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On Bolivia, Macron, Randian Chile.
In this month’s ‘Three Articles’ – in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack – we discuss Bolivia’s coup and a left-wing argument against Morales; Macron’s big interview in the economist and his questionable ‘defence of sovereignty’; and a libertarian nutjob goes berserk in Chile.
Rojava offered the hope that a progressive, multiethnic politics might be salvaged from the ashes of Syria’s civil war. Now the Turkish assault on northern Syria looks set to crush the Kurds and a radical experiment in the region.
We talk to two British volunteers in Rojava about the prospects that the political structures set up there might be saved.
- Dani Ellis (@lapinesque): engineer; civil defence volunteer, International Commune (@communeint)
- Alexander Norton: deputy features editor, Morning Star; revolutionary volunteer, International Freedom Battalion
- 05:27 – Dani interview
- 41:39 – Alexander interview
- 01:27:51 – Final discussion
Readings & Links:
- YPG: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (People’s Defence Corps); PYD’s armed wing in Syria
- YPJ: Yekîneyên Parastina Jin (Women’s Protection Units); all-female militia
- PYD: Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party); Syrian Kurdish affiliate of the PKK
- SDF: Syrian Democratic Forces; alliance composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, led by the YPG
- PKK: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers’ Party); Kurdish party in Turkey founded in 1978 by Abdullah Öcalan. Started armed insurgency in 1984, thousands of fighters in northern Iraq and Turkey
- IFB: International Freedom Battalion; armed group of foreign leftists fighting for the YPG in support of the Rojava Revolution
- MLKP: Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, Turkey
- TEV-DEM: Movement for a Democratic Society; umbrella organisation in northern Syria, aims at organising Syrian society within the democratic confederalist system
In our second Reading Club, we discuss Eliane Glaser’s Anti-Politics (Repeater, 2018) and take readers questions and contributions.
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On Argentina’s elections and Chile & Ecuador’s revolts.
Macri’s election was heralded by the right across the continent as the end to a sequence of centre-left governments in South America. Now only four years later, he is likely to be thrown out of office by the return of ‘Kirchnerismo’. Next door, the supposedly “stable and growing” Chile is in flames as protests and riots challenge the conservative Piñera administration and the country’s deep inequality. This follows on the heels of weeks of mobilisations in Ecuador against the ending of a fuel subsidy. What’s going on and what does it all signify?
[Chile & Ecuador discussion starts at 46mins]
A new format in which we each bring to the table a key article to unpick and unpack.
This week we take a sharp look at the crumbling US political establishment and its empire: impeachment and regime legitimacy; centrist rebels against their lefty parents; and the betrayal of the Kurds.
On environmental protest politics. Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Strike have brought eco protest back to the front pages. But it all seems a bit of a flashback to the 2000s. We examine the protests’ alarmism and post-political positioning. After inequality and class have been put on the agenda again, do these protests represent a step back? We also ask what might be done about climate change if we don’t go along with these groups’ interpretations and demands.
On UBI and social reproduction.
Following on from ep. 88 where we discussed post-work with Anton Jäger, we have Amber on to talk about her recent article in Jacobin on Andrew Yang’s proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Is a citizen under a UBI regime really assimilable to a mid-century American housewife? How free is either? Does fully automated luxury communism put too much emphasis on luxury and not enough on communism? And would UBI lead to a more or less alienated society?