An interview conducted for issue no. 7  of the French journal, Z, which perfectly illustrates the process of autonomous organization of the population in the face of the decomposition and collapse of the State apparatus. The example is valid for any other European country; the difference is only one of degree. Let us recapitulate some of the difficulties that stand in the way of autonomy: the inertia of a life subject to the commodity, the habit of appealing to the State for help, egoism, the rise of fascism, police repression, weariness in the face of constant sacrifices, etc. A life of freedom is not an easy road, but a life of slavery is not easy, either.
Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010) was a Professor Emeritus of political science at Boston University. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1922 to a poor immigrant family. He realized early in his youth that the promise of the “American Dream“, that will come true to all hard-working and diligent people, is just that—a promise and a dream. During World War II he joined US Air Force and served as a bombardier in the “European Theatre“. This proved to be a formative experience that only strengthened his convictions that there is no such thing as a just war.
To counter the current political challenges, we declare that the time to rise up and act collectively through a joint new network of revolutionary agenda is here. Through open assemblies, councils and open political bodies in every square, where communication and interaction will become possible, we aim to liberate ourselves. Not as lenders and borrowers, not as rich and poor, not as prosecutors and defendants, but as equal and free citizens, if we do not wish concepts such as democracy and freedom to become forgotten entries in encyclopedic dictionaries and history books.
This is the last issue of Occupied London, a journal that started in the political freeze-frame that was London in the mid 00s. In December 2008, at the continent’s other end, the frames started moving again; as they sped up, new movements, revolts, ripples of transformation appeared. We changed our shape to respond to this unfolding condition. For a few years, we focused on regular blog updates from the streets in Greece; then, taking a few steps back and a deep breath, we put a book together, trying to understand the state of the antagonist movement in Greece with our comrades.
For the greek translation, click here by Amedeo Bertolo If understood to the letter a democracy must be a stateless society… Power belongs to the people insofar as the people exercise it themselves. Giovanni Sartori This article is concerned with democracy from an anarchist point of view and with anarchism from a democratic point of view. The principal question is those aspects of the two political and philosophical categories which
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In May 2011, hundreds of thousands of Greeks swarmed into Syntagma Square. In a matter of days, a protest camp was set up – organized on the principles of direct democracy, leaderless self-management and mutual aid – providing a glimpse of utopia in the midst of a devastating financial, political and social crisis. On June 28-29, during a Parliamentary vote on further austerity measures, the state finally responded with brutal force, eventually evicting the protesters from the square and crushing the radical potential of their social experiment.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the age of revolutions is not over. It’s becoming equally clear that the global revolutionary movement in the twenty first century, will be one that traces its origins less to the tradition of Marxism, or even of socialism narrowly defined, but of anarchism. Everywhere from Eastern Europe to Argentina, from Seattle to Bombay, anarchist ideas and principles are generating new radical dreams and visions.
Τhe legacy of December, June and Syntagma square is still hard to assess. Future social struggles, however, are surely bound to approach it again, in order to understand and, finally, transcend it…
The Human Conditions is a very theoretical and influential book of the philosopher Hannah Arendt and, perhaps, one of the most important works for the understanding of direct democracy, along with these of Cornelius Castoriadis and Pierre Clastres. Arendt, here, identifies three fundamental conditions according to which life has been given to men, by introducing the term vita activita (activities of life). These conditions are: labor, work, and action. She, also, in the second chapter, describes four realms: the political, the social, the public, and the private.
Let us create, then, our own history, revolting against the totalitarianism of cynicism and spectacle, against the oligarchy of wealth. It’s time to hold peaceful but decisive actions across Europe. The Europe of people, not of the oligarchs and technocrats, is possible if we try together and coordinated. In the squares and streets real democracy, human creation, and communication can be reborn. Without leaders and mentors. Let’s become an embrace, which raises its fist. Let’s not live as slaves.