Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 4)

A normative view of marches might see them as the proverbial gateway drug for a lot of disaffected people. Smaller direct actions, such as those perpetrated by UK Uncut, are usually a lot more fun, and a lot more empowering. It is also in these types of action where the real benefits of horizontal organisation … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 3)

The last week of January saw a number of protests and direct actions back-to-back. On Saturday 29th was two student demos, one in central London, one in Manchester. The London action was also my first as a legal observer –for the uninitiated, a legal observer’s job is to document and hopefully deter unlawful police action. … Continue reading

Leveling the playing field: horizontal politics, technology and activism in 2011 (part 2)

Renowned anarchist and social theorist Colin Ward once observed how the philosophy of anarchism had, prior to the phenomenon of 1968, been consigned to the dustbin of nineteenth century also-rans. In the ‘60s, at the height of the Cold War, authoritarian communism loomed large in the form of a still-potent USSR; academic Marxism had proliferated … Continue reading

Rethinking Gender, Power, and Ideas

Last week I went to a hustings in West Dorset. Four parliamentary candidates (the three main capitalist parties and a Green) had been invited to a church hall to discuss foreign policy specific to the Middle East, which, notwithstanding the confusing inclusion of Afghanistan, almost exclusively focused on Israel and Palestine. I don’t mean to … Continue reading

Nothing Says ‘Female Empowerment’ Like a University Beauty Pageant

On the Catwalk

Without a doubt, if I were to call upon any of the prominent transformative women’s movements of the last few decades, all would sagely agree that the epitome of emancipation and female agency is the sound of three-inch heels clicking along a cat-walk, and the vapid ‘fashion’ and aphorisms of beauty pageantry. This is what the … Continue reading