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John Holloway


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John Holloway is a professor of sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico. He has published widely on Marxist theory, on the Zapatista movement and on the new forms of anticapitalist struggle. His book Change the World without Taking Power has been translated into eleven languages and has stirred an international debate. His recent book, Crack Capitalism (Pluto, 2010), takes the argument further by suggesting that the only way in which we can think of revolution today is as the creation, expansion, multiplication and confluence of cracks in capitalist domination.

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Beyond Crisis: After the Collapse of Institutional Hope in Greece, What?
Editors: John Holloway, Katerina Nasioka, and Panagiotis Doulos
Publisher: PM Press/ Kairos
ISBN: 978-1-62963-515-6
Published: 08/01/2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 9x6
Page count: 256
Subjects: Political Science/Economics
$21.95


The government led by Syriza in Greece, elected in January of 2015, seemed, at least in its initial months, to be the most radical European government in recent history. It proclaimed itself as the “government of hope” and became a symbol of hope throughout the world. It represented for many the proof that radical change could be achieved through institutional politics. Then came the referendum of July 2015, the vote to reject the austerity imposed by the banks and the European Union, followed by the complete reversal of the government’s position and its acceptance of that austerity.

The dramatic collapse of the Syriza government’s radical discourse showed the limits of institutional politics, a lesson that is apparently completely overlooked by the enthusiastic followers of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. But it also poses profound questions for those who reject state-centered politics. The anarchist or autonomist movement in Greece has been one of the strongest in the world yet it has failed to have a significant impact in opening up alternative perspectives in this situation.

Is there then no way out? Is there nothing beyond the world of capitalist destruction or can we still see some possibility for radical hope? The essays in this collection reflect on the experience of the crisis in Greece and its political implications for the whole world. They do not point a way forward but seek to open windows in the darkening sky of apparent impossibility.

Praise:

Beyond Crisis does not look on the bright side. It looks straight into the eye of the storm and unfolds the hopelessness of conventional left politics in Greece and how it became part of the unfolding cycle of state violence and austerity. And it unfolds the community of hope, its courage of resistance and negativity, that has come to fore in Greece, and elsewhere too, as the direct democracy of a society of the free and equal.”
—Werner Bonefeld, professor of politics, University of York, England

“With Jeremy Corbyn calling for a ‘new way of doing politics’ and offering hope to millions, the publication of this book about Greece’s erstwhile ‘Government of Hope’ is timely. The questions it asks are essential. How does rage, hope and optimism turn into to despair and depression? Why can’t the institutional Left break through the ‘Wall of Reality’? And, if not Syriza, Podemos or Corbyn’s Labour, then what?”
—David Harvie, The Free Association

Beyond Crisis is a beautiful and unusually rewarding book. This extraordinary collection of essays combines theory with passion and impresses by its sweep and scope. Bursting with ideas and observations, with an ear for lyrical phrases, this highly original account of social struggles in Greece offers a fresh perspective on capitalism, resistance and dignified life beyond crisis.”
—Andrej Grubacic, coauthor of Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism and Radical History

“This book shows that the Greek crisis is testament of the impossibility of capital as a form of human society. Radical hope exists not in the abstract utopia of the party, but in the concrete utopias at the grassroots.”
—Ana Dinerstein, author of The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope

“This is not just one more book on the past, present and/or future dark aspects of economic crisis in Greece. It is not an analysis of ‘impossibility,’ but rather a courageous and challenging voice talking about something which is rarely mentioned in the political, economic, sociological, and anthropological discourses about crisis: hope!”
—Diana Riboli, professor of sociology, Panteion University, Athens


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We Are the Crisis of Capital: A John Holloway Reader
Author: John Holloway
Publisher: PM Press/Kairos
ISBN: 978-1-62963-225-4
Published: Spring 2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 9x6
Page count: 320
Subjects: Political Theory
$22.95


We Are the Crisis of Capital collects articles and excerpts written by radical academic, theorist, and activist John Holloway over a period of forty years.

Different times, different places, and the same anguish persists throughout our societies. This collection asks, “Is there a way out?” How do we break capital, a form of social organisation that dehumanises us and threatens to annihilate us completely? How do we create a world based on the mutual recognition of human dignity?

Holloway’s work answers loudly, “By screaming NO!” By thinking from our own anger and from our own creativity. By trying to recover the “We” who are buried under the categories of capitalist thought. By opening the categories and discovering the antagonism they conceal, by discovering that behind the concepts of money, state, capital, crisis, and so on, there moves our resistance and rebellion.

An approach sometimes referred to as Open Marxism, it is an attempt to rethink Marxism as daily struggle. The articles move forward, influenced by the German state derivation debates of the seventies, by the CSE debates in Britain, and the group around the Edinburgh journal Common Sense, and then moving on to Mexico and the wonderful stimulus of the Zapatista uprising, and now the continuing whirl of discussion with colleagues and students in the Posgrado de Sociología of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

Praise:

“Holloway’s work is infectiously optimistic.”
—Steven Poole, the Guardian (UK)

“Holloway’s thesis is indeed important and worthy of notice.”
—Richard J.F. Day, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies


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In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures
Author: John Holloway • Preface by Andrej Grubacic
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-109-7
Published: 03/2016
Format: Paperback
Size: 8x5
Page count: 112
Subjects: Politics-Radicalism
$14.95


In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism is based on three recent lectures delivered by John Holloway at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. In addition, it includes an introductory preface by Andrej Grubacic, the Q&A after each lecture, and a bibliographic essay by the author. The lectures focus on what anticapitalist revolution can mean today—after the historic failure of the idea that the conquest of state power was the key to radical change.

The lectures take as their central challenge the idea that “We Are the Crisis of Capital” (and proud of it). This runs counter to many leftist assumptions that the capitalists are to blame for the crisis, or that crisis is simply the expression of the bankruptcy of the system. The only way to see crisis as the possible threshold to a better world is to understand the failure of capitalism as the face of the push of our creative force. This poses a theoretical challenge. The first lecture focuses on the meaning of “We,” the second on the understanding of capital as a system of social cohesion that systematically frustrates our creative force, and the third on the proposal that we are the crisis of this system of cohesion.

Praise:

“Holloway’s work is infectiously optimistic.”
—Steven Poole, the Guardian (UK)

“Holloway’s thesis is indeed important and worthy of notice”
—Richard J.F. Day, Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

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beyondIn, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures: A Review
By Stella Darby
Antipode
June 2016

In Against, and Beyond Capitalism comprises three lectures–collectively titled “After Capitalism”–given by Holloway at the California Institute of Integral Studies on three consecutive days in April 2013. Andrej Grubačić’s preface introduces key theories and theorists influencing Holloway’s thinking. I initially wondered if diving straight in with negative dialectics, post-1968 Marxism, Italian autonomists, and state derivationism could be off-putting for the reader who (like me) feels intimidated by much of Leftist intellectual philosophy. However, this preface carefully highlights relevant terms and authors, situating the more accessible talks which follow within a helpful and concise theoretical context.

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