Kate Aronoff has written a combined review of six newly released books concerned with the strategies and tactics of contemporary social movements and resistance efforts. Published at In These Times, Aronoff reviews Hegemony How-To alongside Direct Action by L.A. Kauffman, Rules for Revolutionaries by Becky Bond and Zack Exley, No Shortcuts by Jane McAlevey, Twitter and Teargas by Zeynep Tufekci, and You’re More Powerful Than You Think by Eric Liu.
Check it out at In These Times.
Jonathan Smucker has an article in the latest issue of New Internationalist. The special issue focuses on the global rise of populism, and Smucker describes the populist landscape in the United States that enabled Trump’s rise. He argues that to stop Trump, progressives have to “snatch the populist mantle from his grip.”
Trump’s shock electoral victory signals a profound change in the terrain of political struggle. Corporate-friendly centrism failed to defeat Trump and is a poor strategy for fighting him now. The choice today … is between a reactionary populism that punches down at the most vulnerable and a progressive people-powered populism that punches up.
Read the full article here.
Astra Taylor recently convened a roundtable strategic dialogue for The Nation, interviewing Jonathan Smucker along with Direct Action author L.A. Kauffman and Durham, NC City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson. The discussion delved into how to build and wield political power in the wake of the 2016 election.
Here’s an excerpt (Smucker):
If we spend the next four years retreating into liberal enclaves, bonding with each other over how backward half the country is, we will keep losing. That’s as winning a strategy as Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” line.
Trump’s populism is junk populism, but when Democrats failed to speak to people’s pain and refused to name compelling enemies like Wall Street, they effectively conceded populism to Trump. We have to see that Trump also successfully tapped into legitimate resentment at the political establishment. Here in central Pennsylvania, a lot of people feel abandoned by the political establishment. There are real grievances—pain that people are experiencing, from unemployment to the opioid epidemic. Trump taps into that. The optics of an irreverent outsider taking out establishment favorites, one after another—a lot of people enjoyed watching that show. To contend with Trump’s junk reactionary populism, we need a bold progressive populism. But we have to do this in a new way.
Read the strategic discussion in its entirety at The Nation.
Since the November 2016 election, Terrence McNally has come out of “podcast retirement” in order to give attention to the new political moment and the new resistance. McNally interviewed Jonathan Smucker about Hegemony How-To, discussing how core concepts from the book apply to our current situation. The two also discussed Smucker’s current organizing in Lancaster, PA, where unprecedented numbers have been turning out as part of a nascent effort called Lancaster Stands Up.
Listen to the interview here.
Jonathan discussed Hegemony How-To and this political moment with Sonali Kolhatkar on her program Rising Up With Sonali. You can watch the video interview below.
Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals from Rising Up With Sonali on Vimeo.
Journalist Sarah Jaffe has written a combined book review of Hegemony How-To and L.A. Kauffman’s new history of direct action.
As America is transformed into Trumplandia, L. A. Kauffman’s Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism and Jonathan Matthew Smucker’s Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals offer vital interventions, ready for a larger audience who, before November 9, might not have considered themselves radical but now see no alternative to joining the fight.
Read the full review at Bookforum.
Publishers Weekly is first to review Hegemony How-To:
Smucker, a longtime grassroots organizer, debuts with a powerful, rigorous, and clear-eyed guide to building social justice movements… His writing is personable and accessible even as he engages with complicated social theory. Left-wing political organizers and those interested in social movements will find this book instructive and potent.
Read the full review at Publishers Weekly.