Marcie Smith – Gene Sharp, the Cold War Intellectual Whose Ideas Seduced the Left

Link to an interview of Marcie Smith, conducted by Branko Marcetic:

“Gene Sharp, the Cold War Intellectual Whose Ideas Seduced the Left”


Bonus links: “Change Agent: Gene Sharp’s Neoliberal Nonviolence (Part One)” and “Change Agent: Gene Sharp’s Neoliberal Nonviolence (Part Two)” and Non-violence: A History Beyond the Myth and War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century and Violence and “Things That Can and Cannot Be Said” and Crowds and Party and The Idiot Pool and Walter Benn Michaels on Neoliberalism and The State and Revolution


Bonus quotes:

“rich and powerful men engage in what the writer Kevin Roose has called ‘anarchist cheerleading,’ in keeping with their carefully crafted image as rebels against the authorities. To call for a terrain without rules in the way they do, to dabble in the anarchist cheerleading, may be to sound like you wish for a new world of freedom on the behalf of humankind. But a long line of thinkers has told us that the powerful tend to be the big winners from the creation of a blank-slate, rules-free world.

“The self-styled entrepreneur-rebels were actually seeking to overturn a major project of the Enlightenment– the development of universal rules that applied evenly to all…”

Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World (2018)

“The assumption is that the fight against these excesses should take place in the familiar liberal-democratic frame. The (explicit or implied) goal is to democratise capitalism, to extend democratic control over the global economy, through the pressure of media exposure, parliamentary inquiries, harsher laws, police investigations etc. What goes unquestioned is the institutional framework of the bourgeois democratic state. This remains sacrosanct even in the most radical forms of ‘ethical anti-capitalism’ – the Porto Allegre forum, the Seattle movement and so on. ***

“Badiou was right to say that the name of the ultimate enemy today is not capitalism, empire, exploitation or anything of the kind, but democracy: it is the ‘democratic illusion’, the acceptance of democratic mechanisms as the only legitimate means of change, which prevents a genuine transformation in capitalist relations.”

Slavoj Žižek, “Democracy Is the Enemy”