Articles by admin

Levica: a left case for boycott of the referendum on the Macedonia name dispute

Note from LeftEast Editors: In June an agreement was signed between Greece and Macedonia. According to it, the latter’s name will be changed into the Republic of North Macedonia. One of the attributes of the agreement is that Macedonia will be promised membership of the EU and NATO, which Greece had previously blocked. The agreement has been applauded by the western establishment and even garnered the support of some well-regarded names on the left. And yet other figures on the left have criticized it for being “ in the service of US imperialism and European capital.” On September 30th a referendum is takin ..

The Five Star Movement and the League Constitute a Lethal Political Cocktail

The interview was first published in Hungarian, on the Mé website. Tensions between Rome and Brussels are going to increase, says Italian scholar Lorenzo Cini. The centrist populist Five Star Movement and the extreme right-wing League managed to replace the traditional mainstream parties, however aside from belligerent anti-EU and anti-migration rhetoric, their governance will not bring relief to Italians suffering from the effects of crisis and austerity. I think I am transmitting the puzzlement of many people not familiar with Italian politics when I ask: what exactly is the Five Star Movement (M5S)? How ..

‘Stop Treating Us Like Dogs!’ Worker Resistance at Amazon in Poland

This article originally appeared on the PlutoPress blog and is authored by Amazon workers and their supporters. Global capitalism is a precarious system, relying on the steady flow of goods across the world. When Amazon arrived in  Poland, it was attracted by cheap labour costs and strict union laws, little did it know that the high-pressure working conditions it institutes would produce wildcat strikes and cross-border solidarities amongst its Polish workforce. In this blog, Amazon warehouse workers provide a first-hand account of their work and their struggles. This blog is extracted from Choke Points, a coll ..

Desperately seeking socialism: why the Soviet Union’s left-wing dissidents matter today

The following text appeared on OpenDemocracy, and features a review by Gabriel Levy of Ilya Budraistkis’ book ‘Dissidents Among Dissidents,’ a new collection of essays published in Russian in 2017 by Free Marxist Publishers. It was originally published on People and Nature.  This new collection of essays seeks to rebalance our understanding of dissent in the late Soviet Union, drawing attention to democratic socialists from the 1950s into the 1980s. The “New Cold War” is the subject of the most politically compelling of the essays in this book by the Russian socialist Ilya Budraitskis. He w ..

A Disharmony of Powers: Five more years of Erdoğan?

This article originally appeared on N+1mag and was penned by an anonymous author. SUAVE AND SYMPATHETIC, Beyazıt Öztürk is known for making even his most troublesome guests feel at home. The veteran comedian was in the middle of his call-in talk show, the most popular program on Turkish TV, when he received an unexpected call. A woman’s voice, trembling but persistent, admonished him and his guests to remember the children. Are they aware that children are dying? Do they know what is happening in Diyarbakır as the armed forces hunt Kurdish insurgents and the civilians who failed to leave have become fair ga ..

Call for Solidarity from Bulgaria: No Nazis on Our Streets, No to Fortress Europe

Note from the LeftEast editors: In January 2018 Bulgaria has taken the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first six months of 2018. Meanwhile Neonazis will still be marching the on the streets of Sofia in February to commemorate General Hristo Lukov: the head of the interwar Legion and Minister of War in the late 1930s. Known as a stark nationalist and anti-semite, he was killed by a partisan woman. The march that commemorates him combines nationalist, chauvinist, anti-communist and racist rhetorics. It is a feast of the international right extreme, whose members come to Bulgaria in big num ..

Open Letter to the University of Vienna

We, the undersigned, condemn the invitation of Ayelet Shaked, minister of Justice and member of far-right party HaBayit HaYehudi in Israel who openly called for mass murder of Palestinians to hold a roundtable discussion at the University of Vienna on the 15th of February, called “Protecting Human Rights While Countering Terrorism – The Israeli Case”. In July 2014, Shaked, who is known for her radical incitements on social media, publicly shared a quote from Uri Elitzur, who was a leading pro settler journalist and a close adviser to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What follows are some excerpts of this ..

Undermined: how the state is selling out Ukraine’s coal workers

Vitalii Atanasov// Dec. 19, 2016// OpenDemocracy-Russia Ukraine’s miners were once heroes of socialist labour. Today, after years of sector-wide neglect and corruption, there are new plans for further mine closures, leaving thousands of people without work. September 2016: miners from Novovolysnk No.10 in west Ukraine protest the government’s plans to close their mine. (c) RIA Novosti. All rights reserved. Since 2014, war has redrawn the map of Ukraine, removing many of its mining operations. Half of Ukraine’s 150 mines operational before 2014 are now in the territories of the so-called “Peoples’ R ..

‘Tyrants across the world know now they can maintain power through mass slaughter.’ Interview with Leila al-Shami for Open Left

by Gabriel Levy and Ilya Matveev Leila al-Shami, co-author of Burning Country, a writer who has worked with human rights movements in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, gave this interview to Ilya Matveev and Gabriel Levy on 29 November for OpenLeft (before the fall of Aleppo to the government forces). It sheds some light on the social and geopolitical situation which has rendered the Allepo crisis so severe in these past weeks. It is also, however, part of an emerging transnational conversation between anti-war activists in Russia and Syrian activists, spearheaded by portals such as OpenLeft, where the int ..

József Böröcz: “An incapacity to see ourselves as part of the whole world, and the insistence to see ourselves as part of Europe”

This interview with József Böröcz, professor of sociology at Rutgers University, was conducted by Ágnes Gagyi and Gergő Pulay in 2012. In a way, it is a dense summary of the conceptual perspective which had informed the new wave of  intellectual left emerging in the region – including LeftEast – especially in regard to Eastern Europe’s post-socialist transformation and EU accession in the context of global capitalism. Four years later, further mired in the conflicts that this perspective foreshadowed, this concise summary is colored by the experiences, fatigue and different social geography of the ..