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Subversion of PoliticsSUBVERSION OF POLITICS

European Autonomous Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life

George Katsiaficas

Humanity books/Prometheus books

"Left out of European history are popular direct action movements composed of thousands of activists who refuse to be confined to the ranks of mainstream politics or marginalised as guerrillas....their militant resistance to the arms race ,patriarchy and housing shortage were to transform society as a whole..."

Excellent history and analysis of the Autonomist movements in Europe from the late 1960s up to the end of last century.

Clearly written by someone who spent a lot of time and energy in the main hubs of this movement, principally the massive West German squatting scene. The book flows easily from describing pitched battles between cops and squatters (often lasting days) to the philosophy behind the groups involved.

The author picks apart the internal struggles in the movement, between the "realos' and the "fundi's" - those who were prepared to dialogue with the State and those who weren't .These divisions eventually morphed into the hugely successful German Green Party on one hand and the hardcore anarchists on the other.

Another interesting point, though not expanded upon in the book, is the different paths chosen by divided Germany's youth at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall. The West's Youth veered Left, embracing liberalism and equality. Poorer cousins in East Germany, meanwhile, slided to the far Right, with an upsurge in neo-nazi activity.

Subversion is a meaty, exciting read of an intense continent at an intense time.


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