Across Europe, the radical Left has contrasting lessons to draw from the recent elections. Only in Greece did the bearer of a real alternative, Syriza, emerge as the biggest party. The results of the European elections, but also of the regional and local elections, were incontestably a success: but this merely opens up a new period in politics, including the immense tasks of building a social movement. Ensemble's
Mathieu Dargel spoke to Syriza member Stathis Kouvelakis
The workingmen of Europe feel sure that...the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy.
— Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, 1864
Today marks two hundred and thirty eight years on from the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson and others. It was Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, published in The Rights of Man and Common Sense, which inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. The passionate cry for independence continues to this day, with the recent call for a Scottish independence.
We've teamed up with architecture and design magazine Dezeen
to give away 5 copies of Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture
by curator, critic and Dezeen columnist Justin McGuirk
sees McGuirk journey across Latin America to meet architects, activists and politicians, to find out how cities are evolving in countries including Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina.
"Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions – from vast housing estates to sprawling slums," it reads.
"But after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality."
Italy is not an anomaly in Europe, but something like a concentrate of it, runs the central argument of Perry Anderson's
recent article, mistitled "The Italian Disaster
, in the London Review of Books
,. In a recent interview with Leonardo Clausi for the Italian news magazine L'espresso
, Anderson comments on the European elections and the new President of the European Council, Matteo Renzi.