The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life
by George Katsiaficas
Overview:George Katsiaficas's account covers the period 1968-1996
and pays special attention to the role of autonomous feminist movements,
the effects of squatters and feminists on the disarmament movement and
on efforts to shut down nuclear power, and the antifascist social movements
developed in response to the neo-Nazi upsurge.
But his book goes beyond just accounting the history of European movements (which has been largely ignored by the US audience). His book is at the same time a sophisticated analysis of postmodern and postfordist capitalism which - by discussing theories of modern scholars such as Antonio Negri and Sheila Benhabib - makes us understand that any analysis which is limited to focusing exclusively on gender, ethnic, or workerist categories fails to unravel the goal of the autonomous movements: to find new antisystemic forms of participating democracy for achieving a greater control of individuals and communities over everyday life. Thus the book’s most notable value is to acknowledge the important role of the autonomous movements by offering us some perspective on how to limit the damaging effects of global capitalism on our lives."
--Professor Susanne Peters, University
"At a time when the dominant trends in politics and culture are toward the right, it is important to be aware that there are also counter-trends. With the knowledge and understanding of an insider, George Katsiaficas describes the Autonomen, the loose network of European young people who live collectively on the margins of society, and who combine the pursuit of a communal life with social action against racism and repressive politices of the right. This book is an important corrective to the all-too-common view that global capitalism is triumphant, that there is no basis for opposing the values that it promotes."
--Professor Barbara Epstein, University of California, Santa Cruz