The broad arguments and interventions of the book are introduced by situating the two cases studied within the global water crisis and its relation to capitalist reproduction. Key concepts such as ‘reproductive unrest’ are sketched out, to be further developed in the following chapters. To do this, the global water crisis, its struggles, and crisis tendencies are described, before introducing the cases as reflective of these tendencies. In establishing the driving forces behind the global water crisis, a brief historical overview of water management and its relationship to capitalist accumulation, state-building, and resistance is given. In demonstrating how our understandings of what water is, as well as how and where it should be used, have changed to reflect the dominant political economic paradigms, the chapter shows why the expropriation of water and the struggles it provokes capture broader tendencies inherent in extractive capitalism.
This chapter begins to locate and define the (r)evolutionary love of the title. As a useful starting point, the four distinct conceptions of love found in classical Greek philosophy: Éros, Storgē, Philía and Agápe are explored, and it is argued that each can legitimately be considered as inherently political. The etymology of the word freedom is examined, with its source being found in the root fri meaning ‘love’. The concept of (r)evolution as an alternative to the perceived antinomy of evolution and revolution will be introduced, relocating everyday life as no longer outside the political sphere but the very ground from which it springs – a (r)evolution of the here-and-now that will be explored at depth in later chapters. The collective visioning process that grounds this book is introduced, as are the anarchistic forms of organising adopted by the activists involved. The chapter then discusses how the majority of activists involved in this collective vision have expressed a profound sense of connection to nature – an intimate entanglement with(in) a more-than-human plurality as opposed to more commonly held core beliefs relating to the separation of humans and the natural world, as a way to introduce the book’s other central concept of the Deep Commons.
This chapter introduces the main themes and structure of the book. It offers an overview of the ‘crisis of the left’ in 1980s Britain and explores the strands of ‘renewal’ that were discussed by activists and political theorists, including the development of the new urban left. It provides historical context to Sheffield’s 1980s politics, exploring Sheffield’s social and political background across the twentieth century. It details the city’s industrial makeup, the development of its labour movement and the way local activists responded to different facets of radical politics such as the women’s suffrage movement, Mass Trespass, peace and internationalism. It situates the book in new political history and new social movement theory and details the methodological approaches used including semi-structured oral histories.
This chapter explores how the labour movement in Sheffield changed throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It details how the close relationship between the trade unions and Labour Party developed over decades within political partnerships, kinship networks and shared sites of adult education, before showing how mass unemployment in the early 1980s rocked that solid base. The rapid decline of the steel industry in Sheffield, followed by the threat of pit closures in the surrounding coalfields, produced new challenges for Sheffield’s labour movement, leading to new priorities and collaborations with religious groups, Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic organisations and unemployment centres. The chapter explores how the 1981 People’s March for Jobs and the 1984–85 miners’ strike successfully mobilised activists from all corners of the new urban left, but argues that the exclusion of some activists from these campaigns and from networks of reciprocal support demonstrated the early limits of new urban left politics in a city dominated by the labour movement.
Lesbian and gay activists in Sheffield often organised in ways distinct from the wider activist milieu. This chapter explores how, against a backdrop of rising homophobia and constraints to local government funding, Sheffield’s labour movement failed to recognise the political significance of sexual identity at a moment when left-wing lesbian and gay activists were turning more fully towards it; focusing on creating safe social spaces, providing counselling and information around sexuality and gender identity, and responding to HIV/AIDS. The development of gay discos and phone lines was inherently political and in those spaces Sheffield’s gay community was formed. By the late 1980s Sheffield University’s Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Society became an important voice for sexual minority rights in the city; working out internal divisions and making attempts to connect to people outside Sheffield’s universities. Members formed Lesbian and Gay Fightback to organise against homophobic legislation and succeeded in building bridges with Sheffield City Council over fostering.
Based on award-winning research, Love and Revolution brings classical and contemporary anarchist thought into a mutually beneficial dialogue with a global cross-section of ecological, anti-capitalist, feminist and anti-racist activists – discussing real-life examples of the loving-caring relations that underpin many contemporary struggles. Such a (r)evolutionary love is discovered to be a common embodied experience among the activists contributing to this collective vision, manifested as a radical solidarity, as political direct action, as long-term processes of struggle, and as a deeply relational more-than-human ethics. The theory developed in this book is brought to life through the voices of Tom at the G20 protests in Toronto, Maria and her permaculture community in Mexico, Hassan on the streets in Syria, Angelo and his comrades occupying squares in Brazil, Dembe and his affinity group in Kampala, and many more. Love and Revolution provides an essential resource for all those interested in building a free society grounded in solidarity and care, and offers a timely contribution to contemporary movement discourse.
This chapter tells Luke’s story of skiing to the South Pole, where he experienced a range of hallucinatory phenomena: illusions, visions, voices and presence. They became so familiar to Luke that they formed part of the daily routine: illusions on the snow and hallucinations on the horizon. Luke’s presences were not just saving him; they needed him. He had a responsibility to them. His experiences remind us that relating to others is not a one-way street – duties, hopes and desires go in both directions. It stands to reason that if our minds somehow create others, then our feelings towards them will reflect that complexity. Some presences lead. And some are led.
In this chapter, the author explores the nature of loneliness and isolation, and what this might tell us about presence. He discusses the ultrarunner Paul Burgum’s experiences of feeling that a spirit had joined him on his epic run in Italy and suggests that this illustrates an important point: if you go seeking inspiration, actively looking for companions and putting yourself into states that blur the boundaries of self and other, you might not always get to choose what happens next. A presence could be invited in, but who or what they are isn’t always up to you – the process might even require you to give up that kind of control. And it might be shaped by others around you. This chapter expands on the complexity of presence.
This chapter maps out women’s politics in the ‘Socialist Republic’, paying attention to class and generation. It tracks the involvement of women in the labour movement and their representation on Sheffield City Council, before describing how they developed and engaged with campaigns for gender equality. It discusses how working-class women interacted with the women’s liberation movement (WLM) through their engagement with left-wing organising, and uses oral history interviews to explore some of their attitudes towards women’s liberation activists and their ideas. Using the newsletter of the labour movement’s Working Women’s Charter Committee (WWCC) and interviews with prominent members the chapter depicts the vibrancy of campaigns for gender equality within the labour movement. In the early 1980s the socialist feminist contingent of Sheffield’s WLM shifted their focus from bemoaning the lack of engagement with working-class women in the WLM to working within the labour movement on gender equality through the WWCC. Whilst the older generation of working-class women who founded the WWCC generally welcomed the enthusiasm of younger socialist feminists and incorporated their ideas, the chapter also details the points of tension which emerged between women of different generations and class backgrounds as they worked together.
This book follows a psychologist's quest to understand one of the most curious experiences known to humankind: the universal, disturbing feeling that someone or something is there when we are alone. What does this feeling mean and where does it come from? When and why do presences emerge? And how can we begin to understand a phenomenon that can be transformative for those who experience it and yet almost impossible to put into words? The answers to these questions lie in this tour-de-force through contemporary psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and philosophy. Presence follows Ben Alderson-Day's attempts to understand how this experience is possible. The journey takes us to meet explorers, mediums and robots, and step through real, imagined and virtual worlds. Presence is the story of whom we carry with us, at all times, as parts of ourselves.