Ed Simon: ‘Why the French Revolution’s “Rational” Calendar wasn’t’

“The revolutionary zeal to reform all aspects of society burned so intensely that it altered the very names of the days and months. As part of a project of rationalization and dechristianization, the new calendar marked the establishment of the first French Republic in 1792, the first year of the new order.”

“Is Revolution Brewing in Iran?”

“While women and youth have been at the helm of the everyday form of resistance, it is their collective efforts with the labor movement, the teacher’s union, the farmers, the impoverished, the environmentalists, the families of the victims of the 1988 massacre, and many other oppressed sectors of the society that have now created a clear path to real and popular revolution in Iran.”

Kenan Behzat Sharpe: “Trapped in between: 1968 in Greece and Turkey”

“The 1960s explosions in Greece and Turkey were neither of the First or Third Worlds, the core or the periphery: they combined elements of both.”

Andy Merrifield: ‘“Fulfillment was already there”: Debord & ’68’

“France seemed on the precipice of revolution; a festival of people was glimpsed. Alienation was cast off, momentarily; freedom was real; capitalised time abandoned. Without trains, cars, Metro and work, leisure time was reclaimed, time lived. Students and workers seized the contingent situation, acted spontaneously, created new situations, realising something what no trade union or party could ever do, or wanted to do. And yet, as quickly as things erupted, they were almost as speedily repressed, by state and bourgeoisie, soon backed by the Communists and the CGT. The optimistic promise, the beach beneath the paving stones, had dissipated, for now. The music was over. There was no other side to break on through to.”

Emily Cataneo: “Give Me Liberty or Something Else”

“The prickly problem of a New England secessionist utopia

“No jobs, no leader, no hope: Why Palestinian youth refuse to surrender.”

“Many have spent half of their lives besieged, without consistent electricity or steady jobs. Meet the Palestinian protesters in Gaza.”

Tareq Baconi: “What the Gaza Protests Portend”

“In these circumstances, the Palestinian struggle for self-determination has, in effect, dissolved into numerous local battles: equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, freedom of movement for West Bankers, residency rights for East Jerusalemites, education for refugees, an end to the blockade for Gazans. This fragmentation is not, however, a given for all time. The dense smoke, burning tires, and the masses of people huddled under gunfire on Friday afternoons is what, at this moment, the recalibration of the Palestinian struggle looks like. The images coming out of Gaza are an indication of Palestinian disenchantment with the political process and with their leaders. In a deeper and more significant way, we are also witnessing a revival of the core principles that always animated the Palestinian cause but that were displaced in the tangled maze of political negotiations.”

Jonathan Neale: “Remembering the Saur Revolution”

“The idea that Communism or socialism required a dictatorship by a minority was widely accepted among radicals in the 1960s and 1970s. … The Afghan Communists were simply doing what the Left globally knew had to be done if they really wanted to change the world. Their tragedy is, in an acute and terrible form, the same one replicated elsewhere.”

Davide Grasso: “Democratic confederalism in Rojava: Has revolution eliminated the state?”

The Kurdish movement challenges the state at a conceptual level before the historical: the notion of the state appears here in relation to a way of organising the institutions rather than to the very existence of the institutions; it’s above all a way of thinking of its function.”

Todd Gitlin: “1968: Year of Counter-Revolution”

“The left was wildly guilty of misrecognition. Although most on the radical left thrilled to the prospect of some kind of revolution, … the main story line was far closer to the opposite—a thrust toward retrogression that continues, though not on a straight line, into the present emergency. … The main new storyline was backlash.”