Category Archives: Interviews

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


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 ..

“A Spark in the Dark”- new left party Levica determined to enter Macedonia’s Parliament?!


For a decade now, Macedonia has been systematically devastated by the deeply criminal rightwing populist Gruevski regime, which has demolished the rule of law, media, democracy in the country and has put the commons in the Party’s private possession resulting in rising poverty and unemployment, and a huge exodus of young people in particular. Following two waves of mass protests and an EU-mediated political agreement, the elections present an opportunity to finally get rid of Gruevski’s government. They also represent an opportunity for the relatively new political player, the recently formed lef ..

From border unto border: An interview with Clare Fester of Yiddishkayt


LeftEast‘s James Robertson spoke with Clare Fester, Associate Director of the Los Angeles-based cultural organization Yiddishkayt, about Yiddish culture, the history of Jewish socialism and the politics of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe today. JR: Tell us a little bit about the history of Yiddishkayt. What was the broader social or political background from which it originated? CF: Yiddishkayt began in 1995 as a live cultural festival in Los Angeles, but it has deeper roots. The original Yiddishkayt is part of a tradition of leftist and communist-affiliated Yiddish cultural organizations. Many members of t ..

Morgane Merteuil: Sex work can be emancipatory only as a collective process

source: la voix du nord

Note of the LeftEast editors: On April 13, 2016, the French government promulgated a law that makes it illegal to pay for sex after MPs finally approved new legislation on prostitution following more than two years of rows and opposition by senators. Under the new law, anyone caught purchasing an act from a sex worker will be fined and required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution. Six months on, according to the French union of sex workers STRASS, the law has made the nearly 30,000 sex workers in France more vulnerable. The union has further accused Maud Olivier, Socialist MP who is behind the bill, of ..

Interview: G. M. Tamás on the Anti-Immigration Referendum in Hungary


Note from the LeftEast editors: in run up to the anti-immigration referendum in Hungary (today 02 Oct 2016), Mary Taylor and Agnes Gagyi from the editorial board of LeftEast interviewed Hungarian Marxist philosopher and public intellectual G. M. Tamás on the current developments in Hungary and their connections with wider global-historical processes. LeftEast: On October 2 in Hungary there will be a referendum on the European migrant quotas. What work does this referendum do on the level of the Hungarian nation-state? How do you see the relationship of the referendum to processes on the international scale? G. ..

On Czech Marxism: An interview with Ivan Landa and Jan Mervart

Karel Kosik

LeftEast’s James Robertson speaks with Czech scholars Ivan Landa and Jan Mervart about their current project collating and translating some of the key texts from the history of Czech Marxism. Robertson: Both of you are currently involved in publishing a series of English translations of works by Czech (and Slovak?) Marxists. Can you say a few words about this project? How did it come about? Which philosophers you are working on? Landa: In fact we are currently pursuing two bigger parallel editorial projects: English translations of some of the most interesting Czech Marxist thinkers and besides that the cri ..

Turkey: the Political Balance of Forces in Three Interviews


The full version was published in Serbian on Masina. The attempted coup of July 15th caught me in Istanbul. What that night of adrenaline, shocking and confusing news, the sounds of machine-gun fire and low-flying military aircraft left me with was a desire to better understand what happened. Being so close to the Bosphorus bridges—a site of much of the action on that night–and witnessing first hand the masses responding to Erdogan’s call did not by itself help. What shed more light on the moment were three conversations I had with Turkish participants in our summer school: with Saygun Gökarıksel, w ..

Interview with “Prasvet” editor Tania Chyzhova


Tania Chyzhova, editor and author of the Belarusian marxist journal of left critique Prasvet ( and resource of wide-left orientation Studied philosophy in the Belarusian State University, then was an academic researcher in social philosophy and political science (marxism, theories of social agency, protest actions in Belarus). Mattia Gallo talked to Tania about the regime type in Belarus following the economic crisis of 2008 and the Ukrainian power shift. From most parts Belarus is defined as “the last dictatorship in Europe.” Do you think it is a right definition? What is the cu ..

Interview with MEP Soraya Post,on the occassion of International Romani Day


Ismael Cortes interviews MEP Soraya Post, on behalf of LeftEast. On the occasion of the International Romani Day, 8th April, the European Parliament hosted the Roma Week in collaboration with different civic organizations. A year has passed since 15th April 2015, when the European Parliament adopted the resolution on anti-Gypsyism and established the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day (2nd August). In this framework, the chairs of the political groups in the European Parliament gathered to discuss the need to combat anti-gypsyism and how to take forward the resolution into practice: “words into actions”. ..

On Marxism, barbarism, Russia, Greece and more: Interview with Kees van der Pijl


Kees van der Pijl is a Dutch political scientist who is emeritus professor of international relations at the University of Sussex. He is known for his critical approach to global political economy and has published, amongst others, a trilogy on Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy (2007, 2010, 2014); Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq (2006); Transnational Classes and International Relations (1998); and The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class. Kees van der Pijl was interviewed by George Souvlis and Yulia Yurchenko. Q1: Would you like to present yourself by focusing on the formative experience ..