Radical Politics

Law’s Catastrophe and the Greatness of Syriza


Two narratives compete for the truth of today’s global political stage. On the one hand, there’s the narrative of leftist irresponsibility and incorrectness. On the other, an austere narrative of correctness based on the general notion that there’re certain obligations we must fulfil as a matter of necessity. At a more particular level, this second narrative is…

Syriza’s new contract between Greece and Europe

Alexis Tspiras

On Sunday 8 February 2015, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras explained the government’s policy commitments. Thanks to AnalyzeGreece and GreekReporter, we are happy to publish excerpts from his statement. The new contract between Greece and Europe which will be reflected in a Medium Term Plan for National Reconstruction, respects the Eurozone operating rules, but does not condemn the Greek economy…

Syriza: The Greek Spring

Syriza Victory

According to an oft-​repeated cliché, the recent Syriza victory has historic significance. Its place in history books as the first elected left government in Europe is assured. But its importance goes further. The Syriza victory is an important marker in three historical periods or concentric cycles that started in 1949, 1968 and 1989. The year 1949…

‘We are not with the State, We are with the Community’

We are not with the State, We are with the Community

All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. — E. A. Poe1 In an interview that Alexis Tsipras gave to the journalist Stavros Theodorakis in June 2012, we hear Tsipras explaining SYRIZA’s manifesto and saying: ‘We are not with the State, We are with the Community’.2 I had to pause and replay this over and…

SYRIZA Wins: Reflections While the Tide is Turning


There is a war between the ones who say there is a war and the ones who say there isn’t. ∼ Leonard Cohen It is probably uncontroversial to argue that the Greek elections of the 25th January will be remembered as one of the most important in the history of Greece, of the Eurozone and of the post-​1989 Left…

The Podemos Wave


The countries of Southern Europe are extremely diverse, both socially and politically. But they are taking the brunt of the impact caused by the same misguided policy imposed by Central and Northern Europe via the European Union (EU), with varying but converging outcomes. In broad terms, this amounts to chaining these countries to their peripheral…

Open Letter to the Young Women and Men of Mexico

Mexico Protest

To all my friends from Mexico. And if I may, I would particularly like to address this to you, the young men and women of Mexico. The whole world has been greatly shocked by the massacre of the young men from the rural teachers’ college of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, and in particular by the horrific details. I understand your great anguish,…

Legal infrastructure, differentiated space and the spectacle of ‘lawful protest’: The Australian G20 (Safety and Security) Act 2013

Brisbane Exclusion Zone

Queensland is this year host to various G20 meetings, most prominently the Finance Ministers’ Meeting that was held in Cairns on 20 & 21 September and next month’s Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane on 15 & 16 November. At a cost of over $450 million, a massive security operation is being coordinated by the Commonwealth Government Taskforce (G20

Politics in Times of Anxiety


Politics in Times of Anxiety springs from the 9/​11 attacks, when public safety and security turned into a central concern across the globe. The subsequent economic crisis that broke out in 2008 in the USA and its gradual spread across Europe initiated a protracted period of global slump and distressed views of political representation to be found in…

A Brief Reflection on the Hard Left

If the only deaths worth mourning are those of children, we have become complicit with the oppression that dehumanizes their communities. Image by  Israeli artist Amir Schiby in tribute to four boys killed on a beach In Gaza

Why use the term ‘hard-​left’ to describe candidates to the left of the Labour Party? What is ‘hard’ about these candidates, by contrast with political parties who oversee draconian cutbacks to expenditure in health and education and social services, or parties who set the police on social welfare claimants whilst releasing fraudulent figures on fraud,…

Notes for a Non-​Statocentric Politics


The statocentric gaze proposes to think of social change as a conflict between the political class (“chancers, crooks, liars”) and a “we” that is essentially healthy (“the real people”, “decent folk”, “the multitudes”). It would be sufficient for “the good guys” to reach power (through their representatives) to change the state of things. But neoliberalism is in fact a co-​production. With different levels, but we all produce it among ourselves (by entering into competition with our neighbour, by speculating, etc.). It is not enough to be against “the bad guys” as if there were about the place somewhere a “good us” that already existed. A new reality has to be created (and we have to change with it).

Six Theses on Anxiety & the Prevention of Militancy


Today’s public secret is that everyone is anxious. Anxiety has spread from its previous localised locations (such as sexuality) to the whole of the social field. All forms of intensity, self-​expression, emotional connection, immediacy, and enjoyment are now laced with anxiety. It has become the linchpin of subordination. One major part of the social underpinning of anxiety is the multi-​faceted omnipresent web of surveillance. The NSA, CCTV, performance management reviews, the Job Centre, the privileges system in the prisons, the constant examination and classification of the youngest schoolchildren. But this obvious web is only the outer carapace. We need to think about the ways in which a neoliberal idea of success inculcates these surveillance mechanisms inside the subjectivities and life-​stories of most of the population.

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cupcake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is something spongy, moist, characterized by excess, collapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, meringue, and cream. It is something sickly and wet that makes your fingers sticky. The cupcake is none of these…

Five Theses on the Aftermath of the Ukrainian Revolution

Protesters rally round the monument to founders of Kiev in Independence square

1 The escalation of the Crimean crisis has all but obscured the events in the Ukraine during November 2013 – February 2014 that led to it and which alone make it intelligible. What took place during this period was a revolution in the full sense of the word, i.e. without the qualifying adjectives such as ‘velvet’, ‘colour’, etc.,…

If the state isn’t a corporation, what might it become?

Enrique Chagoya. The Pastoral or Arcadian State, Illegal Alien’s Guide to Greater America, 2006

That British and other states are becoming increasingly privatised is the sad litany of our age. So too is the way states incorporate market principles of price and competition within their own internal governance structures. And now, with companies running public services, owning public assets, and providing a model for how state bodies should interact, the…

“We are not from another planet”: Justice 4 Cleaners Campaign and the Struggle for Recognition

Subaltern Speak

The on-​going struggle of the SOAS Cleaners for acceptable working conditions and equality in the workplace has received some media attention since its inception in 2007 – 2008. For a thorough and engaging analysis of the history of cleaners’ labour activism across the city, including the massive contributions they have made to the London Living Wage Campaign, see…

Some Reflections on the #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO

Xanti Schawinsky, Shakespeare Die beiden Veroneser, Räuberballett, 1925Xanti Schawinsky Estate © Xanti Schawinsky Estate

The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (MAP) opens by noting the depth of the current crisis – “cataclysm” – and a negation of the future by “coming apocalypses”. No need for alarm however: there is nothing political-​theological here whatsoever, so those who came looking for that might as well stop reading now. Absent, too, is the usual refrain about the…