Re-Embedding Citizenship in Revolutionary Politics

By Yavor Tarinski

To take no part in the running of the community’s affairs is to be either a beast or a god!

~Aristotle[1]

When exploring social change, one has to examine all aspects of it. Developing strategies and institutions that will help facilitate the coming into being and functioning of a democratic and ecological society is of an immense importance, and so is the anthropological type that will consist it. In this latter aspect, the concept of citizenship plays crucial role.

Continue reading “Re-Embedding Citizenship in Revolutionary Politics”

The Spatial Dimensions of Citizenship as an Antidote to Mob Rule

By Yavor Tarinski

The attraction of evil and crime for the mob mentality is nothing new. It has always been true that the mob will greet “deeds of violence with admiring remark: it may be mean but it is very clever.

-Hannah Arendt[1]

Among opponents of direct democracy there is this reoccurring argument of it being prone to the so-called “mob rule”[2], as if the people, once empowered, will most probably turn into a mob. But this line of thought, deeply submerged into oligarchic imaginary, is highly fallacious and deceptive. There are certain reasons because of which the people can degrade into mob, and Hanna Arendt’s work can provide clarity into distinguishing the former from the latter, as well as alternative civic routs that can lead to the emergence of an active citizenry instead.

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Cities beyond bureaucracy: Exploring commons-based strategies

Urban researcher Nikos Vrantsis interviews Yavor Tarinski, author of Common Futures: Social Transformation and Political Ecology [co-authored with Alexandros Schismenos] (Black Rose Books, 2021), on the current bureaucratic state of cities and the democratic perspectives offered by autonomous urban movements. 
Continue reading “Cities beyond bureaucracy: Exploring commons-based strategies”

All Power to the Neighborhoods: Greece Rises Against Police Barbarity

By Yavor Tarinski

With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. 

~Italo Calvino[1]

 In early March, this year, a group of motorized policemen reach a public square in the Athenian neighborhood of Nea Smyrni. There they begin checking the people around whether they have done the proper procedures according to the government’s anti-pandemic measures. Soon after that the policemen begin issuing fines to those who they deem to be outside in violation to the measures, which provoked disagreements among some of those gathered around, without however any sign of violence. Enraged by the calm and reasonable arguments of a young man, some of the officers attack him and start hitting him mercilessly with iron batons (that are not part of Greece’s standard police equipment)  all over his body, while he and all those around him beg them to stop. The whole incident is captured on video[2] by many of the passersby.

Continue reading “All Power to the Neighborhoods: Greece Rises Against Police Barbarity”

The bureaucratization of urban space and the need to reclaim our cities

By Yavor Tarinski

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City life, from its beginning, was all about uniting people that were not bonded by blood or clan ties. The only thing that connected them was the urban space they created and the ways of life it leads to. Continue reading “The bureaucratization of urban space and the need to reclaim our cities”

Free Public Transport and the Right to the City

By Yavor Tarinski

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“Free public transportation implies many changes, a completely new way to look at the city, both in terms of how we move and how we tax, but also how we live, where we live, how we relate to each other as a society, and our broader relationship to the urban, regional and global eco-system.”

Judith Dellheim & Jason Prince [1] Continue reading “Free Public Transport and the Right to the City”

Commons, Social Ecology and the Transcending of Capitalism

By Yavor Tarinski

scncc2Introduction

Life on this planet, as we know it, is a result of fragile environmental conditions that the contemporary predominant neoliberal system has already began to alter. Capitalism and its doctrine of unlimited economic growth seems to completely neglect this dependency and continues to violently exploit nature for the benefit of tiny elites, thus increasing their already enormous power. Continue reading “Commons, Social Ecology and the Transcending of Capitalism”