Reflections on Walden Bello
The Persecution of the Global Left Vis-À-Vis Intercommunal Solidarity During Hegemonic Crisis
Keywords:Censorship, Far-right, Repression, Hegemonic Transition, Surveillance, World-Systems
The online censorship and subsequent arrest of scholar-activist Walden Bello is the latest instance of a disconcerting trend during a period of hegemonic crisis. To understand how a respected scholar ended up in jail and in grave legal trouble on very feeble accounts, we have to unpack the full implications of this case, and place it in relation to ongoing structural changes within the world-system—namely, the decline of the United States as global hegemon, the ascendancy of far-right authoritarianism as a popular political framework, and the use of institutions and technologies developed under liberal-democratic rule by authoritarian regimes for purposes of social control during a period of flux. The crisis offers an opportunity to reconfigure systemic arrangements through coordinated solidarity networks characterized by forms of organization and ways of relating that embody prerogatives and values different from those that predominate in the modern world-system and from those that reproduce the capitalist world-economy; which, more likely than not, will have authoritarian tendencies in the decades to come. As a conclusion, we offer some of the possibilities the global left has for these upcoming decades in regards of large coalitions aimed at changing the structure of the world-system at large.
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