Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

by Henry A. Giroux Military-style command and control systems are now be­ing established to support “zero tolerance” policing and urban surveillance practices designed to exclude failed consumers or undesirable persons from the new enclaves of urban consumption and leisure. — Stephen Graham Young people are demonstrating all over the world against a variety of issues ranging from economic injustice and massive inequality to drastic cuts in education and public services.1 In the fall of 2011, on the tenth anniversary of September 11, as the United States revisited the tragic loss and celebrated the courage displayed on that torturous day, another … Continue reading Criminalizing dissent and punishing Occupy protesters

Taking notes 13: Roadblocks of the Old New Left

by Roland Boer Too often the road to the most valuable lessons from the revolutionary past faces a series of roadblocks. I think here of the way the Old New Left sets up and maintains those roadblocks. But who makes up the Old New Left? I mean those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s – a significant section of the Baby Boomers – and who were part of the Western wave of the “New Left” at that time. Soon enough they took over important leadership positions, gained control of organisations and journals, took up academic posts, and opted … Continue reading Taking notes 13: Roadblocks of the Old New Left

Taking notes 12: On the state of movements

by Antonio Negri Some American and European comrades have asked me, Why didn’t you have an Occupy movement in Italy? Why is the No TAV movement the only expression of social struggle? The No TAV, despite their strong success, despite their original expression of post-modernity class war, lacks the characteristics of the Occupy movements: an extension of social change, the power to remove old hierarchies, and, above all, a shared and “common” political dynamic open to radical political upheavals. But here’s another paradox: what sense does this question have now? The Occupy movements seem already dead. The Arab springs have … Continue reading Taking notes 12: On the state of movements

Taking notes 10: Plutonomy and the precariat

by Noam Chomsky The Occupy movement has been an extremely exciting development. Unprecedented, in fact. There’s never been anything like it that I can think of. If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead — because victory won’t come quickly — it could prove a significant moment in American history. The fact that the Occupy movement is unprecedented is quite appropriate. After all, it’s an unprecedented era and has been so since the 1970s, which marked a major turning point in American history. For centuries, since the country began, it had … Continue reading Taking notes 10: Plutonomy and the precariat

Nightfall II: Endgame for the American Way of Life

by P. J. Laska After commenting on the mass delusion that characterizes AWOL (the American Way of Life) in the Post-Meltdown era (Nightfall: Dimming of the dream) this essay looks at the significance of the Occupy Movement and presents Istvan Meszaros’ analysis of the unresolvable structural crisis of capitalism as a way of understanding the system’s failure to act on our present science-based foresight capability by addressing the critical issue of our species’ metabolism with nature.  It then examines the demented logic of extreme technologies that consume fossil fuel in order to obtain the additional fossil fuel necessary to continue … Continue reading Nightfall II: Endgame for the American Way of Life

Protest and power: The radical imagination

by Henry A. Giroux “This isn’t a student strike, it’s the awakening of society.” — Quebec protest banner In many countries throughout the world, young people are speaking out.[1]  They are using their voices and bodies to redefine the boundaries of the possible and to protest the crushing currents of neoliberal regimes that ruthlessly assert their power and policies through appeals to destiny, political theology, and the unabashed certainty bred of fundamentalist faith. From Paris, Athens, and London to Montreal and New York City, young people are challenging the current repressive historical conjuncture by rejecting its dominant premises and practices. … Continue reading Protest and power: The radical imagination

Towards a post-Occupy world

by Richard J. White Running deeply through radical critiques that have emerged across dissident academic, activist and public communities — critiques that have pricked the mainstream consciousness through their repeated denouncement of both the legitimacy and the desirability of the current orthodox economic and political system — is the spirit of Ya Basta! (‘Enough! Now for something else!’). As Wight (2012: 161) argued: One thing is clear, irrespective of how it will all end, the Arab Spring, looting in London, riots in Greece, wars across the Middle East and beyond, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the Occupy Movement are … Continue reading Towards a post-Occupy world

The relevance of Lenin today

by Chris Cutrone If the Bolshevik Revolution is — as some people have called it — the most significant political event of the 20th century, then Lenin must for good or ill be considered the century’s most significant political leader. Not only in the scholarly circles of the former Soviet Union, but even among many non-Communist scholars, he has been regarded as both the greatest revolutionary leader and revolutionary statesman in history, as well as the greatest revolutionary thinker since Marx. — Encyclopedia Britannica 2011 — year of revolution?  [1] Time magazine nominated “the protester,” from the Arab Spring to … Continue reading The relevance of Lenin today