Interview with the Emma Collective from Kaunas

The Emma Social Center is organizing a feminist gathering in Kaunas, Lithuania between 24-26 of August 2018. Their call for participants and activity proposals can be found here: https://feminismineasterneurope.wordpress.com/.  LeftEast Femineast editor Alexandra Ghit talked to them briefly about the Center, inter-sectional feminist political organizing, the worrisome situation in Eastern Europe and their hopes for this gathering and a larger Conference they are planning to organize in 2019. Can you tell me more about the “Emma” feminist group in Kaunas? The Emma Social Center is named after Emma Goldman, w ..

VIDEO: From Socialist Finance to Peripheral Financialization: The Yugoslav Experience

Note from LeftEast Editors: We publish this Video with the kind permission from the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the City University of New York. Socialist countries have always had banks: central banks, savings banks taking local deposits, commercial banks, and export banks. Che Guevara was even the director of the National Bank of Cuba. What makes socialist banks “socialist”? And what are the relationships between socialist and global finance? How was socialist finance taken over by networks of secret services and company managers, who supported and structured the transition to authoritarian, ..

What the Left Needs is to Reinvent Itself – An Interview with Srećko Horvat

The following interview of Srećko Horvat by Magdaléna Hajdučková and Jaroslav Michl first appeared in Deník referendum, a Czech web-portal. Magdaléna Hajdučková and Jaroslav Michl: The Left in post-socialist Central and Eastern European countries is facing a deep crisis. Hungary and Poland are on their way to becoming authoritarian regimes. What is your explanation of developments in those countries – which have already had such direct experiences of non-democratic regimes – orienting themselves once again toward an authoritarian state? Srećko Horvat: We can only understand this if we are able ..

Turn off the Lights

This article on the liberalization of Romania’s electricity sector originally appeared on Bilten.org in April 2018. We’re reprinting the English version of the text here. On 1 January 2018, the Romanian electricity market was entirely liberalized. This has been a long process that started in 1998 with the formation of a national authority for regulating the electricity sector and was followed up with the break-up of the former communist integrated system into several companies in 2000. The liberalization, it was hoped and promised, will bring better services, real options for customers and smaller ta ..

Why is this a Scandal? Two Swiss-Kosovar Players Celebrate their Goals

Even in the world’s greatest “football festival,” politics is never far away. Balkan politics too came to the party, in a big way! Serbia lost to Switzerland in the last minute, thanks to two goals scored by players of Kosovar origins. Celebrating their goals, they made gestures recalling their origins, reigniting nationalist passions in the process On Friday, June 22nd, the Swiss team defeated Serbia by a score of 2 to 1. Switzerland’s two goals were scored by Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, two Swiss players of Kosovar origin. To celebrate their two (beautiful) goals, the players made a gesture evokin ..

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

The interview was first published in Hungarian, on the Mérce.hu 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 ..

The 1968 Student Revolt in Yugoslavia: “We demanded a radically different socialism!” (Part 2)

We publish here the second part of our interview with Dragomir Olujić (Oluja) on the “student revolt” of 1968 in Yugoslavia, in which Oluja took part as a student in Belgrade. In the first part of the interview we discussed the international situation, the struggles of the workers and the youth around the world, struggles against the Vietnam War, the wars of national liberation in the so-called ‘Third World,’ dissident movements in the ‘socialist camp,’ etc. All of this influenced the situation in Yugoslavia, but Yugoslav society was also undergoing its own political, economic ..

‘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 ..

Five Senses of Austerity: Happiness goes through the Stomach (Podcast)

The last episode of the Five Senses of Austerity deals with the rationing of food in late Romanian socialism. It tells the story of the 1987 worker’s revolt from the city of Brasov, which marked the beginning of the end of the regime, and then goes on to explore the final moments of Romanian socialism. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is done in collaboration with the Blinken Open Society Archives.

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 ..