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Cover of book titled Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives

Politics at a Distance from the State: Radical and African Perspectives

Kirk Helliker, Lucien van der Walt

For decades, most anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements identified radical change with capturing state power. The collapse of statist projects from the 1970s fostered both neo-liberalism and a global crisis of left and working-class politics. But it also opened space for rediscovering democratic, society-centered, and anti-capitalist modes of bottom-up change, operating at a distance from the state. This resurgent alternative has influenced the Zapatistas in Mexico, Rojava in Syria, Occupy, and independent unions and struggles worldwide around austerity, land, and the city. Its lineages include anarchism, syndicalism, autonomist Marxism, philosophers like Alain Badiou, and popular praxis. This pathbreaking volume helps recover this once sidelined politics, with a focus on South Africa and Zimbabwe. It includes a dossier of texts from a century of anarchists, syndicalists, radical unionists, and anti-apartheid activists in South Africa.

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