Issue 34 – Resistances in 21. Century

Editors: Görkem Akgöz – Aylin Topal

Changing Social Movements in 21st Century
Senem Atvur

This study focuses on the link between the change in the world-system and social movements. It argues that from 19th century to 21st century there has been three social movement cycles. Social
movement cycles are classified according to historical shifts in relations of production and in participants, aims and methods of struggle. Transformation of economic and social relations created by capitalism which is called world system by Immanuel Wallerstein is determinant on this classification. Hence, in the 21st century, the domination of capitalism along with globalization has increased. In this process originality of social movements and their references on alternative choices have revealed. It should be discussed whether social movements of the 21st century could be organized on the basis of class structure that might emphasize the antisystemic character of movements. The argument of this study is that if social movement participants acquire a proletarian consciousness and if solidarity network between movements is transformed into an organized structure, a global antisystemic struggle could be emerged.
Keywords: Social movements, capitalism, world system, antisystemic struggle, class.

Historicity of the Popular Rebellions in 21st Century: An Evaluation in the Framework of Neoliberal Enclosure, Commons and New Public Space
Ali Ekber Doğan

In this article, the world-historical importance of rebellious movements that have been spreading across the world since 2010 from Tunisia to Tahrir and Occupy Wall Street, from Puerta Del Sol to Taksim, then to Sao Paulo, to Sofia and to Sarejevo is addressed in the framework of the discussions around commons, (re-) commoning and new public space. The main question addressed here is whether the energy, potential, and the experience that have emerged during this process is adequate to pave the road to political revolutions as the way out of capitalism
Keywords: Rebellious movements, social revolution, reformism, commons, (re)-commoning, new public space.

Economic Development, Social Change and Political Protests in Brasil: From Import Substitution to July 2013
Alfred Saad-Filho
Translator: Ezgi Kaya

This article offers a political economy interpretation of the economic, social and political background to the protests taking place in Brazil in June-July 2013. This interpretation is based on a review of two strategies of development in the country, import-substituting industrialisation and neoliberalism, and the class structures associated with them. Their examination helps to locate the sources of social and political conflict in the country, and the demands of rival social groups. These are analysed in the light of the forms of protest that have emerged under neoliberalism. They lead to the conceptualisation of the lumpenisation of politics and the facebookisation of protest in thecountry.
Keywords: Brazil, Neoliberalism, Protest, Social Movements, Class Analysis.

The 20th Anniversary of EZLN Resistance: Lessons for the Mexican Left after the “Other Campaign”
Esra Akgemci

The “Other Campaign” of the Zapatistas has been one of the most significant cases that demonstrate the importance of the relationship between the social movements and leftist parties in Latin America recently. Following “The Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle,” the Zapatistas protested the election campaigns in Mexico’s 2006 elections, and announced the “Other Campaign” to build “another way of doing politics”. It was a call “from below and from the left” to build a national coalition for an alternative leftist program, and for a new constitution. However, Subcomandante Marcos as “Delegate Zero” on his tour of Mexico criticized the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) and its candidate López Obrador so severely that the “Other Campaign” was unexpectedly held responsible for the election defeat of the PRD, the main left-wing party. This paper first analyzes the role of the EZLN in this electoral process, and then tries to outline the main reasons of the EZLN-PRD confrontation. It is suggested that the Zapatistas’ position was crucial not for mobilizing votes and letting left to come to power but for indicating a basic contradiction that is implicit not only in Mexican left but also in Latin American left in the post-neoliberal era. Therefore the role of the social movements in this process should be analyzed beyond the electoral politics, and the contradictions in the Latin American left should be discussed within the relationship between the leftist parties and social movements. The paper aims to examine the new era in the Zapatista movement in this respect, and indicate the importance of its practice of resistance generated by the EZLN in terms of the future of the Mexican left.
Keywords: EZLN, The Other Campaign, Neo-Zapatismo, Mexican Left, PRD, 2006 Mexican elections.

Diaries of Resistance at the Workshop of the World: The Dynamics of Chinese Labor Movement

Görkem Dağdelen

This study examines the dynamics of Chinese labor movement in the context of capitalist accumulation of the last three decades in China. Conceptually it focuses on the sources of the bargaining power of workers which are assumed to be based on structural and associational dynamics. First, the structural sources of labor power are discussed around the debates of incomplete proletarianization. Second, the associational sources of labor power are analyzed with a focus on the organizational dynamics of Chinese labor movement and its successes such as wage increases. Thus this study argues that both structural and associational sources of labor’s bargaining power have potentials to offer labor movement new fronts against capitalistic and bureaucratic structures.
Keywords: China, capitalist accumulation, labor movement, sources of labor’s bargaining power, proletarianization, incomplete proletarianization, wage struggles.