About the AuthorRal Zibechi is an international analyst for Brecha, a weekly journal in Montevideo, Uruguay, professor and researcher on social movements at the Multiversidad Franciscana de Amrica Latina, and adviser to social groups. He is a monthly contributor to the Americas Policy Program and author of Genealoga de la Revuelta and La Mirada Horizontal.Ramor Ryan is an Irish writer and translator based in Chiapas, Mexico. His book Clandestines: the Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile was published by AK Press in 2006.Benjamin Dangl is author of The Price of Fire and Dancing with Dynamite.John Holloway is author of Change the World Without Taking Power and Crack Capitalism. what is the best genre of books Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful. Creating social movements from belowBy wildflowerboyThough Raul Zibechi is one of Latin America's leading political theorists, this is the only English translation of any of his books and I'm extremely happy that AK Press chose to publish it. While most recent books on Bolivia focus primarily on the political career and personality of Evo Morales, this book focuses instead on the real social force in that country: the impoverished masses of indigenous Bolivians working to create a revolutionary society in the heart of Latin America. Taking us to the streets and plazas of Bolivia, Zibechi presents a political and historical analysis of the indigenous Aymara's social experiment with decentralized grassroots community self-management. Emphasing spontaneity, mutual aid, horizontal social organizing, participatory democracy, the dispersion of power, and a communitarian form of economic production, this movement offers left libertarian activists exciting new ideas about building community power and doing politics beyond the state. While I personally disagree with the Aymara people's model of community justice, I think it nevertheless poses interesting questions for prison abolitionists wanting to assist victims of crime without resorting to state intervention or vigilante violence. (Frankly, I think the restorative justice movement is our best alternative). In short, this is an excellent, highly informative, and thought-provoking book for Latin American solidarity activists and left libertarians wanting to learn more about contemporary social movements in Bolivia and the fascinating cosmovision of its indigenous people.2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Anarchy and the StateBy T. CoonenThis book isn't an easy read especially if you're unfamiliar with recent Bolivian history. It's a scholarly kind of jumping around trying to cover and contrast contemporaneous theories with as thorough as possible a description of the tremendous social movements that have changed Bolivia. The very small, light print is pretty hard on old or challenged eyes (AK! You're great, but what were you thinking here?) but these are annoyances you'll probably choose to weather if you have any interest in political problem solving.An anciently rooted, Indigenous people, displaced by centuries of terrible rule and most recently by World Bank developement schemes, rose up as an anarchistically organized insurrectionary alternative to and negator of "the state," be it a tyrant or that of "representational democracy." Allegedly exemplifying the Aymare way/tao, decision-making is by consensus and the local leadership/representative duties are rotated through all the people involved. It's a real world problem of a multiplicity of people confronting and destroying a centralized state/military without becoming centralized. And the further problem, alright, having defeated the centralized state/military, what can anarchy "do" with a landmass surrounded by states and corporate raiders? Can anarchy even "do" that? Is insurrection a means to an end or a necessary component to any means at all? Is a spirit/energy of insurrection a viable alternative to a constitution? Bolivia is an interesting place.1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. importantBy Chuck MorseIt's not an easy read--some of Zibechi's concepts can be a little remote--but this is an important book for charting the rise of a distinctly Latin American, anti-authoritarian vision. Long gone are the days when Cuba and Castro defined the limits of the possible in the region . . .