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Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This new edition of John Holloway's contemporary classic, Change the World Without Taking Power, includes an extensive new preface by the author.

The wave of political demonstrations since the Battle of Seattle in 2001 have crystallised a new trend in left-wing politics. Modern protest movements are grounding their actions in both Marxism and Anarchism, fighting for radical
Paperback, 296 pages
Published November 6th 2010 by Pluto Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Nov 23, 2008 Zak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although the paperback art (featured on this page) is hardly betrays it, this book is a powerful contribution to the discussion of power and social change. Although certainly not removed from the Marxist intellectual lineage, Holloway allows for more time with the more difficult concepts and provides an extensive bibliography to orient the reader towards the origin of his own academic frameworks. If you have a basic understanding of historical /dialectical materialism, class consciousness, and ...more
John Holloway's book for me has joined Silvia Federici's "Caliban and the Witch" and Gabor Mate's "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" as the three most ideologically clarifying books i've yet encountered. I led a reading group on this book, and I think it impacted all of us. It's a work of philosophy, for sure, so at times it can be hard to follow (the chapters on "fetishisation" especially). But in essence, Holloway is searching for a theory of social change, and in dissecting the Leninist/state so ...more
In terms of literary style, Holloway infuses a 'negative dialectic' method with emotional, nearly poetic language. As I understand it, a negative dialectic method basically aims to strengthen the critique of social relations that fetishize capitalism. He takes a creative risk by using the metaphor of "the scream" to express the anguish of contemporary capitalism. It's rare to find this kind of emotional expressiveness in academic prose, let alone Marxist writing, and I found the style kind of re ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Subvert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. I am very interested in theories of social change. It is a tremendously important topic but one that is rarely discussed among the left and very much ignored in academia. John Holloway is one of those few authors that made a well-known contribution to the topic, but reading articles about and interviews with him, it always seemed Hollowayism is a perspective that I very much disagree with. That is why this book was on my to-read list for a lo ...more
Jul 09, 2008 Sara-Maria marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara-Maria by: ag
I was suggested this book to read but, judging the book by the cover, instead left the loaned copy forgotten on my shelf and gathering dust for months. The day before I had to return it, I ended up reading the first chapter. I didn't get very far in, one because i had to return it and two because it left me bawling on the floor. This response makes me at least nod to the need to reassess what I think I feel about quite a few things—'change' being one of the more sticky ones.

'the scream' of refu
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
3.5--i really need to read this again or read it in a group. Group discussion would have helped me on this. The beginning is great--i love the concept of the scream. the end is great and humorous--wonderful. I definitely want to read more Holloway. I like the idea of anti-power and really tried to understand how it exists in the world. And i think i understood it. I felt like in the middle was the hardest--philosophical argumentation coupled with the nuances of marxist thought, economics and the ...more
Aug 13, 2008 Dalia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: half-read
only read a 4 page essay from it (the 2nd Chapter: Beyond the State?) and it changed my life

but yenno, giving only a 5 star positive review is unintelligent, uncritical, unnecessary, and frankly UN ALLOWED THESE DAYS.
(so i must read it all...)
Michael Palkowski
Holloway writes an entire book relying on a misunderstanding he has about Marxist theory, namely the supposed focus on gaining power by taking control of the state/overthrowing the state. His metaphoric allusions are at times painful to read and his diagnosis seems misguided.
If the title of this book appeals to you the book as a whole will probably really speak to you. I liked this a lot. It was a lot more complicated than I thought it might be, in a good way.
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Sociologist, philosopher and lawyer by profession. Holloway is closely associated with Open or Autonomous Marxism and anti-globalisation movements such as the Zapatistas.

His 2002 book, Change the World Without Taking Power, has been the subject of much debate and brought him to a wider audience.
More about John Holloway...

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