On the evening of 22 January 2018, the Governor of Puerto Rico announced the complete privatisation of the island’s power utility. The public statement came four months after hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the archipelago leaving thousands of people homeless or dead and over 40 percent of the population without access to electricity and running water. Puerto Rico’s energy system was crumbling long before the tropical weather systems of September 2017 hit the archipelago. The hurricanes only laid bare the unsustainable conditions of the extremely expensive and fossil fuel-generated electrical power regime.
Blaming citizens for their alleged populist or anti-democratic turn is misleading. Without the active involvement of the economic elite, both foreign and domestic, authoritarian capitalism could not have emerged in Hungary.
Hungary was once praised as an example of successful democratisation and EU integration, but now has joined the ranks of ‘liberal’ nations backsliding into authoritarianism. Many commentators blame Orbán and his anti-migrant, anti-EU populist rhetoric, but ignore the underlying causes in particular the failings of market reforms in the country, high unemployment, low wages, spiraling household debts, and a nationalist capitalist class resentful of the advantages given to their transnational capitalist competitors.
The forces that shaped modern Brazil made the rise of a figure such as Lula da Silva all but inevitable. Conditions in Brazil today mean his imprisonment is certainly not the end of this chapter in the nation's story. Pablo Gentili, Executive Secretary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), analyses the parallel between Brazil's history and the story of its most charismatic leader.
In the wake of an economic crisis, a left-wing government in Greece found itself at the centre of a maelstrom. The containment of popular sovereignty, the imposition of stringent austerity measures, and the authoritarian implementation of neoliberal reforms spurred widespread social and political antagonism. In this new book, Andreas Karitzis' observations aim to shape a new methodology of emancipatory politics and effective social mobilisation.
Santiago Arconada Rodríguez, Karina Arévalo, Javier Biardeau, Atilio A. Borón, Ana Esther Ceceña, Reinaldo Iturriza, Claudio Katz, Edgardo Lander, Miguel Mazzeo, Claudia Korol, Juan Carlos Monedero, Nildo Ouriques, Isabel Rauber, Maristella Svampa, Marco Teruggi, Zuleima Vergel, Raúl Zibechi
10 August 2017
Venezuela is passing through a period of acute political, economic and social turmoil, which has intensified the debate within the regional and global left about the nature, the legacy and the prospects of the Bolivarian process.
Puerto Rican intellectual Enrique Toledo responds to Edgardo Lander's comments on the (Latin American) left's unconditional support of Chavismo and its lack of critical analysis (Original interview in English here). This response was originally published in Spanish by La Diaria. The article was translated into English by TNI with the author's consent. Please find the original Spanish article on La Diaria here.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays/short papers and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming report on the issue of counter-power. Abstract deadline extension: 17 September
Transformative Cities is an opportunity for progressive local governments, municipalist coalitions, social movements and civil society organizations to popularize and share their experiences of tackling and finding solutions to our planet’s systemic economic, social, political and ecological crisis.
The initiative draws on the emerging wave of transformative political practices taking place at municipal level worldwide, by launching a unique award process that will ensure that the lessons and inspiration of these cities becomes viral.
The Latin American left’s unconditional support of Chavismo has reinforced the negative tendencies of the Venezuelan experience. Many leftists around the world have not learned from past mistakes and end up endorsing “mafia governments” such as that of Nicaragua, and that “when the Venezuelan model collapses”, the international left may simply “look elsewhere”.
The rise of the right and the growing difficulties faced by national progressive projects, including the apparent end of the cycle of left governments in Latin America and the challenges encountered by the Syriza-led administration in Greece, brings the issue of strategy into central focus. The election of Donald Trump, a right-wing populist, as the US President, combined with the resurgence of extreme-right forces in Europe, makes the rethinking and renewal of emancipatory politics that more urgent.