1989: Not the ‘End of History’ in Venezuela Either

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author George Ciccariello-Maher about the current dynamics in Venezuela. 

Protest movements and struggles waged by dissidents against state prerogatives, wherever they happen, are always more complex than we are typically given to understand.  But the ongoing cases of Ukraine and Venezuela seem to have reached, for a great many, new heights of incomprehensibility.  Roles appear to be reversed, with reactionary forces engaging in tactics we are used to associating with revolutionary movements.  Questions of legitimacy, authority, democracy, and violence nag at all participants.  The temptation is strong to zoom out, chalk everything up to global realpolitik, and simply declare everyone a bastard. Continue Reading

Decolonising Anarchism

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By Budour Hassan

The appearance of the Egyptian Black Bloc in Cairo’s streets in January 2013 triggered gullible excitement in Western anarchist circles. Little thought was given to the Egyptian Black Bloc’s political vision – or lack thereof – tactics, or social and economic positions. For most Western anarchists, it was enough that they looked and dressed like anarchists to warrant uncritical admiration. Facebook pages of Israeli anarchists were swamped with pictures of Egyptian Black Bloc activists; skimming through the US anarchist blogosphere during that period would have given one the impression that the Black Bloc was Egypt’s first-ever encounter with anarchism and anti-authoritarianism. But as American writer Joshua Stephens notes, the jubilant reaction many Western anarchists have towards the Black Bloc raises unflattering questions concerning their obsession with form and representation, rather than content and actions.Continue Reading

Why Pacifism Is Morally Indefensible

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Influenced by Henry David Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi is perhaps the first person to put the principles of nonviolence and non-cooperation into effect of a mass scale. Explaining this principle, in For Pacifists, he wrote;

The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non-violence alone can lead one to pure democracy…Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment….It is a blasphemy to say non-violence can be practiced only by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals…The nearest approach to purest anarchy would be a democracy based on non-violence…A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy.Continue Reading

«Wir blei­ben alle!»

Von Flo­ri­an Wilde.

Es waren unge­fähr drei­hun­dert west­afri­ka­ni­sche Flücht­linge, die im Früh­jahr 2013 von Li­by­en kom­mend Ham­burg erreich­ten. Ihr Weg hatte sie nach einer gefähr­li­chen Über­fahrt über das Mit­tel­meer zu­nächst auf die ita­lie­ni­sche Insel Lam­pe­dusa ge­führt, nach der sich die Grup­pe in Ham­burg dann be­nann­te. In Ham­burg ange­kom­men, wei­ger­ten sich die Behör­den unter Ver­weis auf die EU-​Richt­li­ni­en, den Flücht­lin­gen eine dau­er­hafte Unter­kunft zur Ver­fü­gung zu stel­len und ver­such­ten, sie gleich wie­der aus der Stadt zu trei­ben. Doch die Flücht­linge woll­ten nicht wei­ter­zie­hen. Wohin denn auch? Sie ent­schie­den sich zu blei­ben, an die Öffent­lich­keit zu gehen und für ihre Rech­te zu kämp­fen. Sie stie­ßen dabei auf eine spon­tane Welle der Sym­pa­thie und Soli­da­ri­tät in Tei­len der Be­völ­ke­rung.Continue Reading

Syria, European Pseudo-Leftists, and Žižek

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I was a bit disappointed when I read Žižek’s article on Syria. It is true that the people in Syria have no excuse for not making a revolution, but compassion is a virtue. Maybe if “comrade” Žižek could’ve taken the time to scribble them a manual of “Revolution 101″ they could’ve been brought to their senses. Possibly a syllabus of recommended readings? Žižek has a lot to teach the people in Syria and Egypt. The European Left as a whole has much to share. I mean, Europe has been revolting for decades and the victories of the European Left are a source of global envy. Žižek himself has stood atop the barricades and put a stake in the heart of neoliberalism in his own country.Continue Reading