Interview with Costas Lapavitsas: Strategies for the renaissance of the left in Europe

Note from LeftEast Editors: The following interview with Costas Lapavitsas, conducted by Darko Vujica was originally published by prometej.ba on June 10th 2017.  D.V: The standard neo-liberal narrative describes the Greek crisis as a repercussion of the overspending of the indolent Greeks, and this served as an excuse for imposing austerity measures. Could you explain in more detail what actually happened? C.L: There is no content to the view that the crisis was because of the indolence or the spendthrift nature of the Greeks. The crisis was generally in the Eurozone and Greece was the worst case. This crisis h ..

“Britain for the many not the few” – some perspectives on the UK elections

Note from LeftEast editors: “Today is election day in the UK, but it’s implication resonate far beyond the island. Instead of imploding, first ideologically, then electorally, as social democratic parties in Greece and France have done, British Labour under the leadership of long-time socialist activist Jeremy Corbyn has fought a decidedly leftist, anti-austerity campaign. [Needless to say that] the recent resurgence of left-wing parties in electoral politics, from Syriza to Corbyn’s Labour, has elicited a lot of soul-searching among left-wing activists and beyond. Rather than a moralistic attitude, eit ..

Leo Fischer: Corbyn- a major boost to the international Left?

Even if Corbyn does not become British PM tomorrow, his performance will certainly be a major boost to an international Left, which finds itself completely demoralized in a world descending into barbarism. I don´t harbour any illusions on what Corbyn can achieve as PM or even within a Labour Party apparatus largely hostile to his agenda. But the one thing that I am grateful for, is the fact that an outsider, a long-standing campaigner on numerous social isssues, and a man of principles with no previous record of political vanity can – despite having all odds against him – reach out to millions. If th ..

Pavle Ilic: The Labour Campaign- A Sign of Times To Come?

I’m pretty much sure that all of the people from the UK on my friends’ list will cast their vote for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party today at the UK GE2017, so this is not really a call to action directed at them. However, I would like to write a couple of words about the implications of the direct correlation between the Labour election result and the development of the left continent-wide (perhaps even wider): The all-wise self-fulfilling-prophecy-making philistines of the left shared a crucial bit of political analysis with the EU ruling elites, i. e. they both viewed Syriza as a doomed-to-begi ..

Iran again? Rouhani’s new challenges

Note from LeftEast Editors: This article is republished from the blog Presidential Power, which follows the activity of both directly elected and indirectly elected presidents. On Friday 19th May, Iranians residing in the Islamic Republic and abroad confirmed Hassan Rouhani as the president of the Republic. The electoral campaign had been particularly contentious, and since the first TV debate among the candidates, tones had turned harsh. “Iran again” (Iran dobare) is the post-election slogan that Rouhani’s supporters had chosen. However, in office again Rouhani will need to deal with a number of new chal ..

Russian Working Women’s Political Activism in 1917: What sort of patriarchy did women confront?

This article draws on Anne Bobroff-Hajal’s research in Soviet and U.S. archives for the book Working Women in Russia Under the Hunger Tsars: Political Activism and Daily Life (1994), now available online as a free pdf download. The research focused on the factories of the Central Industrial Region around Moscow, selected because so many women – including married women – were employed in its huge textile and other factories.  The reader wishing more details of these women’s and men’s 1917 activism, their lives, and socialization rituals, will find a fuller picture in the book (and the Ph.D ..

Electoral Advance For The Radical Left in Croatia

Local elections were held in Croatia on May 21st. This was the first time since the 1990 that the radical left has made significant gains, which is especially encouraging in light of the probable parliamentary snap elections in September. In the capital of Zagreb, the wide left front (consisting of five, mostly new or newish, parties – ranging from left liberals to anti-capitalists) got 7,64% in the elections for the city council (around 24.000 votes). In lower levels of local government, the left front “Zagreb je nas” had even better results – close to 30% in some cases. The explicitly an ..

Bulgaria’s New Cabinet and EPP’s Flirt with the Extreme Right

A version of this article was first published in Bulgarian at Baricada. Two weeks ago, on May 4, flamboyant Bulgarian rightist leader Boyko Borisov swore in for his third time to serve as the country’s prime minister. A return to the helm of power in Bulgaria is not an honour that anyone else can boast for the period since 1989. In November 2016, Borisov filed the resignation of his second cabinet, after the candidate of his political party GERB, Tsetska Tsacheva, was defeated in Bulgaria’s presidential elections by Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) nominee Rumen Radev. That was a move familiar from 2013, when ..

Ukraine’s Civil War Crimes: Facebook Post As Bad As Kidnapping, Torture, and Murder

On May 12th, the Artemovsk court in the Donetsk oblast (province), sentenced a soldier to five years of prison with a three year probation period for the kidnapping of a local civilian that resulted in his death. The ruling cited the soldier’s ‘sincere confession and military engagement in the Anti-Terrorist Operations in the East of Ukraine’ as the mitigating circumstances and let him go. Numerous eyewitness accounts by army colleagues of the convict describe what had happened: The soldier suspected that a local man had ties with the separatists. He proceeded with kidnapping him, putting a bag ove ..

Socially Destructive Amendments to the Hungarian Labour Code Need to be Opposed

While demonstrations in Budapest and international reactions expressed outrage over the Hungarian Government’s attempt to shut down Central European University (CEU), on 11 April 2017, the Economic Committee of the Hungarian Parliament was also proposing legislative amendments to the Labor Code. The amendments – to the Labor Code, which is already often referred to as the “slave-labor law” (rabszolgatörvény) – would enable an even more flexible, employer friendly use of working time, especially in the production segment of manufacturing. Instead of the currently, already very flexible reference pe ..