Andreas Karitzis: The Left in power. What can we learn from the case of SYRIZA? (Part II)

Police measures set by Syriza during US President Obama's visit. Source: HKP

Note from the LeftEast editors: In this long interview with George Souvlis, Andreas Karitzis reflects on his experience as part of the Syriza leadership during the crucial years 2012-2015, on its underpreparedness for the historic project it embarked on, on the odds stacked against it, and on the configurations of power in today’s world. While Syriza’s fight for a fair deal for Greece and a socially just Europe has suffered (a temporary or permanent–we don’t know) defeat, Karizis’s reflections need to be heeded next time the Left comes to power. Part I is available here. ̵ ..

Andreas Karitzis: The Left in power. What can we learn from the case of SYRIZA? (Part I)

Syriza wins the election in September 2015, despite signing the memorandum in July. Source: Ekathimerini

Note from the LeftEast editors: In this long interview with George Souvlis, Andreas Karitzis reflects on his experience as part of the Syriza leadership during the crucial years 2012-2015, on its underpreparedness for the historic project it embarked on, on the odds stacked against it, and on the configurations of power in today’s world. While Syriza’s fight for a fair deal for Greece and a socially just Europe has suffered (a temporary or permanent–we don’t know) defeat, Karizis’s reflections need to be heeded next time the Left comes to power. Part II will follow next week. 1 ..

Leo Panitch: “What does it mean to smash the state? This is our great challenge.”

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Note from the LeftEast editors: Our comrades from the Serbian Left-wing portal MAŠINA spoke to Marxist political economist Leo Panitch (York University) during his stay in Belgrade. There he was a guest at the conference The Return of Utopia (BCS), organized by the Center for Political Emancipation. This is the first appearance of the interview in English. Its original publication in Serbian can be accessed here. On behalf of Masina it was carried out by András Juhász. Q: Would you publicly declare yourself to be a socialist? A: Definitely. Q: Why? A: That’s a hard question to decide how to answer. In t ..

Turkey’s fragile Bonapartism

Photo: habersepeti.co

Turkey may hold a referendum on the transition to an authoritarian presidential system as soon as late March; however, Erdoğan’s Bonapartist shift does not herald stability for the ruling class, nor a solution to the crisis of neoliberalism. The argument that the contemporary world panorama resembles that of the 1930’s has almost become a cliché. A severe economic depression unseen since that period was likewise followed by a wave of uprisings (2011-14), which, for the moment, seems to be defeated, as we witness a sharp turn towards the right among the working masses. The capitalist system’s current crisi ..

Transgression as ends and means: The trial of Kaur Kender

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Early last year the Estonian writer and controversial public figure Kaur Kender was formally charged with production of child pornography. The charges related to a novella Kender penned in the winter of 2014 entitled Untitled 12, which depicts the violent sexual abuse of women and children by an unnamed protagonist. The persecution of the novella’s author has ensured that it has achieved an infamy incommensurate with its literary worth. Kender’s trial began in May in Tallinn. At the request of the prosecutor, Lea Pähkel, the trial has been partially closed ‘for reasons of public morality’ bu ..

“Of the past let us make a crime…”: Anti-Populism and the Politics of Memory in Bulgarian Liberalism

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Notes from the LeftEast editors: this article is published in cooperation with Bilten.Org where it appeared in Serbo-Croatian on the 12/16/2016. Note from the author on the English language publication: In this article I focus on the latest chapter of the ongoing ‘memory wars’ in Bulgarian public and political life. I tease out the demophobic implications of the latest amendment in the 2000 Law that declares Communism a criminal regime. Anti-communism was the staple food of the 1990s democratic opposition: “democracy” was conceived as anti-communist by definition. The more time passes, however, t ..

Tones of Vio-liberalism

Image from the Brazilian protests against the constitutional amendment PEC 55, which limits public spending (Reuters/Adriano Machado)

CLICK your fingers. Click them again. Watch. The sound – the click – isn’t produced by two fingers rubbing each other, but by your middle finger hitting your palm, making contact. Now try to make a click without hitting your palm. What do you hear? An annoying, quiet, ineffectual scratching. CLICK CLICK—two tweets blow out neoliberalism’s candle. “It is the end of an era, the era of neoliberalism. We don’t yet know what will succeed it,” wrote Gérard Araud, French ambassador to the U.S., after Trump’s win. “Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built,” wrote Florian Philippot of Front ..

Macedonia in a stalemate following the latest electoral “victory” of its managed democracy

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This article is published in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten, where it originally came out on the 15th of December . On the 11th of December this year, Parliamentary elections in Macedonia saw the ruling DPMNE just managing to scrape by another electoral victory, winning a majority of 51 seats, compared to the 49 won by their nemesis, the SDSM (the Social Democrats). According to the State Electoral Commission, there was a 16.240 vote-difference between the two. Down to 51 mandates, DPMNE lost 10 MP seats since the last Parliamentary elections in 2014 (when it had 61 MPs), and the Party’s preponde ..