Revista THEOMAI   /  THEOMAI   Journal
Estudios sobre Sociedad, Naturaleza y Desarrollo / Society, Nature and Development Studies


número 7 (primer semestre de 2003)  
number 7 (first semester of 2003)
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Dossier Introduction

Anti-systemic Social Movements

The change of century and millennium has come in an international context of changes, not only because of the new ways adopted by the spread of global capitalism, but also, and above all, because of a new social dynamics that has emerged from political processes of resistance and transformation, a redefinition of social and political power strategies to face this new antagonism, and the fixing of renewable instruments to fight with the increasing non-governability (and political ilegitimation) that the intensification of the economic and financial globalisation has provoked. The aim of this present Dossier in Theomai Journal is to open a first discussion on this topic from several perspectives and views.

As a result, it is important to consider the historical process that the development of the various anti-systemic movements assumes in the context of modernity. By the middle of the XIX century and once the basic structure of social classes was already clear, is the labor class the one that thinks about the necessity to be endowed of more stable organisations to fight for its interests. The objective was to finish with the régime of capitalist exploitation that imposed brutal economic and working conditions. It arises this way the First International in whose evolution two big tendencies are configured: the Marxist which emphasises the necessity to have access to the power of the State-nation, with the aim to modify the relationships of power in favor of the proletariat; and the Anarchist-Libertarian that stood out the necessity to fight at the same time against the bourgeoisie and its State, as an only via for emancipation.

The first tendecy expressed and it continues to express a positive importance of the development of industrialism, since it is in this context that the expansion of the industrial proletariat would be possible, considering this industrial proletariat as the historical subject whose mission is the construction of the socialism. This tendency is a logical consequence of the faith in progress and in positive evolution of history, being both ideas derived from Enlightenment and from the desire to impel universal solutions (of eurocentric character). In the second tendency, other yearnings beat in a crisscross way, from the deep distrust towards the State structures of power to do any social change, to a critical vision of the progress and of the industrialism, in the need of defend community structures for the social emancipation. Therefore, universal visions are not necessarily the only ones possible.

It is without doubt, the first tendency the one that had a maximum expansion in the XIX century and during the XX one. By the end of the XX century, the situation began to change (being the Soviet Union desintegration an important cause); as a consequence, the values and foundations of the second tendency emerged and recovered force once again.

As a result, it is necessary to analyze the current processes of social change and of emergence of anti-systemic social movements in the light of the historical development of these two tendencies. Nowadays, there is no longer a clear hegemony of one of these tendencies, and considering the strong crisis undergone by the North American imperialistic system, it is also possible state that maybe a new inflection point in the historical development of the modernity has arrived.

It is from this perspective that Theomai Journal wants to introduce an initial discussion with this Dossier, expressing diverse views and ways of seeing about this new moment of the capitalist modernity.

this Dossier includes four articles: Jamie Cross focalise on Anthropology and the Anarchists: Culture, Power, and Practice in Militant Anti-Capitalist Protests, Paula Colmegnas studies a specified argentinian social movement in her article The unemployed piqueteros of Argentina: active rejection of an exclusionary form of democracy, George Caffentzis examines the anti-war social protest in the USA in the article Respect Your Enemies - The First Rule of Peace: An Essay Addressed to the U. S. Anti-war Movement, and at last Marcelo Gomez in his article Social movements and collective action in Latin America: some questions on the potential political transformer of the masses’ interventions offers a general analysis of collective action in Latin America.


Portada/Cover     Editorial     Contenido/Contents 
Instrucciones para los autores /Instructions for Authors  
Consejo Editorial/Editorial Board


Theomai: palabra de origen griego que significa ver, mirar, contemplar, observar, pasar revista, comprender, conocer
Theomai is a word of greek origin wich means: to see, to contemplate, to observe, to understand, to know

Revista Theomai es una publicación de la Red de Estudios sobre Sociedad, Naturaleza y Desarrollo
Theomai Journal is published by  Society, Nature and Development Studies Network

Universidad Nacional de Quilmes