Category Archives: Insert

“Bulgarian welfare does not combat poverty but the poor”*

The article was originally published in the portal of the Bulgarian left, New Left Perspectives. KOI’s 2018 report “The people” against welfare payments: or the art of making those in need ask for more restrictions against themselves authored by Vanya Grigorova is a follow-up of an earlier, 2016 report entitled Poor against poor. That previous report detailed the ever-proliferating types of welfare payments existent in Bulgaria, the common misconceptions about them, and the discursive and policy stratagems the Right deploys to limit access to the social safety nets. The main thesis, then and now, is that t ..

Can Russia’s opposition come together to fight the Kremlin’s pension reform?

The article originally appeared in OpenDemocracy-Russia & Beyond. While popular opinion is dead against the Russian government’s continued neoliberal line in social policy, opposition groups are competing for influence and electorate. Translated from the original Russian by Thomas Campbell. Now that the State Duma has passed the first reading of draft legislation reforming Russia’s pension system, we can speak confidently of a serious turn in state-society relations in Russia. For the first time in 15 years, the Russian government is risking a large-scale, unpopular reform. The government proposes radica ..

‘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 ..

Panagiotis Sotiris: We can write new pages of common struggle!

Panagiotis Sotiris is a writer and activist living in Athens. He is a member of Left Recomposition (Aristeri Anasynthesi, ARAN), an organization of the Greek Radical Left and also of Popular Unity, which is a left-wing front in Greece. LeftEast: It is interesting to think if, to what extent and how the left in each country has influenced the left in the other. The Greek left has had a formative impact on the Macedonian left-  has the (development of the) Macedonian (new) left in any way influenced the Greek left? Is that so, and if yes, how is this influence reflected in your conversations, strategies and ways ..

Alek Atevik: We need a Balkan socialist movement

Alek Atevik is working in Skopje. He is an editor of Nova iskra and a member of Marxist Organization Crveni. He is a founding member of Levica, where he is a coordinator of Program Sector Foreign policy, Defense and Security. LE1: It is interesting to think if, to what extent and how the left in each country has influenced the left in the other. The Greek left has had a formative impact on the Macedonian left- how, if at all, has the fall from grace of Syriza impacted on the Macedonian left? Is that so, and if yes, how is this influence reflected in your conversations, strategies and ways of organising? Alek At ..

The Penza “Terrorism” Case

This article originally published in Russian by OVD-info was translated into English by The Russian Reader. On January 23, antifascist Viktor Filinkov disappeared in Petersburg. He was found two days later: the press service of the Petersburg court system related Filinkov had been remanded to police custody after confessing his involvement in a terrorist network whose members “profess[ed] the anarchist ideology.” Members of the Public Monitoring Commission were able to visit him in the pretrial detention center a day later. Filinkov told them he had been tortured. On January 25, Petersburger Igor Shishkin di ..

DECLARATION: In the face of nationalist consensus and militaristic unreason, we condemn Erdogan’s war on Afrin!

This declaration by Sosyalist demokrasi icin Yeniyol, the Turkish branch of the Fourth International, was first published in International Viewpoint. After weeks of moral preparation, diplomatic pressure and massive disinformation, the Turkish state has finally attacked the predominantly Kurdish enclave of Afrin, located in north-western Syria. Skilfully playing on the cleavages between Washington and Moscow, the Turkish President has launched a major military operation involving air strikes, the deployment of Islamist militias and the incursion of Turkish troops on Syrian soil ready for the offensive. We strongl ..

Dutiful dirges of Davos

This post was first published on the Global Inequality blog run by Branko Milanovic. “You will find me eager to help you, but slow to take any step.” Euripides, Hecuba Thousands of people will gather next week in Davos. Their combined wealth will reach several hundred billion dollars, perhaps even close to a trillion. Never in world history will be the amount of wealth per square foot so high. And this year, for the sixth or seventh consecutive time, what would be one of the principal topics addressed by these captains of industry, billionaires, employers of thousands of people across the four corners ..