Item description for Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina by Marina Sitrin...
Chosen by Rebecca Solnit for her "Secret Library of Hope: 12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve" (Dec. 2007).
“The movements in Argentina have been among the most creative and inspirational in recent years. Marina Sitrin’s collection allows us to learn from the activists themselves and continue the experiments in autonomy and democracy they have begun.”—Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire
“...a fascinating account about what is fresh and new about the Argentine uprising.”—John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power
The popular rebellion that began in December 2001 in Argentina with the IMF melt-down and subsequent capital flight sparked a process of creativity that continues to this day. Different from so many social movements of the past, this rebellion rejects political programs, opting instead to create directly democratic spaces on street corners, in factories, and throughout neighborhoods. Many have come to call this new social relationship, “horizontalidad.”
Horizontalism is an oral history of the exciting transformations taking place since the popular rebellion. It is a story of cooperation, vision, creation and discovery. It is a history told by people in the various autonomous social movements, from the occupied factories, neighborhood assemblies, arts and independent media collectives, to the indigenous communities and unemployed workers movements.
Marina Sitrin is a New York City-based lawyer, writer, and activist who has spent large portions of the past three years in Argentina. Her work has appeared in Left Turn and Perspectives.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2006
Publisher AK Press
ISBN 1904859585 ISBN13 9781904859581
Availability 0 units.
More About Marina Sitrin
Marina Sitrin: Marina Sitrin is an author, lawyer, organizer and dreamer. She is an active participant in the Occupy movement and a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Globalization and Social Change at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Dario Azzellini: Azzellini is a lecturer at the Institute for Sociology at the Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) and holds a PhD in political science. He is an activist, writer and film maker. His latest film is -Comuna under construction- (2010).
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Fast Shipping. Great Buy May 25, 2008
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An inspiring account of struggle from below Apr 11, 2007
This is an inspiring collection of oral history excerpts detailing the anarchist ethos of Argentina's Horizontalist movement of the early part of this decade, in which thousands of people joined together in grassroots, participatory, anti-hierarchical struggles to rid themselves of government and take collective control of their lives and neighborhoods. Dozens of factories were taken over and run by the workers, 4 governments were ousted in a matter of days, and hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand "Que se vayan todos!" Everyone must go!
Sitrin records many stirring accounts of the political awakening and empowerment of ordinary people. They explain in their own words, humbly but eloquently, their anarchist principles of "autogestion" (self-management), and horizontalism, and their refusal to vie for government.
My only qualms with the book are that it gets to be somewhat repetitive, and could have been shortened by 50 pages without losing much detail. Also, as this is history from the grassroots, we never get a clear overview of the arc of the events of the late 90's and early 00's, or an explanation of how the movements fell short of their lofty goals, and what lessons were learned to help prepare for the next upsurge. And the lack of detail about the interviewees, such as age, class, occupation, family circumstances, prevents the speakers from fully coming alive in my mind the way that the interviewees of Studs Terkel or Robert Coles do.
But overall, this is a unique and valuable contribution to the literature on cutting edge of grassroots social struggle.
An amazing glimpse into the lives of the piqueteros! Dec 16, 2006
From the military dictatorship to the dictatorship of the market, the lives of the Argentinian people have been shaped by hardship, loss and tears. Though not lately receiving quite as much attention in the mainstream press as the Bolivarian revolution in Venezeuela, the social rebellion in Argentina is in many ways even more exciting as it is happening outside the realm of traditional politics and statecraft. In this wonderfully engaging oral history project, Marina Sitrin chronicles the lives of various women and men involved in the neighborhood assemblies, recuperated factories, the unemployed workers' movement, alternative media collectives, human rights organizations, radical student groups, lgbt activism, and feminist struggles that constitute the piquetero movement. Devoid of a populist leadership and a vanguard party, this is a movement that emphasizes decentralization, egalitarianism, horizontalism, consensus decision-making, autonomy, social protagonism, and face-to-face democracy. Rather than fighting for a centralized, authoritarian, bureaucratic state socialism, the piqueteros are building a grassroots, participatory socialism from below. Unlike other radical Latin American movements, this is largely a rebellion of the underclass rather than the working-class. While the industrial proletariat does play a critical role in the movement (i.e. the garment workers at Brukman, the print shop workers at Chilavert and the workers at the Zanon ceramics factory), other important groups play a vital role like students, queers, housewives, sex workers, artists, and the unemployed. Faced with overwhelming poverty and state repression, the brave Argentinian women and men in this book are pioneering a new form of social activism against the tyranny of global capital. For activists interested in the history of the Argentine financial meltdown, alternatives to neoliberal economics, and the hopes and dreams of the piquetero movement, this is a really important and extremely readable book!!!