The cycle of struggle that erupted in 2011 – from the Arab Spring to the movement of the squares to the anti-austerity demonstrations in Britain – was characterised by stress on horizontalism and decentralised leadership. But as that movement grew and changed, it found itself running into the limits of that form, and entered into political parties – or founded new ones. But it found both resistance and limits there, too – and now, especially in many countries in Europe, it finds itself at a crossroads. All of these questions are questions of political organisation, fraught with urgency because of the climate crisis, and – after the 20th century – without any easy answers or faith in the inevitability of history. What should come next?
Rodrigo Nunes joins James Butler to throw light on the left’s double melancholia, the durability of revolution, the centrality of organisation – and how to think about it.
Neither Vertical Nor Horizontal: A Theory of Political Organisation is available now.