Is power something negative? Does it always have to corrupt? And does “taking power” necessarily have to mean taking state power? This critique of John Holloway shows that communalism and autonomism provides two different answers to these questions.
In 2001 and 2002, Argentina saw a large-scale popular rebellion which has been termed the first anti-capitalist uprising in the 21st Century. As the country plunged into an economic crisis, popular assemblies were formed in the city of Buenos Aires, factories were occupied and taken over by fired workers and the unions of the unemployed were virtually in control of large territories of the country. Many of these movements were deeply inspired by ideals of horizontalism, direct democracy and self-government: Ideals hat resonated with the politics of the autonomists.
Holloway’s project in Change the World is commendable, as he starts out with a critique of the idea that we have to take state power in order to change society – an idea which has defined the major tendencies of the Left for more than a century.
Read also: Is Power Always Bad?