Petition to Return the Lukács Statue and Reopen the Lukács Archives in Budapest

The recent attacks waged by the Hungarian Fidesz government on independent media outlets, NGOs, or academic institutions, has been accompanied by a violent attempt to erase the memory of socialist alternatives. The removal of George Lukács’ statue, and the closure of its archives are just part of this conservative revolution and its new kulturkampf … The editorial board of Lefteast urges you to sign this petition. On 28 March, the statue of renowned Marxist philosopher George Lukács (1890-1971) was removed from Saint Stephen’s park in the 13th district of Budapest. The sculpture, commissioned by the Hunga ..

Quilting Point: why leftists should defend the Central European University

There is little on the global horizon these days that points toward socialism, but one thing we have more than enough of is regressive anti-capitalism: a mentality more than a political standpoint, which insists on personalizing the impersonal logic of capital, railing not at the society of commodity exchange, but at banksters, parasites, the New World Order…at Jews, now as then…and at George Soros. The investor with left-liberal aspirations has become the veritable “quilting point” turning vague but intense dissatisfactions with the global capitalist order into conspiracy theory and natio ..

Solidarity with #AcademicsForPeace in Turkey

We publish here a call for solidarity with the #AcademicsForPeace initiative in Turkey. Violent attacks on university employees around Turkey have made your support more necessary than ever. “We ask the state to put an end to violence inflicted against citizens right now, we as academics and researchers of this country declare that we won’t be a party to this crime and that promise that we will sustain our stance in the presence of political parties, parliament and international public”. Over 1,400 academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad have signed the statement titled “We will not be a party to ..

What happened on March 26th? Russia’s movement against corruption and perspectives for the Left

This text was originally published in Russian in OpenLeft.ru. We would like to thank Eliza Ivanova for the translation. Introduction On March 26th, people in many Russian cities participated in rallies connected to the recent anti-corruption investigation by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation. One could say that these were the most numerous street protests of the past few years.  In contrast to the Bolotnaya protests of 2012, which focused on demanding fair and open elections, the main issues these rallies addressed were the unjust distribution of resources and the Russian oligarchical system. Many of ..

Fidesz’s Attack on Central European University

On Friday evening a new legislative proposal suddenly appeared on the website of the Hungarian Parliament. The draft put forward a number of modifications to the statute regulating higher education, alterations mainly affecting the activity of foreign universities in Hungary. The step was widely interpreted as a governmental attack on Central European University (CEU), a 25-year-old Budapest institution founded by the international financier, George Soros. In effect CEU won’t be able to carry on its activities if the law is passed, being the only foreign university affected by the new amendments: so the interpr ..

Belarusian activists: Freedom or Prison – It’s All the Same

How ‘Freedom Day’ went in Belarus, and what to expect next: comments from Belarusian activists On 25 May 2017, demonstrations marking Freedom Day took place in cities across Belarus (Freedom Day is the anniversary of the announcement of the self-proclaimed Belarusian People’s Republic on 25 March 1918; it is celebrated mainly by Belarusian nationalists). The government’s reaction to the demonstrations was quite brutal: in Minsk the unauthorized rally, attended by several thousand people, was dispersed by the police and about seven hundred participants were detained. Similar rallies were held in Gomel, Bre ..

DEMOS: Social Europe, Our Europe. Priorities for Romania’s European policies

Note from the LeftEast editors: As a part of a broader series of comments and analyses from different actors and groups in the Romania Left about the recent protest wave in the country, we are now publishing the policy statement/manifesto of the new left formation DEMOS. DEMOS is a leftist and environmentalist political platform from Romania established in 2016. Its members, previously active in various social movements and campaigns, decided to form it as a response to the growing inequality, severe poverty, destruction of the public goods and services and environmental degradation in the country, issues which ..

“Scratch a Russian liberal and you’ll find an educated conservative”: an interview with sociologist Greg Yudin

Note from the LeftEast editors: In this interview conducted by Gleb Napreenko, published in Russian in the Colta.ru-hosted Discordance: a Journal of Social and Art Criticism and generously translated for LeftEast by Kristina Mayman, sociologist Greg Yudin speaks about the deceitfulness of opinion polling, the fear of the elites for the people, and the political suicide of the intelligentsia. Gleb Napreenko: There is a widespread idea in today’s Russia about a certain conservative majority that supports Putin and his politics. This idea is based on opinion polls – it is they that demonstrate to us t ..

The Freedom to Say “No”: Interview with dismissed Turkish academic and Yeniyol editor Uraz Aydin

Note from the LeftEast editors: For the last several months in Turkish politics, the party-state’s agenda has been dominated by two interconnected operations: consolidation of power and elimination of opposition. The former will culminate in the constitutional referendum of April 16 this year, which will, if successful, transform Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential republic, further strengthening Erdogan’s personal rule and making it nearly impossible to electorally challenge AKP hegemony in the foreseeable future. Whole cities are plastered with giant “Evet!” (Yes!) posters, w ..

Romanian Soldiers and 1917: Memoirs from the other Side of the Revolution

Introduction and Context  The Two Revolutions The following text is a short fragment of an eye-witness account of the 1917 Revolutions: Voicu Nițescu’s Twenty Months in Russian and Siberia published in Brașov (Romania) in 1926. The book, a rather long-winded work of three volumes, is not the work of an enthusiast: there is hardly any sympathy in it for the February Revolution, let alone Red October. One would search in vain for the heroic undertones of John Reed’s writings or for its stern fervour. For Nițescu, when not a dreadfully murderous enterprise, the Revolution was just a sure recipe for disaster ..