Through a survey of the most marginalized voices across Latin America—feminists, the Indigenous, people of African descent, and inhabitants of urban favelas and shantytowns—he introduces the Anglo world to a range of critical perspectives and new forms of struggle. For Zibechi, real change comes from “societies in movement,” the people already fighting for their survival using egalitarian and traditional models of world-building, without the state, without official representatives, and without vanguards of political experts. His book contributes to global geographies of autonomous and anti-state thinking, with Zibechi placing his work in conversation with the ideological theorist of Kurdish resistance, Abdullah Öcalan, for a rich and dynamic survey of global movements of decolonization. Now more urgent than ever, this translation by George Ygarza Quispe comes at a time when the global left—struggling to expand its vision in a time of climate chaos and rising authoritarianism—finds itself at an impasse, desperate to animate and renew its critical imaginary.
Cosponsored by JHU LACLxS
Raúl Zibechi is a writer, popular educator, and journalist working with social organizations and processes in Latin America. He has published twenty books on social movements in which he has criticized outmoded, state-centered political culture. He publishes in various media in the region La Jornada (Mexico), Desinformémonos, Rebelión, NACLA Report on the Americas, and Correo da Cidadania, among others. His books translated into English include Dispersing Power (2010), Territories in Resistance (2012), and The New Brazil (2014).
Christy Thornton is an Assistant Professor in the Johns Hopkins University Department of Sociology and the Co-Chair of the Program in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies. She is also the co-director, with Quinn Slobodian, of the History and Political Economy Project. She is a 2023 Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, as well as a non-resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, and include the history of development and international institutions, labor and social movements, Latin American political economy, Mexican state formation, and the transnational war(s) on drugs. Before graduate school, she was for five years the Executive Director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), a 50-year old research and advocacy organization working on Latin American affairs and the U.S. relationship with the region, and she is currently a member of the Board of Directors there.