teaching the French Revolution and Napoleon”

In a new textbook, The French Revolution and Napoleon: The Crucible of the Modern World, metropolitan France is still central, but the global context now plays a much more significant role, explain the authors.

Doug Greene interviewed on “Blanqui’s Politics of Revolution”

“For Blanquism, liberation comes from a small elite conspiracy who act in place of the working class. By contrast, Marxist politics are centered on the self-emancipation of the working class. Marxists believe that the liberation of the workers does not come from saviors, whether benevolent reformers or virtuous conspirators. Whereas Blanqui considered a revolutionary dictatorship to be ruled by a conspiracy because the people were too ignorant to rule on their own behalf, for Marxists the dictatorship of the proletariat is the rule of the workers as a class or democracy for the vast majority.”

David Sessions: ” “The Radical Hopes of the Russian Revolution”

‘Was the October revolution bound to lead to terror? … Both Tariq Ali and China Miéville sense that our flattened, calcified versions of the revolutionary past have something to do with the absence of political imagination and emancipatory hope in the present. “Today’s dominant ideology and the power structures it defends are so hostile to the social and liberation struggles of the last century,” Ali writes, “that a recovery of as much historical and political memory as is feasible becomes an act of resistance.”’

John Marot: “Assessing Trotsky”

Trotsky’s perspectives on the Russian Revolution were unique.  No one else shared them — not Marx, not Lenin, not Luxemburg, not Kautsky, not Parvus, not Riazanov, not Mehring — even though all were intimately familiar with Marxist methodology.  Though Le Blanc [in his biography] argues otherwise, there was only one version of permanent revolution — Trotsky’s. No one else adhered to Trotsky’s analysis of the coming Russian Revolution: that only workers could overthrow Tsarism and that as a result the democratic revolution in Russia would have to be a proletarian-socialist one, not a “bourgeois-democratic” one.

Harrison Fluss: “Hegel on Bastille Day”

“After the Reign of Terror and the fall of Robespierre, Hegel took a more somber and often times very critical view of Jacobinism in his later Jena period, right through to the publication of his masterwork, the Phenomenology of Spirit. But it is important to understand how Hegel understood the Jacobins’ role as not entirely retrogressive, but progressive to the development of human freedom, or what Hegel calls the development of human spirit in history.”