Category Archives: tyranny

William Dalrymple: Review of “The Buried” by Peter Hessler – Life, death and revolution in Egypt

‘In this scheme, the fall of Mubarak, the chaos of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the restoration of authoritarian rule under Sisi also follow rhythms familiar to Egyptian history. Hessler sees a mirror in the story of the pharoah Akhenaten – a failed revolutionary whose attempt to introduce monotheism was crushed in “what was possibly the first military coup in human history” by his general Horemheb, and whose tyranny was consolidated by Horemheb’s successor Ramesses II.’

Bernard E. Harcourt: “The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens”

The Counterrevolution is a penetrating and disturbing account of the rise of counterinsurgency, first as a military strategy but increasingly as a way of ruling ordinary Americans. Harcourt shows how counterinsurgency’s principles–bulk intelligence collection, ruthless targeting of minorities, pacifying propaganda–have taken hold domestically despite the absence of any radical uprising. This counterrevolution against phantom enemies, he argues, is the tyranny of our age.”

Alex von Tunzelmann: “The Evil Repercussions of the American Revolution”

A review of TO BEGIN THE WORLD OVER AGAIN: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe (2019) by Matthew Lockwood.  “He finds it at the root of a long list of ills, including increasing authoritarianism within Britain itself and the wider British Empire, the failure of Irish, Indian and Peruvian movements against imperialism, the Russian conquest of Crimea, the establishment of penal colonies in Australia and the growth of the global opium trade.”

James L. Gelvin: “Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds”

‘The key to understanding the Rojava project, as those involved often refer to it, is the notion of “confederalism.” In this form of government, local units – in this case, Kurdistan’s “autonomous regions” – come together in a federation yet retain a great deal of autonomy.’

“Resistance in Rojava”

The people of Rojava in northern Syria—both Kurdish and Muslim—were at the front of the struggle to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sustaining thousands and thousands of casualties in the course of years of warfare. As soon as ISIS was beaten, the US government tricked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) into dismantling their defenses along the Syrian border, promising to secure peace in the region and discouraging them from seeking other international allies. Once they were defenseless, Trump gave Turkey permission to invade.”

Jeffrey Ostler: “The Great Fear of 1776”

“It may be unsettling to consider the creation of the United States as a genocidal project, but the experiences of many of eastern North America’s Indigenous people led them to think of it in precisely this way. Examining their reasons does not necessarily mandate agreement with their conclusion, but it does ask us to take their fears more seriously than we have.”

Alex Press: “The Conscience of a Revolutionary: Victor Serge’s commitment to the individual as collective hero”

Serge is committed “to the individual seen as a collective hero and the product of generations of struggle. … If people, not just revolutions, are centuries in the making, bearing the traces of prior social relations, of political domination and uprisings, it’s important to chronicle them as flesh and blood.”

“Will Sudan’s revolution succeed?”

“We’ve been ruled by military dictatorships for over 50 years. We cannot accept another one.”

“A new Arab Spring?”

“East London rs21 held a meeting in May 2019 on the uprisings in Algeria, Sudan and Morocco. The speakers discussed the movements demanding change, the counter-revolutionary forces lining up against them, and the role of international solidarity.

“In solidarity with the Sudan revolution”

“After months of protests, strikes, occupations, the Sudanese state has unleashed a wave of repression against the insurrection. Yet even in face of this terror, millions have now joined a general strike to bring down the regime.  Rebellions are contagious, and with Algeria also in revolt, the region’s authoritarians sense fear; the moment when everything becomes possible.”