Steph Jarvis Jarvis itibaren Rayappanahalli, Karnataka, Hindistan
Delightful, humo(u)rous, mouth-watering descriptions of Provence from the pen of a British ex-pat.
People have been asking about this one for a long time. This book came out in Spanish a few years ago and was already heavily asked requested. Now, an English translation let me read this for the first time, and it's no disappointment! Horizontalism is about the social movements in Argentina since the economy collapsed in December of 2001, seemingly a part of the bigger movements for social justice sweeping across Latin America. What I really liked about this book is that it's from the point of view of people participating in the movement. It's really seemingly different from a lot of stuff, from the ground-up and not imposed by elites or cadres. It really seems like it's out of the grassroots struggles of Argentina, and the December 19 th and 20th 2001 economic collapse were just events that turned people out in mass in an uprising. The book is divided into sections based on interviews, getting different perspectives on different subjects. The first section deals with how people thought the country changed in December 2001, and hundreds of neighborhood assemblies suddenly appeared throughout the country. In a country where 30,000 people disappeared in the 1980s during the military dictatorship, all of the sudden when no one, even the middle class, could get their money, thousands of people in Buenos Aires took to the streets and banged pots into the night. From there, people began gathering in their neighborhoods to try to run their own places, took over factories and other workplaces where the management had either fled or owed the workers large amounts of money, and occupied buildings that were not being used, which flew in the face of clientilism of Argentina. The famous roadblocks, where people blocked off roads across the country to shut down commerce as protests of the poor of the country, also appeared across Argetina. The popular call was "Oh, que se vayan todos!" ("They all must go!", referring to the nation's "democratically" elected politicians.) A sudden burst of anger from most people sick of the ruling class pretending to represent the will of the people brought down five Presidents in a matter of two weeks. The elites and political parties and financial organizations like foreign companies and the World Bank literally had no part in any of this upheaval other than being the target of anger, cast away like sand against the waves. From there, in the assemblies, a process of "horizontalidad" became the big philosophy. Before there would be a boss of any organization, and any real decisions would originate from above. But in the assemblies and collectives, people worked together for their common well being, equal in power at least in structure, often with consensus instead of voting. Several people interviewed commented that while having a boss or simple voting for decision making might be easier, you lose the power to the people when you go the easy route. There are several great lines about how the walk is just as important as the talk, and how bullshit speeches and posturing doesn't take a group of people very far. It's really interesting how an idea is put together and made stronger by a group of people interacting and listening where the most powerful, well-done stuff happens. "Martin S., La Toma and Argetina Arde (an occupied building and alternative media and art collective) for the rest of the review: http://www.woodenshoebooks.com/review...
good book. i loved it...a lot better than I had expected