Tag Archives: revolution

Mariya Ivancheva: The revolution will not be criticized? The (im)possibility of left-wing critique in Venezuela

This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).

After heading the pink tide in Latin America, the Bolivarian government in Venezuela has most recently experienced significant challenges (Bolton 2016). With oil prices sinking, inflation skyrocketing, and consumption goods chains being blocked by commercial networks sympathetic of the opposition, the government has started losing support in its base. Gloating over power cuts and “food shortages”—or more accurately, deficits of certain consumables—opposition-supporting international and Venezuelan private media are hysterically preparing for a pyrrhic victory of the free market over socialism. Scandalized by ever-stronger reactions against Dilma Rouseff’s presidency in Brazil, Venezuelan government supporters home and abroad take an ever more defensive stance shielding the government from internal and external critique alike.
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Marina Gold: The end of the pink tide: Cuba

This post is part of a series on the Latin American pink tide, moderated and edited by Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmiths, University of London).

Does Obama’s visit herald the end of the Cuban Revolution?
On Thursday, 18 December 2014, I received an urgent WhatsApp message from a Cuban friend, who was then in Spain with his Spanish girlfriend.[1]

“Pon CNN ahora mismo! Se acaba el bloqueo.” (Turn on CNN now! The blockade is over.)

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Mark Berry: Richard Wagner’s revolution: “Music drama” against bourgeois “opera”

Contrary to widespread opinion, Richard Wagner started off his career as the most revolutionary composer of the nineteenth century, not just in a musical sense but also in a more straightforwardly political manner. Contemporary obsession with alleged anti-Semitism in his dramatic works, aided and abetted by the de facto prohibition upon their performance in Israel, has tended to drown out all other controversy, of which there should be more, not less, both in quantity and in quality.
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Dina Makram-Ebeid: “Old people are not revolutionaries”: Labor struggles and the politics of value and stability (ʾistiqrār) in a factory occupation in Egypt

On 11 February 2011 I stood in Tahrir Square surrounded by millions celebrating the toppling of Mubarak following eighteen solid days of battle. Around me were people from all walks of life: Saʿidis (“Southerners”) who came all the way from villages in the south, street children turned rebels, family members of martyrs who were killed during the eighteen days, leftist feminist women, members from the Muslim Brotherhood—you name it. In between the shoving of the crowd and the incipient boredom with the monotony of the celebrations and the exuberating vibes, the chants were pretty standard: “down down with Mubarak,” “the people have toppled the regime,” and, from the more religious, “God has toppled the regime.”
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Massimiliano Mollona: The Brazilian “June” revolution: Urban struggles, composite articulations, and new class analysis

The June 2013 revolution that shook Brazil last year took everybody by surprise. It started in Sao Paulo as a small gathering against a looming rise in the cost of public transport, and in two weeks it spread to 400 cities and towns, bringing millions of people (6 percent of the national population) to the streets and forcing President Dilma Rousseff to start a process of constitutional reform. For many political observers, this “movement of movements” was a labor movement, which brought together diverse forces of labor—the kind of Latin American “bricolage” socialist movements described by Göran Therborn (2012).1 But, are these bricolaged, working-class formations—to use the expression of Van der Linden—“atypical”? Atypical in relation to what? Are they not part of the same tradition of working-class “communing” described by Susser (2013) and Kalb (2014) for the United States and Europe? Contemporary urban struggles are complex and complicate traditional, factory-based, approaches to class. Below, I describe and analyze the struggles that took place in Rio de Janeiro in the summer 2013 and offer some ideas on how anthropology, geography, and political economy can be put in dialogue for a contemporary class analysis.2

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Philip Proudfoot: Interventions, Conspiracy, and the (Un)making of the Islamic State in Syria

Introduction
With the rise of the Islamic State—ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah (“Da’ish”)—senior figures in the American and British establishment reportedly considered working with the Syrian government to “fight this threat.” As of 23 September 2014, such debates are academic—US bombs are falling over Aleppo and Raqqa. It’s unknown if the regime clandestinely offered its approval; what we do know is that—aside from stressing the need to respect international law, to cooperate with the Iraqi government, and to protect the lives of civilians—no official condemnation has been issued.1 In one year we’ve transitioned from debating strikes against the Syrian regime to a Western-led alliance now bombing the regime’s enemies. To some this might appear surprising, but for many opposition fighters engaged in the revolutionary struggle, these events were a long time coming. This post2 tries to explain why.
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