in the name of the people
“One day perhaps we will write, think, and act en masse; entire communes will undertake a work.” —Novalis
In the Name of the People is an analysis and reflection on the global populist surge, written from the local forms it takes in the places we inhabit: the United States, Catalonia, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Quebec, Russia, and Ukraine. The upheaval and polarizations caused by populist policies around the world indicates above all the urgency to develop a series of planetary revolutionary interpretations, and to make the necessary connections in order to understand and act in the world.
The ghost of the People has returned to the world stage, claiming to be the only force capable of correcting or taking charge of the excesses of the time. The relationship between the collapse of certain orders, the multiplication of civil wars, and the incessant appeal to the People is clear: as the liberal mode of governance experiences a global legitimation crisis, different forms of right and left populism gain strength within the fractures of ever expanding ruins.
Populism has now become familiar as a global phenomenon: from the eruptions of the far right in the West to the populist capture of the movement of the squares—Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the Five Star Movement in Italy, or Our Revolution in the United States—to the electoral victories of Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Narendra Modi, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Brexit, all alongside large populist gains in every European country. While disparate in many ways, these dynamics all share an appeal to combat the rule and sensibility of the elites, with the help of a figure that can channel the affective energies of discontent through operations of identification and exclusion.
And yet, from the Narodniki to the Black Panthers and Zapatistas, to the emancipatory political movements which expressed themselves as the authentic people—Nuit Debout, the 99%, the indignados—history reminds us of revolutionary populisms.
How do we distinguish the new from the old? What are their limits and potentials? What is the nature of the affective flows that characterize their relations? How do we address the indeterminacy inherent in mass movements and mobilizations, as well as their confusions, fears, and hesitancies?
Friends: we pose the question of populism to you because it is the question our time poses to us.
More than a collective, less than a world, Liaisons is an inclination, a tangent, a crossroads of confrontations, encounters, and links, with authors from the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Quebec, Russia, and Spain.
Liaisons is born from a need to share connections, experiences, ideas, and strategies; to refine what is common in our perceptions of the age; and to share a language with friends, from Seoul to Moscow, and from Atlanta to Barcelona. More than ever, today's crises take on a transnational scope: from the repercussions of wars that take place at the most local and global of scales, to the real-time global administration of the algorithms which make up our lives it is evident that today's political configurations and tendencies cross borders just as much as migrants and pipelines.
Though there is little doubt as to the common of our convictions and sensibilities, their temporalities unfold unevenly. Each place displays fields of force, encounters, alliances, and degrees of political intensity and struggle within a singular conjuncture. Everywhere our way of living and fighting, building and thinking takes on a singular form. How do these experiences relate to each other? How can we consider them in constellation? How can we learn from distant efforts, at once so close to our own? In the spirit of experimentation, we propose an aggregation of fragments of thought and experience in a volume of applied research to appear on as many continents as possible. Organized around themes, Liaisons will open a space for a style and sensibility freed from the opposition of pamphlet or academy, with the aim of inventing new concepts and tools that allow us to face the epoch according to its abundant inflections.
Liaisons does not study the movement of others as an external object (movement history), nor does it project principles of revolution in the context of pure theory (intellectual history). Instead, Liaisons assembles analyses and theorizations directly from the ongoing struggles of affiliated groups, based in different parts of the planet and seeking a common ground. Liaisons has gathered on the basis of long-term friendships and, in ensemble, its discourses shed light on a horizon of living in struggle. The works of Liaisons are not embodiments of a shared doctrine, but rather research on the interconnectivity among singular problems and aspirations, in order to facilitate a planetary reverberation of militant autonomy. The works are to expand along with the permeation of the collective, and metamorphose amidst the fluctuating situation of the world.
This truly internationalist and collectivist publication boldly examines the forms of right and leftwing populism emergent in the fissures of the political world. Experimental in both form and analysis, In the Name of the People is the commune form of thought and text.
Table of contents
2. Separate the Separatisms [Quebec]
3. A Very Long Winter [Russia/Ukraine]
4. A Pueblo, A World [Mexico]
5. Decompose Japan [Japan]
6. Theses on Islamism [Lebanon]
7. American Triptych (Sons of Liberty / The People of Ford / Fragments on Camps) [United States]
8. KPopulism [Korea]
9. The People of the Apocalypse: Vox Populi, Vox Dei, Salvate [France]
10. Ruin, Fury, Fragmentation [Spain]
11. Greetings from the Peninsula [Italy]
Title: In the Name of the People
Publisher: Common Notions
Published: September 2018
Size: 8.5 X 5.5
Page count: 208 Pages
Subjects: Social Thought / Social Movements
List price: $18.00
Number of illustrations: 11