Reflections on Walden Bello: The Persecution of the Global Left versus Intermunicipal Solidarity During the Hegemonic Crisis (2023)


  • Javier Ezkurdia
  • James Anderson



Censorship, right-wing extremism, oppression, hegemonic transition, surveillance, world systems


The online censorship and subsequent arrest of scholar-activist Walden Bello is the latest example of a disturbing trend at a time of hegemonic crisis. To understand how a respected scholar ended up in prison and in serious legal trouble on a very weak bill, we need to dissect the full implications of this case and relate it to the ongoing structural changes within the world system—namely, the decline of the United States as a global hegemon, the rise of far-right authoritarianism as a popular political framework, and the use of institutions and technologies developed by authoritarian regimes under liberal-democratic rule for the purpose of social control in a time of change. The crisis offers an opportunity to reconfigure systemic arrangements through coordinated networks of solidarity characterized by forms of organization and relationships that embody prerogatives and values ​​distinct from those that prevail in the modern world system and from those that reproduce the world capitalist economy ; most likely to have authoritarian tendencies in the coming decades. In conclusion, we offer some of the possibilities that the global left has for the coming decades in terms of grand coalitions aimed at changing the structure of the world system at large.


ABS CBN news and ANCX staff. 2021. “What We Know So Far About Jeffry Tupas, Davao City's Ex-Info Officer.” ABS. ABS CBN News, November 13th. (

Amnesty International. 2012. "Philippines: 'Cybercrime' Law Threatens Freedom of Speech and Needs Review." Retrieved 17 August 2022. (

Anderson, Elizabeth. 2019. Private Government: How Employers Shape Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It). Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Antonini, Francesca. 2019. "Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will: Gramsci's Political Thought in the Last Diverse Notebooks." Rethinking Marxism 31(1): 42–57. DOI: 10.1080/08935696.2019.1577616

Antrim, Taylor. 2022. “Maria Ressa on the Fight for Facts – and Her Own Freedom.” Vogue, August 1. Retrieved September 29, 2022 (

Arrigi, John. 2010. The Long Twentieth Century. London: verse.

Austin, Andrew. 2018. “Defending the Digital Commons: A Left-Liberal Criticism of Language and Censorship in the Virtual Public Space – Censored Notebook.” Project censored. Retrieved August 28, 2018 (

Bella, Walden. 2021. “Counterrevolution, the Country, and the Middle Class: Lessons from Five Countries.” Pp 21–57 in Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World, edited by I Scoones, M Edelman, SM Borras, L F Forero, R Hall, W Wolford and B White. London, UK: Rouledge.

Chase Dunn, Christopher. 1998. Global Formation: Structures of the World Economy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Ezcurdia, Javier. 2021. “Forging a Diagonal Tool for the Global Left.” Reorientation 1(2): 36–61. DOI: 10.54833/issn2764-104X.v1i2p36-61

Chase-Dunn, Christopher, Peter Grimes, and Eugene N. Anderson. 2019. “Cyclical Evolution of the Global Right.” Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de Soziologie 56(4): 529–555.

Edelman, Gilad. "web3's father wants you to trust less." Wired. Retrieved November 29, 2021 (

Catch, Lee. 2022. “Dept. Homeland Security is stepping up efforts for an online police speech on Ukraine, Covid and Afghanistan.” Democracy Now!. Retrieved November 30, 2022. (

Federici, Silvia. 2004. Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.

Ferizm, Emran. 2020. “Atrocities piling up for CIA-backed Afghan paramilitary forces.” Foreign Policy. Retrieved October 4, 2022 (

Francisco, Carmelito Q. 2022. “Davao City District Attorney Charges Walden Bello with Cyber ​​Defamation.”, June 14. (

Frazer, Nancy. 2007. “Transnationalization of the Public Sphere”. Theory, Culture & Society 24(4): 7–30.

Fox, Christian. 2012. “The Political Economy of Privacy on Facebook.” Fernsehen & Neue Medien 13(2): 139–159. Retrieved October 26, 2022 (

Giroux, Henry A. 2004. “Cultural Studies, Public Pedagogy, and the Responsibility of Intellectuals.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 1(1): 59–79. Retrieved October 27, 2022 (

Gitcoin. 2022. “Building and Funding the Open Web Together.” Retrieved August 30, 2022. (

Gramsci, Antonio. 2018. Selection from the Prison Notebooks. Translated by Quintin Hoare. Dehli: Aakar Books.

Grubačić, Andrej and Denis O'Hearn. 2016. Living on the Margins of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid. Oakland (CA): University of California Press.

Grubacic, Andrej. 2022. “TFS Radio: Exile, World Systems Analysis, and Anarchism with Andrej Grubacic.” The Last Straw Radio Podcast. Retrieved September 9, 2022. (

Hall, Stuart, C. Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke, and Brian Roberts. 2019. Surveillance of the Crisis: Heist, State, and Law and Order. London: Macmillan International Higher Education.

Hecken, Chris. 2018. "Chris Hedges on Elections, 'Christian Fascists,' and the Rot in the American System." Intercepted Podcast. Retrieved October 3, 2022 (

Human Rights Watch. 2012. "Philippines: New 'Cybercrime' Law Will Harm Freedom of Speech." Retrieved 28 October 2022. (

Internationale Arbeitsorganisation. 2022. Riding out the Storm: Organizational Resilience of Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations After the Military Takeover in Myanmar. IAO-Brief. Abgerufen am 22. Oktober 2022 (

Kershner, Seth. 2013. “Henry Giroux on the Militarization of Public Pedagogy.” Retrieved October 27, 2022. (

Cliff Stone, Ken and Lee Fang. 2022. “Leaked Documents Outline DHS Plans to Combat Disinformation.” The Interception. Retrieved October 31, 2022. (

Kirchgaessner, Stephanie. 2022. “Saudi Arabia sentences US citizens to 16 years in prison for tweets critical of the regime.” The Guardian. Retrieved October 22, 2022 (

Linebaugh, Peter. 2014. Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures and Resistance. Oakland, California: PM.

Lloret, Victor and Julius Purcell. 2021. "Angry Words: Rapper's Jailing Exposes Spain's Free Speech Fault Lines." The guard. Retrieved October 19, 2022. (

Luxembourg, Rosa. 2010. Socialism or Barbarism: The Selected Writings of Rosa Luxemburg. Edited by Paul Le Blanc and Helen C. Scott. New York: Pluto Press.

Newton, Huey P. 2018. "Intercommunalism (1974)" Viewpoint Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2022 (

Owocki, Kevin. 2021. Greenpilled: How Crypto Can Regenerate the World. Gitcoin.

Press, Alex. 2019. "On the emergence of the professional manager class: An interview with Barbara Ehrenreich." Contradiction. Retrieved October 22, 2022 (

Sarao, Zacarian. 2022. “Walden Bello Arrested in Cyber ​​Defamation Case Filed by Former Davao City Information Officer.”, August 9. (

Savio, Mario. 1965. The Free Speech Movement and the Negro Revolution. Detroit: News & Letters.

Schiller, Daniel. 1999. Digital Capitalism: Interconnectedness of the Global Market System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Solon, Olivia. 2020. “'Facebook doesn't care': Activists say accounts were removed despite Zuckerberg's stance on free speech.” Retrieved September 15, 2022 (

Taylor, Alan. 2011. “Occupy Wall Street Faces Evictions.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, accessed October 15, 2022 (

US Department of State. Office of Middle East Affairs. 2022. US Relations with Saudi Arabia. Information sheet on bilateral relations. Retrieved October 22, 2022 (

Vervaeke, John and Christopher Mastropietro. 2021. "Dialectics in Dialogos and the Pragmatics of Not-Thing in a Time of Crisis." eidos. A Journal of Cultural Philosophy 5(2): 58–77.

Gelding, Wendel. 2022. “A.I. Ethicist: Beware the techno-military-industrial-academic complex.” Wealth. February 18, 2022. (

Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1995. Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization. London. Back.

______. 2002. "New revolts against the system". New Left Review 18 (Nov/Dec): 29-39.

______. 2011. “Structural Crisis in the World System: Where Do We Go From Here?” Monthly Review 62(10). Retrieved October 25, 2022 (

______. 2013. “Global Turoil in the Middle Run” Immanuel Wallerstein Personal Blog. Comment 344. Retrieved October 24, 2022 (

______. 2019. World Systems Analysis: An Introduction. Johanneshov: MTM.

Widyasari, Anisa. 2022. “Telling the Truth with Powerful Ones Is Not a Crime: Dropping Charges Against Walden Bello, Decriminalizing Libel and Cyber ​​Defamation” Focus on the Global South. Retrieved October 15, 2022 (

Zuboff, Shoshana. 2020. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Struggle for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. New York: Public Affairs.


  • Pdf



Quote like this

Ezcurdia, J., & Anderson, J. (2023). Reflections on Walden Bello: The Persecution of the Global Left versus Intermunicipal Solidarity During the Hegemonic Crisis.Journal of World Systems Research,29(1), 193–211.

  • ACM
  • ACS
  • WAS
  • ABNT
  • Chicago
  • Harvard
  • IEEE
  • MLA
  • Turabian
  • Vancouver

Download quote

  • Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS)
  • BibTeX


Vol. 29 No. 1 (2023): Winter/Spring 2023




Copyright (c) 2023 Javier Ezcurdia, James Anderson

Reflections on Walden Bello: The Persecution of the Global Left versus Intermunicipal Solidarity During the Hegemonic Crisis (1)

This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Authors publishing with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. The author retains copyright in the work, and the term "work" includes any digital object that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
  2. Upon acceptance of the work, the author grants the publisher the right to publish the work for the first time.
  3. The author grants the publisher and its vicarious agents the non-exclusive, unlimited right and license to use the work in whole or in part in all now or later under aCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licenseor an equivalent permitting others, for the avoidance of doubt, to copy, distribute, and transmit the work subject to the following conditions:
    1. Attribution – other users must attribution the work in the manner given by the author, as stated on the journal's website;
    provided that the above condition may be waived with the permission of the author and that if the work or any element thereof is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the License.
  4. The author may enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal-published version of the work (e.g., publish in an institutional repository or publish in a book), provided that the document provides an acknowledgment of its first publication in this magazine.
  5. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post a pre-publication manuscript (but not the final formatted PDF version of the editor's work) online in institutional repositories or on their websites prior to and during the submission process, as this can lead to productive exchanges prior to publication and more frequent citation of published work. Any such publication made prior to the acceptance and publication of the work will be updated upon publication to include a reference to the publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) ​​and a link to the online abstract for the final published work in the record magazine.
  6. At the publisher's request, the author agrees to promptly furnish the publisher, at its own expense, with written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents to use any third-party material contained in the work, unless the publisher determines that covered is the principles of fair use.
  7. The author represents and warrants that:
    1. the work is the author's original work;
    2. the author has not and will not transfer any exclusive rights in the work to any third party;
    3. the work is not up for review or is being reviewed by another publisher;
    4. the work has not yet been published;
    5. the work does not misrepresent or violate the work or property of other authors or third parties; And
    6. The work does not contain defamation, invasion of privacy or other illegal content.
  8. The author agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the publisher if the author breaches the representations and warranties contained in paragraph 6 above, and any claim or proceeding related to the use and publication of any content contained in the work are, including third-party content, by the publisher.

Revised on 07/16/2018. Revision Description: Removed deprecated link.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 02/16/2023

Views: 6300

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.