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Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions

Incisive grassroots account of the new global revolutions by acclaimed BBC journalist and author of Meltdown

The world is facing a wave of uprisings, protests and revolutions: Arab dictators swept away, public spaces occupied, slum-dwellers in revolt, cyberspace buzzing with utopian dreams. Events we were told were consigned to history—democratic revolt and social revolution—are being lived by millions of people.

In this compelling new book, Paul Mason explores the causes and consequences of this great unrest. From Cairo to Athens, Wall Street and Westminster to Manila, Mason goes in search of the changes in society, technology and human behaviour that have propelled a generation onto the streets in search of social justice. In a narrative that blends historical insight with first-person reportage, Mason shines a light on these new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement. The events, says Mason, reflect the expanding power of the individual and call for new political alternatives to elite rule and global poverty.

Reviews

  • “The writing style of this reportage is compact, urgent, present-tense, declarative, and addictive.”
  • “He’s lively, funny and engaging, trading in the energy derived from the thrill and significance of what he’s witnessing.”
  • “Superb overview of the global protest movements of 2011.”
  • “This book not only reads as an in-depth consideration of global politics today, but offers a personal memoir from a man who has had a ringside seat. We are blessed that the BBC, for all the criticisms, still employs journalists whose logic and unfailing inquisitiveness brings us such analysis.”
  • “You will learn something new and challenging on every page of this book.”
  • “The mix of wide-ranging reportage and historical analysis is lively and insightful.”
  • “A cogent, accessible analysis of the ongoing forces of global upheaval….[a] lively collection of essays and reportage.”
  • “Testament to his instincts as a veteran journalist, Mason managed to be everywhere right as things were kicking off—traversing the globe from the Middle East to Europe to America to Asia. [T]he book combines a feel for the breathlessness of events as they unfold with a historian's eye for patterns and precedents...Mason's prose beautifully captures the almost surreal mood that often accompanies mass shifts in consciousness.”
  • “These reports are good journalism. One feels as if they are present at the rallies, occupations and riots that Mason describes. The anecdotal tales he provides should remind anyone who participated in any kind of popular resistance in the past decades of the energy and hope one finds and feels at such events. These are the stuff that makes one join such movements. Worthwhile and provocative.”

Blog

  • Syriza explained by Stathis Kouvelakis

    In this interview originally published in Nouvel Observateur, the political theorist and member of Syriza's central committee, Stathis Kouvelakis looks at the origins of the Syriza phenomenon.


     Protesters clash with policemen during riots at a May Day rally in Athens, 2010

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  • A Reply to the Sophists by Stathis Kouvelakis

    Since Syriza was elected, Stathis Kouvelakis, who is a member of the party's Central Committee, has been providing vital insight and analysis of the rapidly developing situation in Greece. Below he addresses current understandings of the Greek government's agreement with the Eurogroup, including that of Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra, posted earlier today.



    In the last few days there have been two sophisms circulating among those who refuse to look reality square in the face and recognise the retreat that Syriza has been forced to make, as well as its possible consequences. Or rather, two and a half. And I say ‘forced’ with good reason, because the new government has been trapped by its mistaken strategy: though I wouldn’t say it was a ‘betrayal’ or ‘capitulation’, since these are moralising terms that are of very little use for understanding political processes.

    Continue Reading

  • 'A Reply to the Sophists' by Stathis Kouvelakis

    Since Syriza was elected, Stathis Kouvelakis, who is a member of the party's Central Committee, has been providing vital insight and analysis of the rapidly developing situation in Greece. Below he addresses current understandings of the Greek government's agreement with the Eurogroup, including that of Étienne Balibar and Sandro Mezzadra, posted earlier today.



    In the last few days there have been two sophisms circulating among those who refuse to look reality square in the face and recognise the retreat that Syriza has been forced to make, as well as its possible consequences. Or rather, two and a half. And I say ‘forced’ with good reason, because the new government has been trapped by its mistaken strategy: though I wouldn’t say it was a ‘betrayal’ or ‘capitulation’, since these are moralising terms that are of very little use for understanding political processes.

    Continue Reading

Other books by Paul Mason