Category Archives: violence

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.”

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)

Amitai Etzioni & Mark Bray on the Antifa

Is violence a legitimate political tool?

Brian Massumi interviewed on “Histories of Violence: Affect, Power, Violence”

“the political is not personalThe political is a collective break from the accumulating effects of power inherited from the past, claiming the right of ingress in the present. The political is what breaks through the personal, shattering the hold of the accumulated power effects that are part and parcel of its constitution, liberating self-affirming powers of primary resistance that co-occur with identity but do not belong to it, that are not contained in it but pass through and around it, that open instead onto the outside, onto new affective vistas of collective becoming.”

“The First Thing Colleges must Understand about Antifa: What the Word Means”

Definitions of the often-conflated terms “antifa,” “antifascism,” and “black bloc.”

Thomas Jeffrey Miley: “The perils and promise of self-determination”

Democratic confederalism is a radical democratic project based on citizens’ assemblies, defended by citizens’ militias. It is a program and model which constitutes a radical reconceptualization of self-determination, one defined in terms of direct democracy against the state. A reconceptualization of “self-determination” that renounces as divisive and utopian the equation of the struggle for national freedom with the goal of an independent nation-state, and that seeks to overcome the danger of majority tyranny by institutionalizing a “revolutionary-consociational” regime. A consociational regime whose “social contract” guarantees multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, and multi-religious accommodation, by implementing quotas for political representation (concretely, in Rojava, for Arabs and for Assyrian Christians), by direct assemblies of different constituent groups, and by mobilizing these groups in their own militias of self-defense.’

“Battle for the mother land: Indigenous people of Colombia fighting for their lands”

‘A green-and-red flag flies over a cluster of bamboo and tarpaulin tents on the frontline of an increasingly deadly struggle for land and the environment in Colombia’s Cauca Valley.  It is the banner for what indigenous activists are calling the “liberation of Mother Earth”, a movement to reclaim ancestral land from sugar plantations, farms and tourist resorts that has gained momentum in the vacuum left by last year’s peace accord between the government and the leftwing guerrillas who once dominated the region – ending, in turn, the world’s longest-running civil war.’

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.”

“Myanmar, once a Hope for Democracy, is now a Study in how it Fails”

“Nearly a decade into Myanmar’s transition out of military rule, the country’s once-celebrated transition toward democracy is hardening into something very different from what activists and world leaders had hoped for.  Citizens select their leaders, but without the robust institutions or norms like pluralism, universal rights or tolerance necessary for democracy to function.  They express, in surveys and social media, desire for a strongman-style leader and raw majority rule. Democracy, many say, should be guided by religious strictures and nationalism.”

Mark Kazanski, Bernard Sampson, Gloria Rubac, Gus Breslauer: “Anti-fascism in the age of Trump”

“Since the Nazi seizure of power eighty years ago, anti-fascism has been a component of left-wing politics. In response to the Trump presidency, the politics of anti-fascism, reminiscent of the Popular Front of the 1930s or the Black Bloc politics of the 1990s, have—once again—been resurrected by the Left. How is anti-fascism the same or different today? Why anti-fascism now?”