Kate Khatib, Margaret Killjoy, Mike McGuire (eds.): We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy From Occupation to Liberation (2012)

8 May 2013, dusan

We have all been swept up by the momentum of the Occupy movement. We have seen the results of years of organizing in different communities come together in ways that few could have imagined, bolstered by the scores of people who have left the comfort of their daily routine behind and taken to the streets. Yet as a movement so overflowing with new social and political actors, we lack the framework we need to help us all to understand what a social movement is, to understand how change has happened in the past, to understand what this moment means and what this movement makes possible.

We Are Many is a reflection on Occupy from within the heart of the movement itself. Examining key questions—what worked? what didn’t? why? how? is it reproducible?—the authors and activists in this collection point toward a movement-based framework for future organizing. Heavily illustrated and annotated, We Are Many is a celebration of what worked, and a thoughtful analysis of what didn’t.

With contributions by Michael Andrews, Michael Belt, Nadine Bloch, Rose Bookbinder, Mark Bray, Emily Brissette, George Caffentzis, George Ciccariello-Maher, Annie Cockrell, Joshua Clover, Andy Cornell, Molly Crabapple, CrimethInc., Croatoan, Paul Dalton, Chris Dixon, John Duda, Brendan M. Dunn, Lisa Fithian, Gabriella, David Graeber, Ryan Harvey, Gabriel Hetland, Marisa Holmes, Mike King, Koala Largess, Yvonne Yen Liu, Josh MacPhee, Manissa M. Maharawal, Yotam Marom, Cindy Milstein, Occupy Research, Joel Olson, Isaac Ontiveros, Morrigan Phillips, Frances Fox Piven, Vijay Prashad, Michael Premo, Max Rameau, RANT, Research & Destroy, Nathan Schneider, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, Some Oakland Antagonists, Lester Spence, Janaina Stronzake, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Team Colors Collective, Janelle Treibitz, Unwoman, Immanuel Wallerstein, Sophie Whittemore, Kristian Williams, and Jaime Omar Yassin.

Afterword by David Graeber
Publisher AK Press, 2012
ISBN 1849351163, 9781849351164
355 pages

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Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy, No. 3: Special Issue on Civil Disobedience (2012)

15 January 2013, dusan

“Some of the most prominent theories of civil disobedience, e.g. those of Rawls and Habermas, highlight its primarily or even exclusively symbolic character. This, however, seems to reduce civil disobedience to a purely moral appeal. On a theoretical as well as on a practical level we are today faced with the question whether civil disobedience requires a moment of real confrontation for it to be politically effective. It seems that civil disobedience does in fact have an irreducible symbolic dimension, but that it cannot be reduced to this dimension, because without moments of real confrontation it would also lose its symbolic power and turn into a mere appeal to the conscience of the powers that be. The articles in this special section highlight various of the challenges and possibilities the theory and practice of civil disobedience is confronted with today, from the question whether Paraguayan campesinos have a right of necessity also to uncivil actions via the political potential of the apparently criminal behaviour of marginalized migrants and the effects of ‘hermeneutic invisibility’ on the public nature of civil disobedience to the effects rise of ‘art activism’ on the relation between the social and the artistic and the situatedness of the bodies of protesters in relation to changing police tactics.

In ‘The Misadventures of Critical Thinking’ Jacques Rancière explores the anti-emancipatory effect of an artistic and theoretical critique that specializes in unmasking how all attempts at critique are always already anticipated and incorporated by ‘the system’, suggesting that we should instead focus on what he calls ‘scenes of dissensus’. As Joost de Bloois argues in his comment on Rancière’s text, however, this analysis might not only underestimate the complexity of this unmasking critique, it also seems to run into some of the same problems it diagnoses.

In our interview with Wendy Brown we discuss the emancipatory potential as well as the theoretical and political limits of the notions of democracy and communism, the paranoid practice of walling with which states seem to compensate their waning sovereignty, the Occupy movement and the danger of Oedipalization, the varieties of secularism, and the responsibility of teaching.”

Published in Amsterdam, 2012
101 pages
via Jappe Groenendijk



Jodi Dean: The Communist Horizon (2012)

3 January 2013, dusan

Rising thinker on the resurgence of the communist idea.

In this new title in Verso’s Pocket Communism series, Jodi Dean unshackles the communist ideal from the failures of the Soviet Union. In an age when the malfeasance of international banking has alerted exploited populations the world over to the unsustainability of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, it is time the left ended its melancholic accommodation with capitalism.

In the new capitalism of networked information technologies, our very ability to communicate is exploited, but revolution is still possible if we organize on the basis of our common and collective desires. Examining the experience of the Occupy movement, Dean argues that such spontaneity can’t develop into a revolution and it needs to constitute itself as a party.

An innovative work of pressing relevance, The Communist Horizon offers nothing less than a manifesto for a new collective politics.

Publisher Verso Books, 2012
Pocket Communism series
ISBN 1844679543, 9781844679546
256 pages

review (Samuel Grove, review31)
interview with the author (New Left Project)
lecture by the author (video, 79 min)

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