bureaucracy

The Castle - Franz Kafka

Kafka's last novel, The Castle is set in a remote village covered almost permanently in snow and dominated by a castle and its staff of dictatorial, sexually predatory bureaucrats. The novel breaks new ground in exploring the relation between the individual and power, asking why the villagers so readily submit to an authority which may exist only in their collective imagination.

From workers autonomy to social autonomy: the experience of Socialisme ou Barbarie. An interview with Daniel Blanchard - Amador Fernández-Savater

Daniel Blanchard (a/k/a Pierre Canjuers) discusses his experience as a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie during the 1950s and 1960s in this undated interview published in 2008.

From the Russian revolution of 1917 to Stalinist totalitarianism - Agustín Guillamón

A historical essay on the transition from Russian Revolution of the Soviets to bureaucratic dictatorship under Stalin, with special emphasis on the period extending from the February Revolution to the period of War Communism.

The middle class, the partocracy and fascism - Miguel Amorós

A discussion of “partocracy”, defined as “a modern type of developmentalist oligarchy” characterized by the abrogation of popular sovereignty by a political class largely based on the declining and insecure middle classes, which acts on behalf of the needs of economic expansion but is based on an extensive network of patronage relations, establishing a regime in which “fear is used as an instrument of government” to impose “a policy of resignation”, together with an analysis of how this regime differs (e.g., decentralized vs. centralized corruption) from fascism, despite certain similarities.

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit - David Graeber

David Graeber discusses technological advancement, capitalism and bureaucratic culture.

Catastrophism, disaster management and sustainable submission - Rene Riesel and Jaime Semprun

In this book first published in 2008, Jaime Semprun and René Riesel examine the attempt by predominantly First World governments and NGOs to utilize the specter of an environmental apocalypse as an alibi to save “industrial civilization” by imposing a rationed form of “survival”, justified by a terroristic propaganda campaign based on fear, enforced by an expansion of the state’s coercive powers, and facilitated by the mass conformism and resignation that “industrial society” has induced in the population by creating an “anxiogenic environment” of “insecurity and generalized instability”; “[f]or the fears proclaimed by the experts … are in reality nothing but orders”.

Domination without a subject (part one) - Robert Kurz

In Part One of this 1993 essay, Robert Kurz criticizes the largely unexamined assumptions underpinning the “vulgar Marxist” use of such political concepts as power, interest and domination; discusses the development of the more nuanced understanding of these concepts expressed in theories associated with the names of Weber, Michels, Trotsky and Freud; and assesses the role played by structuralism and systems theory in the establishment of an “apologetic” theory of subjectless domination which must be replaced by a “critical and revolutionary praxis” that is no longer Marxism of a “subjective-ideological type”.

Amongst the Rubble: a look at the Christchurch Earthquake from the Bottom Up

While the dust settles and Christchurch recovers from the 7.1 earthquake, people have begun to pick up the pieces and get on with their lives. But for many working class people this is not so easy.

Birth of a revolutionary movement in Yugoslavia - Fredy Perlman

Cover, Birth of a Revolutionary Movement in Yugoslavia

1969 pamphlet by Fredy Perlman on the beginnings of the 1968 revolutionary movement in Yugoslavia. Later republished as "Revolt in socialist Yugoslavia: June, 1968".