The Joy of Revolution, Ken Knabb


Chapter 1: Some Facts of Life Utopia or bust. Stalinist “communism” and reformist “socialism” are merely variants of capitalism. Representative democracy versus delegate democracy. Irrationalities of capitalism. Some exemplary modern revolts. Some common objections. Increasing dominance of the spectacle.

Chapter 2: Foreplay Personal breakthroughs. Critical interventions. Theory versus ideology.Avoiding false choices and elucidating real ones. The insurrectionary style. Radical film. Oppressionism versus playfulness. The Strasbourg scandal. The poverty of electoral politics. Reforms and alternative institutions. Political correctness, or equal opportunity alienation. Drawbacks of moralism and simplistic extremism. Advantages of boldness. Advantages and limits of nonviolence.

Chapter 3: Climaxes Causes of social breakthroughs. Postwar upheavals. Effervescence of radical situations. Popular self-organization. The situationists in May 1968. Workerism is obsolete, but workers’ position remains pivotal. Wildcats and sitdowns. Consumer strikes. What could have happened in May 1968. Methods of confusion and cooption. Terrorism reinforces the state. The ultimate showdown. Internationalism.

Chapter 4: Rebirth Utopians fail to envision postrevolutionary diversity. Decentralization and coordination. Safeguards against abuses. Consensus, majority rule and unavoidable hierarchies. Eliminating the roots of war and crime. Abolishing money. Absurdity of most present-day labor. Transforming work into play. Technophobic objections. Ecological issues. The blossoming of free communities. More interesting problems.


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