Left Alone: On Solitude and Loneliness amid Collective Struggle
Left Alone brings together 15 authors and seven visual artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America to individually and collectively reflect – in words and images – on an urgent psycho-political issue that has not yet been explicitly addressed through a left-political lens, that is, Left Loneliness. Combining academic and more personal-political texts, including an interview, poetry, rap and a powerful short story, the book explores the contributors’ personally and/or vicariously lived experiences of Left Loneliness from a variety of genres and left political currents: Marxist, Feminist, Anti-/De-Colonial, Anti-Racist, Queer, Post-Soviet, Anarchist, Anti-Ableist and others. Says Feminist writer Sara Ahmed: “Loneliness might be what we are threatened with if we persist in being or doing what we are being or doing.” In this sense, Left Loneliness is neither a metaphor nor a secondary contradiction and definitely not a type of petty bourgeois ‘personalism.’ Rather, it might be considered one of the rank-and-file psycho-affective elements that both shapes and results from our myriad, intersecting, unremitting, yet always fragile and potentially shattering political attempts to revolutionise our inner and outer worlds. Given its (growing?) existence in our everyday left subjectivities, the book argues that Left Loneliness and related states of solitude, isolation and alienation, among others, have both debilitating and productive (epistemic) dimensions, with very concrete psycho-somatic repercussions for Left Mental and Physical Health and hence our capacity to persist and build on “being or doing what we are being or doing.” Given that continuing and deepening our multiple ongoing struggles for liberation will depend on our constant ability to (re-)create, sustain and care for both our individual selves and the communities that we are a part of, the aim of Left Alone is to contribute to the strengthening of these personal collectivities in action in-against-and-beyond capitalism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy by inviting comrade-readers into what we hope will be a deeply stimulating and enabling personal-political engagement with texts and images hailing from Argentina, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey/Kurdistan, Jamaica, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Germany and the USA. In short, in the words of one of the book’s authors, Lena Grace Anyuolo from Kenya, “My sisters and brothers, Come, Let us gather, To lay the structures for a joyous existence.” Yes, let’s.
The Revolutionary Ecological Legacy of Herbert Marcuse
The Revolutionary Ecological Legacy of Herbert Marcuse: Inspired by the revolutionary legacy of Herbert Marcuse’s social and political philosophy, this volume appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles: ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces.
Marcuse argued that U.S.-led globalized capitalism represented the irrational perfection of waste and the degradation of the earth, resurgent sexism, racism, bigoted nationalism, and warlike patriotism. The intensification of these regressive political tendencies today must be countered, and this can be best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. From Marcuse’s perspective, the world needs a strategy to go on the offensive for the real changes that can extend race and gender equality, labor freedom, economic abundance, leisure, communal well-being and peace. Marcuse’s “Great Refusal” captured the Sixties’ spirit of rebelliousness which expressed a visceral repugnance at the totality of the efficiently functioning social order of advanced industrial society. “The whole thing is outdated, crooked, humiliating. . . it does not have to be: one can live differently . . . as the ‘leap’ into a qualitatively different stage of history, of civilization, where human beings, in solidarity, develop their own needs and faculties.”
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