December 19th and 20th, 2001, marked the beginning a popular rebellion in Argentina. After IMF policies led to economic meltdown and massive capital flight, millions of Argentinians poured into the streets to protest the freezing of their bank accounts, the devaluing of their currency, and the bankruptcy of their state. This rebellion—of workers and the unemployed, of the middle class and the recently declassed—erupted without leadership or hierarchy. Political parties and newly emerged elites had no role in the movement that toppled five consecutive national governments in just two weeks. People created hundreds of neighborhood assemblies involving tens of thousands of active participants. The dozens of occupied factories that existed at the start of the rebellion grew to hundreds, taken over and run directly by workers.
The social movements that exploded in Argentina that December not only transformed the fabric of Argentine society but also highlighted the possibility of a genuinely democratic alternative to global capital. Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina is the story of those movements, as told by the men and women who are building them.
"A fascinating account about what is fresh and new about the Argentine uprising."—John Holloway, author of Change the World Without Taking Power
"The movements in Argentina have been among the most creative and inspirational in recent years. Marina Sitrin’s collection allows us to learn from the activists themselves and continue the experiments in autonomy and democracy they have begun."—Michael Hardt, co-author Empire andMultitude
"Marina Sitrin has provided an invaluable service to scholars and activists around the world by compiling the testimonies of the participants in some of the most prominent and original Argentine popular movements. These activists speak of political passion, determination, solidarity, and new forms of horizontal organization. They also speak of frustration, obstacles, and repression. Overall, their voices show in startling detail the stubborn hope of a new generation of sufferers and fighters."—Javier Auyero, author, Contentious Lives
"’Another world’ is possible was the catch-phrase of the World Social Forum, but it wasn’t just possible; while the north was dreaming, that world was and is being built and lived in many parts of the global south. With the analytical insight of a political philosopher, the investigative zeal of a reporter, and the heart of a sister, Marina Sitrin has immersed herself in one of the most radical and important of these other worlds and brought us back stories, voices, and possibilities. This book…is riveting, moving, and profoundly important for those who want to know what revolution in our time might look like."—Rebecca Solnit, author of Savage Dreams