Friday, 16 July 2010

John Holloway and Crack Capitalism: marxism versus autonomism

John Holloway is the author of Change the World Without Taking Power, a defining text for the anti-capitalist movement, which first appeared in 2002 after the movement had reached a peak.

The book was born of the upswing of a new radicalism, but its analysis shared many of the weakness of the anti-capitalist movement itself. Some years later, after several wars in the ‘Global War on Terror’, and the economic crash, it might be expected that Holloway would respond to the new context.

However, this new book, Crack Capitalism, is a disappointment in precisely this respect. Holloway evades the crucial questions facing the Left, and offers few solutions to the multiple crises of contemporary capitalism.

Holloway’s worldview, normally described as autonomist, has proved popular with many activists and those radicalised by the anti-neoliberal mobilisations and campaigns of the last ten years and more.

His focus on direct action, on a DIY grassroots approach to politics, has justifiably appealed to many in the movement.

What was lacking in the anti-capitalist movement was a serious sense of the concerted strategy needed to challenge the capitalist system. Holloway’s new book is ostensibly about precisely this problem, yet it is defined largely by a shortage of serious strategic thinking.

Read the rest of my review HERE.


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