Tag Archives: France

Jérôme Baschet interviewed: ‘History Is No Longer On Our Side’

“It has recently been said that there is a major cleavage within the thought of emancipation. For some, it is necessary to preserve, or rediscover, the classical parameters of modernity, and in particular a conception of History understood as a triumphant advance of Progress. … On the other side of the dividing line are all those who, following Benjamin, consider that we must completely abandon an untenable modern-progressive conception of history.”

Jérôme Baschet interviewed: “History is no longer on our side”

‘What I call “liberated spaces” [espaces liberés] should not be construed as protected islands, where we live out a charming life in the midst of the surrounding disaster, but as spaces for combat. “Free space” implies that we must free ourselves from something, from what oppresses us or causes us to slowly die; it implies that there is a struggle. In reality, these spaces are not entirely liberated, but only in the process of being so: they are not free of what oppresses and attacks them, nor consequently of the need to fight against them. At the same time as they are building from now on a different, clean reality, escaping as much as possible the norms of the economic world, they also have an intrinsically antagonistic dimension.’

lundi matin: “A strange time/weather”

“Furio Jesi distinguishes between revolt and revolution, which cut across two different times. Revolt is not an aborted revolution. Revolt is the time of myth, a time that bursts in, that breaks historical causality. … The revolutionary parties or any structured organisation are thus incapable of taking part in the revolt and even less of directing it because their actions are part of the long time, of causal time, where each act is taken in the game of means and ends. Each action has a purpose and a certain effectiveness. Revolt suspends this machine of means and ends, this mechanical calculation of the movements of revolutionaries and the reactions of the adversary. We throw ourselves headlong into the revolt. We go there with method and patience in the revolution.”

“We are here, even if Macron doesn’t want it: One year of the Gilets Jaunes”

“On November 16th the Gilets Jaunes movement marked one year since it burst onto the scene and threw a spanner in the works of President Macron’s agenda.”

Gabriel Bristow: “Yellow fever: Populist pangs in France”

“The movement has remained relatively resolute in its negativity. The refusal to negotiate with the government and the rejection of representation and ‘recuperation’ by political parties is near total. … The gilets jaunes have invented a repertoire of action from next to nothing, settling on roundabouts (precisely where things are supposed to circulate) and storming the nation’s symbols of luxury and power every Saturday. And this repertoire … ultimately prevailed over any single political orientation or strategy.”

lundi matin: “The gilets jaunes: Insurrection at the end times of capital”

‘Rather than expressing the revolution of capital, it seems more accurate to speak of a movement which acts, in the first place, as a resistance to this revolution of capital (3) and acts as an “analyser” of the crisis of the reproduction of capitalist social relations.’

Raoul Vaneigem interviewed On alienation, the Situationists and everyday revolution

“The movement of self-managing assemblies that is emerging today is the heir (though it is not yet fully aware of it) of all the struggles for emancipation that have shaken history. Where they stopped, where they were crushed, they will resume and, without even mentioning victory or defeat, they will start again without interruption, like the life that inspires them.”

“Looking back-forward at the gilets jaunes: A taking stock”

“We share an unfinished debate on the yellow vests’ movement, on what is or was radical within it, and where it failed, if indeed it did so. We begin with a critical appraisal of the movement, followed by a more apologetic note, and in turn a response.  What separates the two sides of this debate is an interpretation or analysis of capitalism.”

Jacques Fradin: “The insurrection of the yellow vests and the revolution of the revolution”

“The uprising of the yellow vests can be interpreted as a resurgence of the oldest movements of revolt … Or, rather, this uprising can also be interpreted as the first insurrection of a new revolutionary era, the era of the revolution of the revolution – symptomatic of a new political era that emerges by dissolving or destituting liberal hegemony.”

lundimatin: “Theses on the concept of the absence of an epoch”

“When friends say, for years, that the revolution is no longer an absolute goal, they do not say so much that they do not want to take power or that they want to preserve some aspect of their princely life, they say above all that the great night, as a total upheaval of the conditions of existence, is impossible, among other reasons, because power is everywhere and especially in everyone.”