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The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Lifeby George Katsiaficas
Synopses & Reviews
"A scholarly gem which is indispensable reading for anyone interested in how social change occurs, especially in the advanced industrial countries.”—Carl Boggs, National University
"This book is an important corrective to the all-too-common view that global capitalism is triumphant, that there is no basis for opposing the values it promotes.”—Barbara Epstein, University of California at Santa Cruz
Since the modern anti-globalization movement kicked off with the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, a new generation has been engaging in anti-capitalist direct action. Its aims, politics, lifestyles, and tactics grow directly out of the autonomous social movements that emerged in Europe from the 1970s through the mid-1990s. In fact, today’s infamous “Black Blocs” are the direct descendants of the European “Autonomen.” But these important historical connections are rarely noted, and never understood.
The Subversion of Politics sets the record straight, filling in the gaps between the momentous events of 1968 and 1999. Katsiaficas presents the protagonists of social revolt—Italian feminists, squatters, disarmament and anti-nuclear activists, punk rockers, and anti-fascist street fighters—in a compelling and sympathetic light. At the same time, he offers a work of great critical depth, drawing from these political practices a new theory of freedom and autonomy that redefines the parameters of the political itself.
George Katsiaficas—Fulbright fellow, former student of Herbert Marcuse, and long-time activist—is Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. Author or editor of more than 10 books, he is Managing Editor of the journal New Political Science.
Book News Annotation:
In response to the perceived cooptation of traditional leftist organizations such as labor unions and working class political parties by capitalist social relations and hierarchical authority, autonomous antisystemic movements--stressing values of feminism, anti-xenophobism, and sexual liberation and introducing new forms of social organization including group living, self-directed programs of work and study, and cooperative working relationships--arose in 1970s Italy and spread to Northern Europe, including Germany, where they became a potent social force in the 1980s. In addition to narrating the development and activities of these groups, this book analyzes them in terms of the "decolonization of everyday life," a theoretical position that differs from Antonio Negri's "workerism" analysis of these groups, which is extensively critiqued by the author. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A gripping account of European autonomous social movements from 1968 to the present
Cultural Writing. THE SUBVERSION OF POLITICS is a gripping account of European autonomous social movements from 1968 to the present. Katsiaficas presents the protagonists of social revolt in a compelling and sympathetic light, while drawing from from these political practices a new theory of freedom and autonomy that redefines the parameters of the political itself. "A scholarly gem which is indespensible reading for anyone interested in how social change occurs, especially in advanced industrail countries" — Carl Boggs.
About the Author
George Katsiaficas is a Fulbright fellow, a student of Herbert Marcuse, a long-time activist, and Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. He has authored and/or edited more than 10 books. Professor Katsiaficas is also the Managing Editor of "New Political Science", a popular academic journal.
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