A list of links and primers for the Italian movements of the 60s and 70s.
On more than thirty occasions between 1776 and 1779, American men and women gathered in crowds to confront hoarding merchants, intimidate "unreasonable" storekeepers, and seize scarce commodities ranging from sugar to tea to bread. A good-sized minority of the crowds we know about consisted largely of women; a few others may have included men and women alike. Each crowd voiced specific local grievances, but it is clear that their participants sometimes knew of actions elsewhere and viewed each episode as part of a wider drama.
The women's march to Versailles capped months of women's political involvement during the French Revolution - in Paris neighbourhoods, electoral assemblies, the conquest of the Bastille and in several dozen processions with the newly formed national guard. Thousands of marching women empowered themselves as citizens as they confronted and helped to abolish the monarchy - and then continued to confront the new authorities.
A journal article by Lilian Mathieu which examines the occupation of Saint-Nizier church in Lyon, June 1975 by prostitutes protesting against police repression. It highlights the difficulties these politically inexperienced women encountered in mobilizing, namely preventing defections and choosing an appropriate mode of action; difficulties they were able to surmount thanks to resources provided by outside supporters endowed with practical knowledge in matters of collective action. Despite this assistance, however, the prostitutes' mobilization quickly declined and soon expired, in part because of the leaders' defection.
The Gddd were an organization of women in Italy from 1943-45. They were the largest group of active anti fascist women at the time. At their height they had around 70,000 members and comprised of women from every walk of life, from previously unpoliticised housewives to lifelong radical activists. Some of the work they did included organizing strikes, armed resistance, setting up after school hot meals for children, providing clothing and shoes to low income families, stealing coal and bread and handing it out to those in need, Robin Hood style.
The end of politics: theses on the crisis of the regulatory system of the commodity form - Robert Kurz
In this essay first published in 1994, Robert Kurz examines the history of “politics” as the “regulatory system” of “the modern commodity production system”, from the inception of capitalism to its high point immediately after WW2—when “the last residues … of the pre-modern constitution” were eliminated and when “politics” was finally totally absorbed by “economics”—and its current crisis, heralding “the historical collapse of the system”, manifested as “the environmental crisis, the crisis of the society of labor, the crisis of the nation-state and the crisis of gender relations” in an era when democracy “is nothing but the completed subjection to the subjectless logic of money”.