Introducing… Novara Wire Radical Lives

by Novara Reporters

The history of the radical left is often told through a focus on ‘big names’: Marx, Bakunin, Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky. Yet these figures do not make movements alone. Indeed, movements ‘move’ solely because they are driven to do so by innumerable unseen actors, who have often been hidden from history.

Radical Lives aims to recover some of these histories, to emphasise the role of individuals within broader collective struggles, and to situate activist biographies within the context of the historic movements of which they were a part. The purpose is two-fold. Firstly, Radical Lives seeks to collect together histories from movements that have preceded our own. Secondly, the series will aim to present ideas and revive characters from the past so that we can collectively learn from them.

It is not the purpose of Radical Lives to shelter the biographies that it excavates from criticism, nor to provide settled and complete accounts of the lives of radical figures. Rather, it is to enable the activists of today to reflect upon movements past, and to encourage a sense of our own history as only the latest of a long tradition of people struggling, agitating and hoping for a better world.

The building of alternative futures requires strong foundations. The aim of Radical Lives is to aid the development of an historical sensibility capable of recognising the lessons – both positive and negative – to be drawn from the political struggles that came before us.

Radical Lives will run as a series of bi-weekly instalments on Novara Wire. If you have an idea for a figure you would like to contribute to the series, email [email protected].

Share URL: http://novara.media/1EFyVD2

Published 28th September 2014

This month Novara Media are running a ‘subsraiser’, so we can expand our capacity to bring you the stories and analysis that really matter. We can’t run on volunteer labour forever. If we increase monthly subscriptions by £2k, we’d be able to pay everyone for at least one day a month on a living wage. Subscribe to Novara Media for the equivalent of an hour of your wage a month, and we promise to keep working round the clock to build a new media for a different politics. #NovaraLivingWage

Become a subscriber and support Novara Media from £1 per month:

Or you can give us a one-off donation:

£3 /month
£££
£3
£££
£ /month
£ one off