Tag Archives: neoliberalism

Healthcare tailored to the interests of capital

Edi Rama

The following article was originally published by the Serbo-Croatian online platform, Bilten. It is republished here with that site’s kind permission. During the electoral campaign of 2013, the Socialist Party of Albania, then in opposition, made a stunning promise for a Third-Way party. Its chairman Edi Rama stressed that once in power the Socialists would implement universal public health care coverage, modeled after the British NHS. No more health care insurances, which left the unemployed or illegal workers without care, but a state-sponsored central agency, which was going to cover free health care for ..

Leo Panitch: “What does it mean to smash the state? This is our great challenge.”

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Note from the LeftEast editors: Our comrades from the Serbian Left-wing portal MAŠINA spoke to Marxist political economist Leo Panitch (York University) during his stay in Belgrade. There he was a guest at the conference The Return of Utopia (BCS), organized by the Center for Political Emancipation. This is the first appearance of the interview in English. Its original publication in Serbian can be accessed here. On behalf of Masina it was carried out by András Juhász. Q: Would you publicly declare yourself to be a socialist? A: Definitely. Q: Why? A: That’s a hard question to decide how to answer. In t ..

Capital’s paradise: the rise of global illiberalism

David Parkins/ The Economist

Donald Trump’s election has rightly been acknowledged as a milestone in the political history of the 21st century. He joins an illustrious group of world leaders with a shared distrust towards ideals of liberty, equality and fairness who subscribe to the political ethos of authoritarianism and who are not afraid to use fear mongering, popular prejudices against various groups of people, threats and violence to gain and retain power. This increasingly powerful company, whose membership includes Vladimir Putin, Tayyip Erdoğan, and many others, can rightly be called the force of 21st century illiberalism – to u ..

‘Pure’ democracy against the extreme right?: Erdoğan’s ‘Clinton’ and ‘Trump’ moments

Courtesy to freddonaldson.com

The marriage between capitalism and democracy was one of convenience or interest, the product of a very specific period. A temporary reconciliation between capitalism and democracy seemed possible under conditions created by a capital accumulation regime that rested on the specific balance of power between social classes following the two world wars. The “logical contradiction” between capitalism and democracy that Lenin famously underscored appeared suppressed for a while, in a very specific time period. However, the bliss did not last long. This marriage, which was qualified as “the end of his ..

LGBT rights: question of priorities

beograd_pride

Note of the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croat web-portal Bilten.Org and has been translated by and republished with the consent of the author himself.  Although pronounced successful, Belgrade Pride has aroused more interest amongst politicians, than the public and the LGBT community. While politicians didn’t hesitate to express their attitude, the community mostly ignored the event, showing clearly that it is not interested in political images without real solutions. In spite of this, the message that LGBT rights absolutely are not a priority was sent. A ..

Housing and class (trans)formation in Romania

Gentrifying a neighborhood of old public housing, Cluj, August 2016. Photo by Eniko Vincze

The following piece was originally published in Croatian on the online platform Bilten. The article provides an overview on the political economy of housing in Romania as a key driver of the formation of capitalism after the dismantlement of socialist industries and related residential urban systems. It discusses statistical data and information on legislation at national and local level, in particular in the city of Cluj-Napoca, by addressing some central features of these transformations (such as privatisation and restitution, minimal social state, financialisation and class inequalities) in the tradition of cr ..

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Belgrade, 25. May 2016 - "Ne da(vi)mo Beograd" before the Parliament (Skupstina) in Belgrade. Image: TANJUG / TANJA VALIC / bb

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

Turkey: the coup inside out

Photo: Saygun Gökarıksel, 31 July 2016, Istanbul

The Realness of the Coup “İçimiz dışımız darbe oldu.”[1] From toes to head the coup absorbed us. The coup has produced many pedestrian-experts, trying to gauge the coup’s hidden internal and external dynamics. This hermeneutics of the secret owes much of its power to a monumental failure… The failure of what could have turned out to be a horrible coup has exposed what it takes to engage in such a level of coordinated military and civic action leading to a coup. There are so many speculative theories and analyses, often bordering on conspiracy theories: rumors, unfinished scenarios, newly reveale ..

Poland’s War on Historical Memory

Supporters of Poland's ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) rally for a pro-government demonstration, December 13, 2015 in Warsaw.    AFP PHOTO / Wojtek Radwanski.

The electoral victory of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) has initiated a number of changes. Being a conservative party and appealing to right-wing resentments, historical politics were always an important part of the party’s policies. A ‘fair and honest’ historical politics were a way to build a new national identity and an important part of the party’s program and rhetoric. The principles were nothing new: similar issues were raised since the transition of 1989 and a way to deal with the communist past. In those days the Commission for the Prosecution of War Crimes Against the P ..

An Interview with Boris Buden – Antifascism as Platitude

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By: Milena Ostojić (this text originally appeared in Lupiga.com). Boris Buden is a cultural theorist, translator, and publicist, currently guest lecturer at the Bauhaus-Weimar Universität. He is widely known for essays originally published in Arkzin, and later in the Barikade collection (two editions). In our conversation with Buden, we interrogated the question of antifascism as a concept and a practice related to the long term local and wider European experience, with an appeal for an alternative to the contemporary revisionist conjecture. Last year, at a panel about NOB (Narodnooslobodilačka borba – ..