Holloway On Revolutionary Change
The publication a couple of years ago of John Holloway's Change The World Without Taking Power: The Meaning Of Revolution Today elicited a wide-ranging debate on the Left. In that book Holloway called for the creation of relations of "anti-power" – that is, the dissolving relations of power-over-others in our everyday struggles:
This project is far more radical than any notion of revolution based on the conquest of power and at the same time far more realistic.To Holloway,
flies caught in a web of social relation beyond our control, we can only try to free ourselves by hacking at the strands that imprison ourselves.This is achievable, he says, by focusing on a dialectics of negation, on a rejection of a world we feel to be wrong. The aim of his project is
to strengthen negativity ... to negate in whatever way we can the negativeness of our existence.For those who haven't read the book but who would like to explore some of the implications of this important prospectus for change, John Holloway has published a short essay here entitled "Can We Change The World Without Taking Power?" and attempts some kind of answer in nine short theses. Characteristically, he begins with a palpable sense of uncertainty:
1. I don't know the answer. Perhaps we can change the world without taking power. Perhaps we can not. The starting-point – for all of us, I think – is uncertainty, not knowing, a common search for a way forward.In his theses Holloway has some important things to so about state repression, alternative productive activity, self-organisation and democracy. As they say, read the rest.