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Common Futures
Yavor Tarinski & Alexander Schismenos

Black Rose Books

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Common Futures : Social Transformation and Political Ecology

Yavor Tarinski and Alexandros Schismenos


What does the future hold? Is the desertification of the planet, driven by state and corporate authority, the final horizon of history? Is the dystopian future implied by the systemic degradation of nature and society inescapable? From marginal activist groups to governments and interstate organizations, all appear to be concerned with what the future of our shared world will look like. Yet even amid the ongoing global crisis caused by capitalism, the potential of a different, radically rooted future has also appeared.

Common Futures explores the global emergence of twenty-first-century social movements, opposed to capitalism and state authority. These movements, Yavor Tarinski and Alexandros Schismenos show, transcend traditional political forms of organization and try to form autonomous networks premised on direct democracy and solidarity. The authors identify the importance of grassroots movements, which can bring radical change and create a more democratic and ecological future.

Common Futures examines the social and political roots of the environmental crisis and the relationship between ecology and direct democracy. But Tarinski and Schismenos go beyond the analysis of crises, contemporary struggles, and social movements: Common Futures also clarifies the conditions for the re-creation of free public time and space and point to practical steps that we can take to alleviate the problems of our future.

Yavor Tarinski is an independent researcher, and activist. He is the author of Direct Democracy: Context, Individuality, Society. Alexandros Schismenos earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Ioannina in 2017. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the co-author of The End of National Politics.

218 pages 2020

Table of Contents

  • Preface - Dimitrios Roussopoulos
  • I. Introduction - Yavor Tarinski & Alexandros Schismenos
    • Futureless Present
    • Reclaiming the Future
    • Political Ecology and Democratic Theory
    • Social Movements
  • II. Political Ecology and Social Change - Yavor Tarinski
    • Introduction
    • Roots of the Contemporary Crisis
    • The Fallacy of Economic Growth
    • The Overpopulation Myth
    • Ecology Beyond Narrow Technoscience
    • Interconnectedness of Ecology and Democracy
    • Democratic Traits of the Early Cities
    • Toward Democratic and Ecological Cities
    • Political Ecology in Practice
  • III. Theoretical Outlines of Direct Democracy - Yavor Tarinski
    • Democracy as a Regime of Self-Limitation
    • Political Parties: An Obstacle to Democracy
    • Nation-State, Nationalism and the Need for Roots
    • Time and Ideology
  • IV. The Temporality of Social Movements - Alexandros Schismenos
    • What Is To Be Done? Lenin’s Question
    • The Question Before Us
    • Lessons From The Past: The Legacy of May ’68
    • Lessons From Experience: The Brief Summer of the Anti-Globalization Movement
    • The 2006-2007 Greek Student Movement
    • Rural Movements Toward Social Ecology
    • The Rebellious Event of December 2008
    • The Occupy Movement in Greece
    • The Rise of the Xenophobic Right
    • The Yellow Vests Against Capitalist Temporality
    • Modern Technology and Digital Movements
  • V. Conceptual Challenges - Alexandros Schismenos
    • The Paradoxes of Nationalistic Discourse
    • Representative Oligarchy and Democracy
    • The Temporality of Autonomy
  • Bibliography

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