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, ..
We are publishing this article in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten. In the “Offenders in Gabrovo!” Facebook group, natives of the eponymous Central Bulgarian town comment upon all sorts of irregularities: they lambaste the owner of a car parked on the wrong side of the street, mobilize to replace a broken lamp post, ridicule the municipality’s failed street disinfection campaign, announce a lost set of keys, and criticize irregular public transportation. With more than 25 000 members, roughly half the town’s population, the group serves as a messy sort of a citizen’s ass ..
This article comprises a report on the proceedings of a conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia on 11-14 October 2018, co-organized by a number of foundations as part of the Transnational Institute’s New Politics project. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the world finds itself in a new era of political turmoil. If the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 were celebrated as the beginning of a global neoliberal era, the contradictions set in place by this reconfiguration of global capitalism are breaking open today in the form of economic and soci ..
We are publishing this article in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten. Recently, relatively new political actors in Romania announced their intention to run for the upcoming elections of a new European Parliament. Their profiles could not be more different but they share nonetheless a common feature that neatly expresses the systemic and terminal crisis of post-communist Romanian politics. Rather than representing a break with the old order, the articulation of these new forces is a symptom of its stubborn endurance. USR (Union to Save Romania) is the more established contender not just in histo ..
A Heated Discussion at the GoEast Film Festival If I could summarize the discussion titled “What Went Wrong in the Nineties” held at the GoEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany, in April, I would draw on the name of the festival itself to call it: “Go West!” Bringing together an eclectic mix of professionals, the hour-and-a-half-long talk turned out to be not only a lesson in further humility for the austerity-ridden and transition-fatigued East Europeans, but a telling example that what actually did go wrong in the nineties—namely the financialization of Eastern Europe and its (re)tu ..
Originally published by the Bulgarian web journal Terminal 3, this article came to us via the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association. An update from the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association on the sixteenth day of Jock Palfreeman’s hunger strike, May 6, 2019 (after the original article was written, in Bulgarian) as a protest against corruption and abuse of power by the staff of Sofia Prison and its chief in particular: “After his transfer from the Kazichene prison to the Sofia Prison (in order to be put under medical observation), he was harassed by guards. On Saturday, May 4th, the chief of the shi ..
This is Éva Gönczi’s translation of an article that first appeared in Hungarian in the journal Népszava on April 21, 2019. Here György Heimer interviews well-known sociologist József Böröcz on the luster and pitfalls of the European Union, at a time when that institution has become the object of great polarization in Hungary and across the continent. „We support the United States of Europe”—this is the message of the left liberal opposition. At the same time a government spokesman claims that the EU presents a security hazard for Hungary. What is your view? I am not a politician, it would be a ..
Venezuela has been at the center of heated left-wing polemics for some time now. As tensions rise in the border regions of the country and self-appointed “interim president” Juan Guaido calls for ever more militant action, including even armed rebellion, concerns grow over the possibility of a foreign intervention. As with previous such interventions, legitimacy is being drawn from a combination of propaganda and a display of an apparent “international” consensus against Maduro’s Government. Many countries from the European periphery have been complicit in this agenda. LeftEast appro ..
Click on the triangular “play” button above to hear this segment. In this audeo clip, first broadcast by Public Radio International/WNYC in New York, historian Peter Linebaugh discusses the history and future of International Workers Day–or, to use the title of his latest book, “the incomplete, true, authentic and wonderful history of May Day.” Many Americans, familiar only with the holiday called “May Day” that has been celebrated in North America since colonial times, are not aware that the International Workers’ Day celebrated by the labor movement around the wor ..