John Holloway, a sociology professor in Mexico, recently gave an interview with Roar magazine suggesting how to introduce a new social and economic logic in the face of the mighty machine of neoliberal capitalism. Holloway's idea, recapitulating themes from his previous book and 2002 thesis, is to build "cracks" in the system in which people can relate to each other and meet their needs in non-market ways: "We have to keep building cracks and finding ways of recognizing them, strengthening them, expanding them, connecting them; seeking confluence, or preferably, the commoning of cracks."
This strategic approach has immediate appeal to commoners, it seems to me -- even though some engagement with state power is surely necessary at some point. Below, Holloway's interview with by Amador Fernández-Savater. It was translated by Richard Mac Duinnsleibhe and edited by Arianne Sved of Guerrilla Translation.
In 2002, John Holloway published a landmark book: Change the World Without Taking Power. Inspired by the ‘¡Ya basta!’ of the Zapatistas, by the movement that emerged in Argentina in 2001/’02, and by the anti-globalization movement, Holloway sets out a hypothesis: it is not the idea of revolution or transformation of the world that has been refuted as a result of the disaster of authoritarian communism, but rather the idea of revolution as the taking of power, and of the party as the political tool par excellence.
Holloway discerns another concept of social change at work in these movements, and generally in every practice—however visible or invisible it may be—where a logic different from that of profit is followed: the logic of cracking capitalism. That is, to create, within the very society that is being rejected, spaces, moments, or areas of activity in which a different world is prefigured. Rebellions in motion. From this perspective, the idea of organization is no longer equivalent to that of the party, but rather entails the question of how the different cracks that unravel the fabric of capitalism can recognize each other and connect.
But after Argentina’s “que se vayan todos” came the Kirchner government, and after Spain’s “no nos representan” appeared Podemos. We met with John Holloway in the city of Puebla, Mexico, to ask him if, after everything that has happened in the past decade, from the progressive governments of Latin America to Podemos and Syriza in Europe, along with the problems for self-organized practices to exist and multiply, he still thinks that it is possible to “change the world without taking power.”