Susan Buck-Morss asks: What does revolution look like today? How will the idea of revolution survive the inadequacy of the formula, “progress = modernization through industrialization,” to which it has owed its political life?
Socialism plus computer technology, citizen resistance plus a global agenda of concerns, revolutionary commitment to practices that are socially experimental and inclusive of difference—these are new forces being mobilized to make another future possible.
Revolution Today celebrates the new political subjects that are organizing thousands of grass roots movements to fight racial and gender violence, state-led terrorism, and capitalist exploitation of people and the planet worldwide. The twenty-first century has already witnessed unprecedented popular mobilizations. Unencumbered by old dogmas, mobilizations of opposition are not only happening, they are gaining support and developing a global consciousness in the process. They are themselves a chain of signifiers, creating solidarity across language, religion, ethnicity, gender, and every other difference.
Trans-local solidarities exist. They came first. The right-wing authoritarianism and anti-immigrant upsurge that has followed is a reaction against the amazing visual power of millions of citizens occupying public space in defiance of state power.
We cannot know how to act politically without seeing others act. This book provides photographic evidence of that fact, while making us aware of how much of the new revolutionary vernacular we already share.
Susan Buck-Morss is distinguished professor of political philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center, NYC. Her work crosses disciplines, including art history, architecture, comparative literature, cultural studies, German studies, philosophy, history, and visual culture.