Fragments of a Stateless Future

Attached below is a .pdf link to my master’s thesis, “Fragments of a Stateless Future”. I wrote this piece with the intention of re-working it for larger publication, hoping to create something useful to social movements which are dedicated to prefigurative politics.

Abstract:

In this work, I explore the question of stateless governance in the post-Soviet era and ask how such movements can thrive and successfully replicate state-like functions using egalitarian assembly models. I analyze four case studies in which prefigurative models have worked with a clear social base to either challenge or supplant state authority in a community or a region. These case studies are laid out into two pairings. The first pairing is with movements in Rojava, Syria and Chiapas, Mexico which represent a model in which guerrilla groups acquire state-like authority, and then use that authority to construct egalitarian assembly models which are designed to eventually govern the region. The second pairing of movements is of El Alto, Bolivia and Occupy Wall Street, United States, in which prefigurative models emerge more organically through a social base already invested in egalitarian governance, and explore whether assembly models can govern over large metropolitan areas. Within this study, I conclude that in the post-Soviet, neoliberal era, revolutionary movements are shifting tactics from attempting to seize control of a state to instead carving out an area in which they can experiment with stateless governance models, with impressive results.

Fragments of a Stateless Future