Anticapitalist Economy in Rojava: The Contradictions of the Revolution in the Struggles of the Kurds
The intellectual, self-critical and organizational transformation of the Kurdish Movement toward the adaptation of democratic autonomy as a new horizon of the struggle for social emancipation requires an understanding not only of the historical background that has created the Rojava Revolution but also of what defines it in the present. Autonomy as the process of building revolution, the contradictions and conflicts of this process and how social transformation is created through communes and assemblies are some of the issues posed in this book. Before discussing the autonomy of Rojava, the reader will encounter the history of Rojava’s resistance since the division of Kurdistan by several borders, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, to understand the social bases of the revolution itself and the subjectivities of the people who are organizing the revolution and striving for autonomy. Anti-capitalist Economics in Rojava starts with the argument that, in order to create real social emancipation, the revolution must break with the domination of capitalism by creating anti-capitalist and communal spaces and practices; The book focuses on the organization of the social economy, cooperatives and the women’s economy to analyze the anti-capitalist capacity of the Rojava experience.
The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher
The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher is a riveting account of the bumpy first decade of the work life of Karim F Hirji, a retired Professor of Medical Statistics. Filled with a distinctive variety of eye-opening episodes, it covers lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam, the life of a political exile in a remote rural area and the challenges of setting up from scratch a one-of-a-kind educational institute in Africa. With a style that seamlessly combines the personal with the general, Hirji provides an illuminating description of different aspects of the Tanzanian political, educational, economic and rural landscape during the 1970s. Starting with a commentary on teacher training, he concludes with a critical comparison of modern university education in the nation with that of the earlier era.
A clearly written, excellently illustrated, valuable and absorbing reflection upon a rich lifetime in teaching that deserves an international audience. Richard Pring, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Education, and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
The remarkable life of a principled Tanzanian educator told with emotion and humor. Peter Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, Keele University UK and Lecturer in Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, 1970-72.
Karim Hirji’s account of four decades of teaching in post-colonial Tanzania is a timely call on teachers to: “educate in ways that will promote equality and social justice”. Dr Anne Harley, Paulo Freire Project, Centre for Adult Education, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o with Rosa Hirji, holding a copy of The Travails of a Tanzania Teacher i.
For the love of the struggle: Memoirs from El Salvador
The Spanish edition of this book was presented as an offering during the ceremonial mass commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the slaying of 6 Jesuit priests by the army during El Salvador’s civil war.
You can watch Brian Murphy interviews Andrés McKinley here.
From his home in El Salvador where he has lived over four decades, the author shares an intimate personal and political memoir that follows his remarkable journey from the comfort and security of a picturesque New England town to a stirring and heroic engagement in common cause with the struggle for peace and justice in El Salvador.
After four years as a Peace Corp worker in northern Liberia beginning in the late 1960’s, followed by a stretch back in the United States as a street worker in the ghettos of North Philadelphia, McKinley finds himself in Central America as an aid worker in 1978. He quickly becomes engulfed by the political violence of the region and engaged with the people and their struggles against five decades of military dictatorship, centuries of poverty and exploitation. The story is marked by terror, adventure and courage, by trials and tragedy redeemed by the beauty and transcendence of people in struggle.
Originally based in Guatemala heading up a Catholic relief agency, his commitment to the struggles for change in the country attracts the attention of the military, and his own government, forcing him to leave the country in late 1980. He moves to El Salvador where he begins a gradual incursion into the revolutionary struggle of this country, in a commitment that will last the rest of his life.
Interwoven with this personal journey, is the story of Teresa Rivas, her husband Antonio, and their five children, a peasant family whose commitment as catequists with the Jesuit, Rutilio Grande, led to their eventual incorporation into the guerrilla forces of the FMLN after Grande’s assassination in 1977. The book describes the circumstances under which the author meets Antonio Rivas and family in the war zones of El Salvador, falls in love with them and their cause, and commits to accompanying their struggle through its darkest hours during the most violent years of the war. It also describes their life after the war, with resettlement in the lowlands of Guazapa where many ex-combatants were building a new life.
Interwoven with these stories, is the epic of a decades-long people’s struggle for economic justice, human rights and authentic democracy in El Salvador. The book lays out the social, economic and political origins of the armed struggle that caught fire in the 1970s, and the experiences of a people in desperate pursuit of non-violent options for democratizing their country and assuring a dignified life for the impoverished and marginalized majority of its population. It explains in detail the gradual emergence of the objective and subjective conditions for revolution in El Salvador, including the difficult choice for the use of violence as the only available option for transformative change in the country.
The book also details the challenges of reconstruction after the Peace Accords that end the war in 1992, and the tragedy of opportunities lost during the immediate post-war period in the face of the ongoing resistance of traditional opponents to reform. The author—himself deeply involved during these years in support of non-violent political organizing and advocacy—describes the efforts to sustain peace and to resolve the issues that continue to threaten the country with political violence. One of these is the water crisis that threatens the viability of the nation and life itself, and the book reveals the processes of organizing behind the ultimately-successful 17 year struggle to ban metallic mining—an historic victory in 2019 approved by a vote in the National Assembly, and without precedent in the world.
As the memoir closes, the author reflects on his choice to be in El Salvador over the past 43 years, and the country as he finds it in these changing times; on the family with whom he has shared love and life there; on his continuing relationship with Antonio Rivas and his surviving family; and his gradual reconciliation, from a distance, with the country of his birth.
With a Foreword by Charlie Clements, author Witness to War (Bantam, 1984) and Former Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Andrés McKinley has penned a beautiful, moving love story – a stunning tribute to his family and country of birth and to his family and country of re-birth. Read it also as a tribute to a generation whose best and brightest members seized the opportunity to be a part of the social justice movements that were unfolding around the world. Theirs was not a journey for fame or for fortune. Baby-boomers, read this book to remember; others, read this to understand not only the sacrifices made but, more importantly, the fulfillment gained. May others follow Andres’s path to love, wherever it may take take them. — Robin Broad (Guggenheim Fellow) and John Cavanagh (director, Institute for Policy Studies), coauthors
of The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed (Beacon Press, 2021).
The voice is simple, authentic, articulate, and consistent and coherent throughout. Given the unique and dramatic personal story that Andrés tells, it is actually understated and quiet—restrained intensity is how I might describe it. What really sets it apart, though, is the intimacy, care and respect with which he describes and tells the stories of the Salvadorans with whom he shared life and struggle throughout these years (and for that matter the villagers in Liberia in his early Peace Corps years). … It is a work of great humility, even as it tells a heroic tale without flinching, and in great detail. Nor is he romantic about the course that the struggle has taken; he is unflinching in that as well, and so leaves history open-ended but blessed with the grace of those who struggle. — Brian K. Murphy, writer and organizer, former policy analyst at Inter Pares, who writes at MurphysLog.ca
This is a very impressive book which tells a truly remarkable personal story, without the story becoming purely personal. In fact, there is a great deal of political history in the book, which I can confirm as I also studied as well as lived through some of the Salvadorean civil war. The truly incredible Salvadorean peasants who stayed in the war zones despite army incursions and US backed aerial bombing, are just as he describes them. They led me also to a lasting respect and love for them, even with- out the long term depth of experience of the author. The way the author brings us so many personal stories is very powerful. We get to know the friends he makes and then to feel as he did, when they lost their loved ones in this horrendous violence un- leashed on the Salvadorean poor and their allies by the Salvadorean wealthy elites, their military and US backers. — Jenny Pearce, Research Professor, Latin America and Caribbean Centre, London School of Economics
Andrés McKinley’s book For the Love of the Struggle is a moving and personal account of his involvement in the fight for justice in El Salvador during the civil war of the 1980s. But more than the events he describes, with great detail and political insight, it is his love for the people of El Salvador that sets this book apart. From working with church related organizations, to joining the guerrillas in the liberated zones, to his work along the communities opposing metallic mining, it is his relation- ship with the people, particularly the humbler ones, which stands out.
Most books that deal with the civil war in El Salvador end with the signing of the Peace Accords, which put an end to the armed conflict and laid the foundation for a more democratic and just El Salvador. As important as the Peace Agreements were, they did not solve all the problems and conflicts of the country. When several rural communities were threatened in the early 2000s by the efforts of trans- national gold mining interests, they rose in defense of their rights through social organization and peaceful opposition. In spite of the repression they suffered, after 17 years of struggle they finally prevailed, showing how people united, can bring about change.
This belief is particularly important now, at a moment in which our democratic insti- tutions are being threatened precisely by those who should be the first to protect them. It is the role of organized civil society to defend what we have conquered and McKinley’s book is an excellent and timely reminder that this is something possible and necessary to achieve.— Francisco Altschul is a former Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States
Being human after 1492
Richard Pithouse’s extraordinary overview of the what is means to be human after 1492:
… On 9 August 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The movement that grew out of the rebellion that followed inaugurated a new sequence in the struggle against racism in the United States. As with previous sequences in that struggle it quickly acquired an international dimension, including here in South Africa. One aspect of this international moment has been an urgent confrontation with the reality that what Césaire called ‘abstract equality’ does not, on its own, mark an end to the racialization of life.
In the United States, and elsewhere, there is a sense that history is as present as it is past. Just over a decade ago, Baucom observed that “what-has-been is, cannot be undone, cannot cease to alter all the future-presents that flow out of it. Time does not pass or progress, it accumulates”. It is the sense that time accumulates into the present that has often led to the invocation of William Faulkner’s famous line from Requiem for a Nun in discussions about race: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The past does not merely haunt or shape the present via the enduring power of deep and impersonal structural forces. Across Europe, and in settler societies like Australia, Brazil and the United States, racism is an increasingly explicit and menacing presence at the centre of political and social life. White revanchism has rallied, often under demagogic leadership, to secure the racial order that emerged from the event of 1492. It has already resulted in Brexit in England, the impeachment of an elected President in Brazil and the election of a figure as grotesque as Trump in the United States.
We will not be able to transcend the epoch that began in 1492 without a politics that can confront and defeat this revanchism. And we will not have transcended this epoch until “things, in the most materialistic meaning of the word” are, as Fanon insists, “restored to their proper places”. But the catastrophe from which we are all derived is not solely a matter of material dispossession and accumulation. As Michael Monahan argues, in conversation with Wynter, “the history of colonialism is also the history of the emergence of the idea of Europe and of Europeans, and . . . it is such ideas and cultural practices that inevitably shape our consciousness, conditioning what counts as normal and, ultimately, as rational”.
Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context
We are pleased to announce that your book Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies Keeping the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle Alive: Theory, Practice, Context has been nominated for the Rik Davidson / Studies in Political Economy Book Prize in Political Economy.
Politics, Democratization and Academia in Uganda: The Case of Makerere University
The value of this brilliant, thoroughly researched, and vigorously written book extends far beyond Makerere University and the case study of its academic union that is a central feature. The authors raise questions applicable to universities worldwide: the meaning of “democracy” for members of the academy, the relationship of the university to government, and the responsibility of academics and the media to the society that they ostensibly serve. Makerere’s failure to advance gender equity is the main focus of one chapter and a leitmotif in several others. A probing and sometimes personal analysis of the Law School, with which all the authors are associated, complements its contribution to the cause of democracy in Uganda. At once reflective and challenging, the authors invite further exploration by academics and policy-makers around the world.
— Carol Sicherman author of Becoming an African University: Makerere, 1922-2000 (2005), Professor Emerita, Lehman College, City University of New York
Penned by brilliant legal academics, this anthology about that African academic giant—Makerere University—takes the reader on a fascinat- ing and engaging journey about the history of the organizational expression of African intellectuals and their links to the democratic struggles in Uganda. Arguably the best text on academia I have read in a long time, the book provides a deeply examined and superbly chronicled account of the manner in which Makerere University has been a thorn in the side of successive dictatorial governments, while also unpacking the warts that threaten to blight the academy; simply magnificent!
— Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice & President of Supreme Court, Republic of Kenya, 2011-2016
This is a very valuable and a timely contribution to our understanding of sites of struggle in African countries. It focuses on Makerere University as a site of struggle for democratisation. The authors have done a marvellous job. If the sister universities of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi were to produce studies, we would have a veritable trilogy of struggles at our universities in East Africa.
— Issa G Shivji, Professor Emeritus of Public Law & First Julius Nyerere Professor of Pan-African Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Alma mater to presidents, public intellectuals and pundits of all disciplines, Makerere University has attracted considerable scholarly and popular attention, both in respect of its prominence and achievements, as well as with regard to its failures and foibles. As the oldest (and arguably best-known) university in Uganda and the wider eastern and central Africa region, Makerere looms large in the history of higher education on the continent.
This book explores the relationship between a public university of unique historical importance and the contestations over democratization that have taken place both within campus and beyond. It is pivoted around the late-20th century struggles by university staff and students for improved living conditions against the backdrop of the early programs of structural adjustment and economic reform pursued by the National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) government adopted soon after taking power in 1986.
Although seemingly introverted in focus, in many respects these efforts represented the earliest forms of political resistance against a regime of governance that promised a great deal, but disappointingly delivered considerably less. Collectively, the chapters demonstrate that there is neither a single narrative nor a textbook formula about the relationship between the academy and democratic struggles. Instead of forcing an unsupported and false consensus on the definitive role of Academia in politics, the book seeks to stimulate a robust debate on the subject.
Preface by Hon. Justice Solomy Balungi Bossa
1. Introduction: The Academy and Political Struggle in Uganda J. Oloka-Onyango
2. The Role of Academia in the Democratization Process Benson Tusasirwe
3. For whom doth the Academic bell really toll? Unpacking the engagement of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) in Uganda’s Democratization struggles Maria Nassali
4. Intellectuals and the Fourth Estate: Analyzing the Coverage of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) in the Ugandan Media (1989-2020) Ivan Okuda
5. Between Activism and “Hooliganism”: Civic Engagement and Democratic Struggles in Makerere University Students Guild Dan Ngabirano
6. Juggling the Personal and the Political: The Case of Female Academics at Makerere University Sylvia Tamale
7. Contending with the past and building for the future? The Paradoxical contribution of Makerere University School of Law to dictatorship and democratization in Uganda Busingye Kabumba
8. Conclusion: The Political Economy of University Education: Revisiting democratic alternatives for Makerere and Uganda Frederick W. Jjuuko
Stratégies familiales, diasporas et investissements: Migrations, mobilités et développement en Afrique Tome 2
À rebours des thèses soutenant que la migration contribue au développement ou que l’in- vestissement dans le développement réduit la croissance de la migration « irrégulière », ce livre marque une rupture tonifiante avec les idées communes abondamment véhiculées dans la littérature sur les liens entre migration, mobilités et développement en Afrique. Il accorde un intérêt manifeste pour la plus grande part des mobilités africaines, lesquelles se situent à l’intérieur du continent, et à la formation des diasporas en dehors des fron- tières nationales et continentales. Cette considération conjointe des mobilités « Sud-Sud » et « Sud-Nord » permet de remettre en cause l’hypothèse selon laquelle il existe des diffé- rences fondamentales entre elles.
Cet ouvrage examine les fluctuations ordinaires des mouvements de populations – à travers l’Afrique, comme dans le reste du monde –, qui étendent les familles, génèrent de nouvelles relations, reconfigurent les connexions économiques et politiques, et sont intégrées dans l’expérience quotidienne des millions de personnes qui y prennent part.
The in-depth knowledge of the mostly African authors adds to the quality of a research field, which was for long far too Eurocentric. – Ilke ADAM, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Il était temps de mettre en lumière ce que migration et mobilité représentent en Afrique. L’ouvrage offre une perspective originale et décoloniale sur le sujet. – Eric HAHONOU, Roskilde Universitet (Denmark)
Christian Bouquet, « Quelques éclairages nouveaux sur les migrations africaines », EspacesTemps.net [En ligne], Books, 2020 | Mis en ligne le 20 November 2020, consulté le 20.11.2020. URL : https://www.espacestemps.net/en/articles/quelques-eclairages-nouveaux-sur-les-migrations-africaines/ ; DOI : 10.26151/esapcestemps.net-jc2a-6b03
Avec la participation de John O. IGUE, Saydou KOUDOUGOU, Pierre-Joseph LAURENT, Bassirou MALAM SOULEY, Hamidou MANOU NABARA, Marème NIANG NDIAYE, Amadou SARR DIOP, Sadio SOUKOUNA , Eric Stève TAMO MBOUYOU et Astadjam YAOUBA.
Aporias de Moçambique pós-colonial: Estado, Sociedade e Capital
Este livro escrutina o impacto significativo da independência em diferentes sectores da sociedade moçambicana. Quarenta e cinco anos após a independência, Moçambique conheceu várias transformações. O Moçambique pós-colonial é hoje, em muitos aspectos, diferente do Moçambique colonial. No entanto, existem muitas questões permanentes relativas a essas transformações e ao seu impacto na maioria do povo moçambicano.
Ao salientar as contradições de todos os processos políticos e sociais em Moçambique pós-colonial, neste livro levantamos questões que visam desconstruir alguns mitos sobre o país.
Temas como estado, desenvolvimento, política, cultura, nação, políticas públicas, políticas agrárias e outros são questionados em abordagens teóricas inovadoras e progressivas, a fim de compreender o passado, o presente e o futuro de Moçambique numa perspectiva crítica. Por conseguinte, cada tema do livro é tratado de uma perspectiva crítica para melhor captar as aporias dos últimos quarenta e cinco anos de independência.
A liberalização política que deveria permitir mais partilha de poder e mais respeito pelos direitos políticos e cívicos consolidou, pelo contrário, um regime autoritário que utiliza a ajuda internacional e os benefícios da indústria extractiva não para transformar o país, mas para construir a sua hegemonia política, económica e social em todo o país.
Defendemos neste livro a tese de que é impossível compreender a verdadeira dinâmica social, política, económica e cultural sem considerar o “povo” como uma categoria essencial de análise.
Apesar de muitas transformações positivas que ocorreram após a independência, Moçambique ainda preserva muitas heranças coloniais e, portanto, várias transformações estão ainda por implementar.
Neste trabalho afirmamos que Moçambique é governado por elites que são incapazes de descolonizar o projecto de desenvolvimento que ainda está ancorado na agenda da capital internacional.
O objectivo deste livro é dar uma melhor compreensão do que tem sido o processo de independência em Moçambique e porque é que o país pós-colonial ainda é colonial na sua estrutura política e económica. Assim, são dados muitos exemplos para dar ao leitor a possibilidade de confrontar as perspectivas teóricas aqui utilizadas com os casos concretos.
Todos os estudos deste livro mostram que quarenta anos de independência não foram vividos da mesma forma pelas elites que governam o país e pelas populações que vivem sob o seu domínio. Por um lado, as elites no poder e os seus parentes beneficiaram, e ainda beneficiam dos recursos do país, enquanto que uma grande parte da população continua à espera das promessas da independência.
De um ponto de vista político a económico, os estudos que compõem o livro destacam como o “desenvolvimento” em Moçambique tem estado em contradição com as necessidades do país. Significa que o actual modelo de desenvolvimento responde muito mais à capital internacional do que à transformação social de Moçambique.
Rinky-Dink Revolution: Moving Beyond Capitalism by Withholding Consent, Creative Constructions, and Creative Destructions—English (Spanish and Korean editions also available)
This pamphlet tackles the question: how do we get from A to B, capitalism to post-capitalism?
It is critical reading to understand why:
- Capitalist-oriented industrial agriculture and its destruction of habitat are the upstream causes that led to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other past and future pandemics of devastating, emerging viral pathogens.
- COVID-19 may trigger a collapse of the global capitalist system but it is not the cause.
- Health-care and public-health systems organized around capitalist principles don’t do well in pandemics, compared to those not organized around capitalist principles.
- The current economic collapse, triggered by a pandemic, opens a door for revolutionary transformation.
The pamphlet is available in Spanish and Korean.
Rinky-dink Revolution involves actions and inactions that are easy, safe, mundane, unglamorous, and feasible within every person’s life.
Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution … is small to be sure—light-weight, unimposing in appearance, and with an abbreviated wing-span of just 72 pages total, including 11 pages of fore-and-after-matter. A quick read. But rinky-dink? Quite the opposite. …
Like the best revolutionaries in all times and places Howard Waitzkin is guided by a powerful sense of possibility as well as deep feelings of love. He’s pissed off to be sure, because he pays attention to the crimes of racial capitalism. But he also knows that “even anger at injustice makes the brow grow stern,” and that being pissed off will not take us where we need to go—only love and joy and generosity can do that. He illustrates over and over that the greatest weapon in the cause of liberation is our beating human hearts longing to be free.
This book is bantam-weight, as I said—the perfect mini-manifesto to slip into your back pocket or your backpack, a worthy companion as we mount the next action or tend the community garden. — Bill Ayers. Rinky-Dink billayers.org
But what exactly does revolution look like? Is it putting on a beret, slinging an AK-47 over your shoulder, and trying for that far-away look in your eyes? Well, no, that’s called suicide by cop (and nobody is going to put your face on a T-shirt). In the short pamphlet/e-book/PDF/audiobook Rinky-Dink Revolution (available on a donation basis from Daraja Press and at Monthly Review), Waitzkin suggests instead that we engage in postcapitalist forms of social organization. He gives us examples such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, the Rojava in northern Syria, Jackson, Mississippi, and Rustbelt collectives such as the Horizontal Stateline Autonomous Zone in Northern Illinois. … Waitzkin calls it a Rinky-Dink Revolution because it’s everyday stuff that you can do while you scour the thriftshops in search of that beret.— Seiji Yamada On Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution. Counterpunch.org
Howard Waitzkin presents a clear, straightforward intervention for revolutionary change in the global capitalist economic system. He covers much ground, with sophistication, while keeping the argument grounded. His focus on ways to facilitate a challenge to capital and to build further revolutionary transformation is crucial at this historical juncture. The discussion of creative constructions and creative destructions is particularly useful. —Brett Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Utah, and author of The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift
The end of capitalism is possible. Waitzkin takes us a step further in the creative process for transformation. Through specific examples from organized groups within the United States and abroad, this work constitutes a practical guide for everyone. Waitzkin encourages our creativity for organized, safe acts and omissions to transcend capitalism. —Nylca J. Muñoz Sosa, lawyer, public health leader, and activist focusing on health justice and decolonization in Puerto Rico
Waitzkin is among the expanding list of authors who openly reject the imperative of capitalism for infinite economic growth. He clearly understands that the world can provide better lives for all of humanity while reducing the total mass of capitalist production, which is overwhelmingly wasteful…. Rinky-Dink Revolution is a great contribution to probing how we can live our lives in ways that prepare us for the society we hope to bring into being. It is more than worth reading – it is something to think deeply about.
Moving beyond capitalism now 8
Peculiar ways to struggle without confronting capitalism 12
Rinky-dink revolution and revolutionaries 21
Creative constructions 36
Creative destructions 49
The death of capitalism and the birth of something else 65
About the author 68
Vision statement: Moving beyond capitalism—now! — Howard Waitzkin and Firoze Manji 70
You can listen to the audiobook here: