Articles by Catherine Samary

In the name of the communist ideal

One of the received ideas that became a ‘truth’ after the fall of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviet bloc’s populations cursed communism, yet obeyed it slavishly. In fact, many social movements within the Eastern bloc had long aspired to genuine socialism. This article was first published in the French edition of Le Monde Diplomatique in March. The British Edition was published in May and is available here. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989-1991 is still portrayed as a collection of simplistic clichés (1). British political analyst Timothy Garton Ash says that ‘in 1989 Europeans proposed a new mod ..

Eastern Europe: revisiting the ambiguous revolutions of 1989

Those embryonic revolutions towards a third way were repressed and dismantled by the bipolar world’s dominant forces through different episodes, because the mobilised democratic forces were an alternative to the existing political order which tried to impose its own end, a reality hidden by Cold War concepts and the transformation that followed 1989. Continue reading →

A Utopian in the Balkans

This book review was originally published by New Left Review. Darko Suvin,Splendour, Misery and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia. Haymarket Books: Chicago 2018. How is it,asks Darko Suvin, with Brechtian directness, that socialist Yugoslavia started out so well, yet ended up so very badly? In answering that question he has produced an extraordinary work on the philosophy of emancipation, the lived possibilities of workers’ self-management and the horizon—in Ernst Bloch’s sense of the willed and worked-for future—of democratic communism.Studded withaperçusfrom Aristotle, Dante, Montesquieu, ..