Category Archives: Nota Bene

Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Claus Leggewie: “1968: Power to the Imagination”

“Our solidarity with the national liberation movements was immense. … What we largely ignored, however, was the suppression proceeding from the liberators themselves, once they had seized power.”

Mitchell Abidor: “1968: When the Communist Party Stopped a French Revolution “

“1968 was the definitive proof, if such proof were still needed, that the Communist Party had no interest in seizing power through revolution. But it also demonstrated that in this, the PCF was the perfect image of the class it represented, and vice versa. Cornelius Castoriadis … wrote in an essay published during the events:

In France in May ’68 the industrial proletariat was not the revolutionary vanguard of society, but rather its ponderous rear guard. If the student movement attacked the heavens, what stuck society to earth… was the attitude of the proletariat, its passivity in regard to its leadership and the regime, its inertia, its indifference to everything that was not an economic demand.”

Paul Quinn-Judge: “The Revolution that Wasn’t”

“Ukraine has for the past two decades been caught in a vicious circle. While Russia attempts to keep the country within its orbit, reformers struggle to change a totally corrupt political system, and the ruling class subverts their efforts.”

Tithi Bhattacharya: “Women are leading the wave of strikes in America”

“These strikes are for wages and benefits, but they arise from a social landscape scoured by gender and racial inequalities.”

Gary Younge: “Martin Luther King: how a rebel leader was lost to history”

“Fifty years after his death, the civil rights leader is a national treasure in the US. But what happened to his revolutionary legacy?”

Chiara Bottici: “Anarchafeminism: Towards an ontology of the transindividual”

“At the beginning was movement: anarchism does not mean absence of order, but rather searching for a social order without an orderer.”

David Graeber: ” Why are world leaders backing this brutal attack against Kurdish Afrin?”

Afrin‘s “inhabitants had taken advantage of their peace and stability to develop the democratic principles embraced throughout the majority Kurdish regions of north Syria, known as Rojava. Local decisions were devolved to neighbourhood assemblies in which everyone could participate; other parts of Rojava insisted on strict gender parity, with every office having co-chairs, male and female, in Afrin, two-thirds of public offices are held by women. Today, this democratic experiment is the object of an entirely unprovoked attack”

Bronwen Everill: “Demarginalizing West Africa in the Age of Revolutions”

‘It is true that the West African Age of Revolutions did not inspire specifically democratic change in the polities that were “revolutionized”, and that the revolutions’ relationships with the practices of the slave trade and slavery were complicated. But if not all of these revolutions were democratic, then maybe it wasn’t an age of democratic revolutions at all, which makes the particular cases of democratic revolution interesting in different ways.’

Owen Holland: “‘What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents’: The Paris Commune and the Poetics of Martyrdom in the Fin de Siècle Socialist Print Culture”

“The problem of how to relate to, and retrospectively valorise, the Commune’s failure created a tension in the socialist periodical press between the motivational need to celebrate such a heroic defeat, in order to justify sacrifices both past and present, and the evaluative need critically to assess the reasons that underlay the defeat.”

“From #MeToo to #WeStrike”

“What can the #MeToo movement learn from Latin American feminists? How can a global perspective help develop new insights into forms of violence and create a politics that challenges the fundamental basis of gender inequality?”