Category Archives: Nota Bene

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: “The Unknown History Of Black Uprisings”

“More than fifty years after the Kerner Commission, we have seen in the past eight years the return of Black rebellions in response to growing inequality that has been managed by the forces of racist and abusive policing. This is not history repeating itself; it is evidence that the problems that gave rise to earlier Black rebellions have not been resolved.”

Catherine Malabou: Two video interviews on anarchism and philosophy

“We revisit the arguments for ontological anarchism and attempt to elucidate a bridge between anarchy in philosophy and politics. Catherine also shares her views on cryptocurrency, AI, and other technological trends as they relate to the prospect of a “dawning anarchy”. Moreover, we explore the distinction between liberatory and libertarian anarchisms as they both emerge on the cybernetic plane of the control society.”

Julia Kornberg: “In Rocinante’s Stirrups: Che Guevara’s quixotic journey”

“Wherever there has been oppression, wherever there is some kind of revolutionary spirit left, Che’s image—not Guevara’s, but that of the nicknamed icon—accompanies and surveys, watching lopsidedly from the distance in Alberto Korda’s historical image. But what lies behind it remains elusive, his name now reduced to an almost empty signifier for individuals on the most confused sides of the political spectrum.”

Hall Greenland: “After Independence, Algeria Launched an Experiment in Self-Managing Socialism”

Local democracy wasn’t always perfect: there were many examples of local bigwigs, mafia, and armed mujahideen doing side deals with emigrating European owners or seizing European property. However, in the latter cases, there were often ongoing struggles between the usurpers and local workers for control.  The spontaneous reality of the summer of 1962 set the stage for the struggle that was to dominate the next three years: direct democracy versus bureaucratic and bourgeois control. To put it another way: the people against a nascent ruling class.”

Sahar Delijani: “Watching From a Distance As Women Fight for Freedom in Iran”

“There is a revolution in the making, and you must rush to make impressions of its traces, its familiar faces. You must learn to listen to its heartbeat, memorize it, keep it safe. For, this is for you too. This struggle. It encompasses your life, your freedom, your beliefs, your dreams of a better world. There is nothing abstract about it, nothing apart.”

Alain Badiou: “Thirteen theses and some comments on politics today”

“We could thus define the maximum ambition of future political work: to realise for the first time in history the first hypothesis, so that revolution will prevent war, rather than the second, i.e. that war will provoke revolution.”

David Palumbo-Liu: “Rise Up in Anger and Hope: How Eruptive Protests Can Propel Urgent Issues to the Center of Political Debate”

“When politicians and governments are held accountable for defaulting on their promises to support democracy and to practice it, the streets become a place where unofficial, yet highly visible plebiscites can take place.”

Deion Scott Hawkins: “Not all insurrections are equal – for enslaved Americans, it was the only option.”

“In my view, rebellions of the enslaved can aptly be classified as insurrections.  From the early 1600s, historians estimate that there were around 250 insurrections in America that involved 10 or more enslaved people using violence to fight for equal rights.”

Carolyn Eichner: “Women at the barricades”

The Paris Commune exploded onto the world stage. At the intersection of political developments, resistance movements, emerging liberatory ideologies and community-based organisations, the Commune resulted from the political will of a wide range of actors to embrace the revolutionary opportunity, and put hopes and ideas into action. They drew not only on their prior liberatory plans and resistant experiences, but also on Paris’s revolutionary legacy – a potent set of available memories embraced by socialists and feminists of many stripes. This combination of history, ideology, opportunity, lived experience and hope facilitated a radically democratic urban experiment.”

Casey Harison: “The Crowd in History and the January 6, 2021 Attack on the US Capitol”

“Indeed, for those familiar with the history of crowds, January 6 has real similarities with a pattern of collective action that happened across the Atlantic World dating from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.”