Category Archives: Nota Bene

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall: “Thoroughly Modern Maxie: Robespierre’s Relevance for Democracy Today”

“But Robespierre’s challenge remains relevant today: what can we do now, in the face of furious backlash from those who oppose #BlackLivesMatter, feminism, and other social movements, to confront those who would rather deform democracy than see society become more just and egalitarian?”

Zeynep Tufekci: “I Wish I Could Ask Alaa Abd el-Fattah What He Thinks About the World Now”

“These days, I wonder even if he would turn into a cynic, observing how far the world has turned its back on the Arab Spring generation of young men and women who dared to hope. Many are languishing as political prisoners, often under horrendous conditions.  I can’t ask what he thinks, though, because he’s been in prison for most of the past eight years.”

Malcolm Nance: “The Republican Party Now Backs an Anti-Democratic Insurgency”

“By 2021, Trump transformed moderate republicanism into an openly radical fascist party advocating the elimination of democracy.”

Kris Manjapra: “Juneteenth celebrates just one of the United States’ 20 emancipation days”

“Βetween the 1780s and 1930s, during the era of liberal empire and the rise of modern humanitarianism, over 80 emancipations from slavery occurred, from Pennsylvania in 1780 to Sierra Leone in 1936.  There were, in fact, 20 separate emancipations in the United States alone, from 1780 to 1865, across the U.S. North and South.”

Joe Stelios: “Remembering Che Guevara”

“Today, there are many revolutionaries, organisations, and governments that draw inspiration from Che’s legacy. The Zapatistas in Chiapas and the YPG in Rojava have both cited his work during their fights for autonomy.”

Nigel Ritchie: “Radical Translation as Direct Action”

“The project “Radical Translations“repositions radical translators not as passive collaborators of a predominantly French revolutionary culture but as activists seeking to spread progressive ideas into new contexts, and create new political tools for action. … The project also seeks to foreground the lives of over 500 translators, ranging from well-known revolutionaries to lesser known radicals, and those anonymous, or pseudonymous, translators whose lives are barely known at all.”

Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski: “The failure of May 1968”

The nature of revolution changed. It ceased to be a collective project based on economic considerations, pursued to change society. Revolution became privatised, reduced to the domain of inner lives.”

Steve Ellner: “The impasse of the Latin American left”

“As the left returns to power across Latin America, the lessons of the Pink Tide have become increasingly relevant. ”  A review of The Impasse of the Latin American Left.  Franck Gaudichaud, Jeffery R. Webber, and Massimo Modonesi, eds. Duke University Press, 2022.

“The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers” (ΝΥ Times)

“In 1791, enslaved Haitians did the seemingly impossible. They ousted their French masters and founded a nation. But France made generations of Haitians pay for their freedom — in cash.”

Rodrigo Karmy Bolton: “The Anarchy of Beginnings: Notes on the Rhythmicity of Revolt”

“When we say that revolt assumes a destituent character, we mean that its wager no longer lies in the fulfillment of determinate end (the establishment of a new regime), but in its capacity to delegitimize a determinate regime while itself inhabiting a space of pure means.”