Thinking about hegemony

Hegemony.jpg picture by adam_freedom  Today a friend handed back to me a long borrowed copy of Arif Dirlik’s Anarchism and the Chinese Revolution (University of California Press, 1991). Full of nuggets and insights, the work is composed of several essays discussing the influence and role of anarchism from about 1900 to 1930; a period of tremendous social upheaval in China. During this period anarchism occupied center stage in the radical left and had a wide impact in the themes and discourse of the left as a whole; which is only being slowly acknowledged in history and by those in the contemporary left.

  The role of culture and ideas and the role they have in either supporting or resisting oppression is widely seen as crucial for most revolutionaries today. But this wasn’t always the case up until a few decades ago as the writings of Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) became wider known. In this passage from Dirlik’s conclusion, he takes up the question of hegemony and the important place it held within Chinese anarchist discourse, as well as their particular stance on the matter, which differs from Gramsci. The anarchist writer Dirlik quotes, Italian Anarchist Errico Malatesta (18531932), wrote the excerpted piece from Anarchy in 1891, the year of Gramsci’s birth.

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Wallerstein’s essential analysis

Notes on Wallerstein’s “Historical Capitalism”

immanuel_wallerstein.jpg picture by adam_freedom

Why the hell do I find Wallerstein so interesting? To be honest, when close friends have told me that I’ve been stuck on him for the last year or so, they are absolutely right. So now I aim to explain to them and others why this is the case and why I think Wallerstein is nearly essential to any critical and revolutionary understanding of the world and how it works. I wish I could offer an outline of sorts, but below are choice quotes that I found most interesting.

 

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