What Can We Learn from Vampires and Idiots?

In what follows, we have republished a chapter from Ilya Budraitskis’s new book, Мир, который построил Хантингтон и в котором живем все мы (The World Invented by Huntington in which We All Live. Moscow: Tsiolkovsky, 2020), following a review of the book by Vasily Kuzmin (translated from the Russian by Rossen Djagalov). Many thanks to Giuliano Vivaldi for the translation of Budraitskis’s own text and to the internet journal e-flux, where Vivaldi’s translation first appeared. Kuzmin’s review is available in Russian at the bottom of the page. Vas ..

A Seller’s Market? On buying and selling labor power these days in Slovenia

We are publishing this article in cooperation with the internal portal Bilten, in which it first appeared in Serbo-Croatian. It’s a seller’s market! I speak of the Slovenian Labour Force Market, “sellers” being workers selling their labour power. Statistically speaking, the country’s unemployment rate is at a record low level: 7,2 percent as of September. Compared to almost twice that number at the peak of the last financial crisis in 2013/14, this all appears to be very encouraging. Yet like paintings, statistics are beautiful only if we admire them from the appropriate distance. Co ..

There is power in a union: Reflections on the Albanian miners’ struggle

Wealth concentrates while poverty spreads. While gravitational forces cause objects to fall toward the earth, market forces cause value to fall by the same place with orthodox rigorosity, year after year. The pattern is however cyclically interrupted. Social movements, financial crisis and technical advancements trigger systemic changes that open the way toward the reconstruction and redistribution of wealth. The interruption narrative from Hesiod’s Theogony, where the titans fought the Olympians in the battles of Thessaly, to the wave of changes of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Eastern Europe, provides a c ..

Socialism and development: seven theses on global integration

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, an inability to see East European history in a global perspective still remains a major limitation for understanding the significance of socialism and the post-socialist transformation.. Achieving such a global perspective requires us to abstain from Cold War interpretation frameworks, which pictured East and West as separate and opposing worlds, as well as from the reactualization of such frameworks within contemporary geopolitical power struggles. Furthermore, it requires readjusting our focus towards the global dimensions of a deepening socio-economic and politic ..

Their day has come: Sinn Féin’s success in the Irish General election

A political earthquake has taken place in Ireland and surprisingly it was almost completely unexpected up until a few weeks ago when all commentators agreed that the election would be a contest between the two centre right parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who have dominated Irish politics since the foundation of the state in 1923. What happened was radically different, and has caused a great deal of confusion and frustration among the establishment. The left-wing Sinn Fein (GUE NGL) party came first in overall votes with over 24% of the vote and 37 seats, compared to Fianna Fáil’s (Renew Europe) 22% and Fin ..

Don’t Mistake the Finger for the Moon: Bernie Sanders and the Movement

Note from the LeftEast editors: Now, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Corbyn-led Labour party in the United Kingdom, the left’s hopes for an electoral path to power using the vehicle of some pre-existing mass, centre-left party have been reduced to just one name: Bernie Sanders. His populist, common-sense account of the problems plaguing American society (and their root cause, capitalism) as well as his proposed solutions have not only legitimized the hitherto tabooed word “socialism” but have also inspired hope among millions of ordinary Americans. Bernie still has a steep hill to climb: he first has ..

Irish voters reject the Right: a new opportunity for the Left?

Sinn Féin, a nationalist party that sits with the left/far-left group in the European parliament and from the 1970s to ’90s was attached to an armed insurgency in Northern Ireland, won the most first-preference votes in this month’s general election in the Republic of Ireland. It now has about the same number of parliamentary seats as each of the state’s traditional centrist “big parties”, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. This is an extraordinary development by any measure. However, with the party’s vote and seat share sitting just below one quarter, and with “the Left” in total, gener ..

Call for solidarity: Russian antifascists sentenced to 6- 18 years prison

Note from LeftEast editors: we republish this post which initially appeared on Freedom Co-op’s blog and call for solidarity with the unjustly detained, tortured and convicted comrades. See below what actions you can take to support them. The trial of seven Russian antifascists accused of terrorist offences ended today in Penza, western Russia. Dmitry Pchelintsev recieved 18 years, Ilya Shakursky 16 years, Arman Sagynbaev 6 years, Andrei Chernov 14 years, Vasily Kuksov 9 years, Mikhail Kulkov 10 years and Maxim Ivankin 13 years imprisonment. The Network case has begun in October 2017, when the Russian Federa ..

Sinn Féin and the land issue: notes on the 2020 Irish general election

A century ago a change began in Ireland but some radical change can take centuries. An Irish Countess (married to an undocumented polish immigrant) was elected Minister for Labour for Sinn Féin. This was a first as women had yet to gain the right to vote. The US-based Irish Republican Brotherhood had pushed through an unpopular rebellion even after leaks to the Empire’s Intelligence Services. The rebellion failed but the ensuing military punitive overreaction – executing all but two military leaders – ensured further resistance. De Valera, a Spanish-American catholic, and that same indomitable Countess Con ..

[Podcast] Neda Deneva: Being taken care of. The case of medicalizing birth-giving.

Note from LeftEast editors: We share this podcast with the permission of its producers from Contrasens. “Contrasens” is a podcast which explores current themes in the field of the social sciences. The project aims to bring to the forefront and make as accessible as possible research conducted by sociologists, anthropologists and other specialists from related fields. Content hosts and producers are students from the Faculty of Sociologu and Social Assistance, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj: Marina Mironica, Matei Mlinarcic, Karol Pataki, Pati Murg, Vlad Bejinariu and Maria Martelli. Rarely do we take the tim ..