We live in the twilight of neoliberalism: the ruling classes can no longer rule as before, and ordinary people are no longer willing to be ruled in the old way. Pursued by global elites since the 1970s, neoliberalism is defined by dispossession and ever-increasing inequality. The refusal to continue to be ruled like this - 'ya basta!' - appears in an arc of resistance stretching from rural India to the cities of the global North.
From this network of movements, new visions are emerging of a future beyond neoliberalism. We Make Our Own History responds to these visions by reclaiming Marxism as a theory born from activist experience and practice.
This book marks a break both with established social movement theory, and with those forms of Marxism which treat the practice of social movement organising as an unproblematic process. It shows how movements can develop from local conflicts to global struggles; how neoliberalism operates as a social movement from above, and how popular struggles can create new worlds from below.
Laurence Cox directs the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at the National University of Ireland Maynooth and co-edits the social movements journal Interface. He is active in a wide range of movements and has published Marxism and Social Movements (2013) and Understanding European Movements (2013). Alf Gunvald Nilsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Bergen. His research focuses on social movements in the global South. He is the author of Dispossession and Resistance in India (2012) and co-editor of Social Movements in the Global South (2011) and Marxism and Social Movements (2013).
Preface: About This Book 1. `The This-Worldliness of their Thought': Social Movements and Theory 2. `History Does Nothing': The Primacy of Praxis in Movement Theorising 3. `The Authors and the Actors of their Own Drama': A Marxist Theory of Social Movements 4. `The Bourgeoisie, Historically, Has Played a Most Revolutionary Part': Social Movements from Above and Below in Historical Capitalism 5. `The point is to change it': movements from below against neoliberalism Notes Index