Tag Archives: socialism

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Florin Poenaru

More gutting than Bernie Sander’s ultimate defeat in the Democratic primaries is the paradoxical context in which it happened. He exited the stage just as the policies he so much advocated in the past two electoral cycles, if not his entire career, were badly needed to fight the rampant consequences of the new corona virus. His moment thus came either too early, or definitely too late, to ensure him a solid electoral base in order to achieve the political power needed to implement those policies that could save the lives of millions of Americans. I am definitely in no position to judge Sander’s campaign and c ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign

Bernie Sanders’ second presidential campaign brought a ray of hope to what had been a dismal political news cycle in the United States dominated by Trump’s odious figure and the Democrats’ ineffectual, “back to normal” opposition to him. To be sure, the broader resistance to Trump has also galvanized genuine movements devoted to protecting the undocumented and other marginalized groups he went out of his way to threaten, to fighting against climate change, and to demanding universal healthcare. These righteous but disparate causes lacked unity until the Sanders campaign made them pil ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Marina Antic

In the days following the end of Bernie’s initial 2016 campaign, I remember many of us put a lot of hope in Bernie’s plans for building a lasting organization beyond a national electoral campaign. The leftover funds and some of that grassroots energy were eventually directed into Our Revolution, an effort to elect progressive candidates and pursue issues Bernie brought to the forefront of Democratic party politics. Unfortunately, the results of this effort were negligible and underwhelming at best. Despite the electoral loss in 2016, Bernie’s first campaign was victorious in two very specific and profound w ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Julia Alekseyeva

For a brief moment, a little over a month ago, we thought it would be easy. I had amazing conversations with genuine and thoughtful people in five states. We shook hands and smiled and I stood in doorways and chatted with people in their homes and kitchens. I was finishing my monograph and teaching two grueling classes but that all took a back seat to the rush I felt from January to March. It felt like anything was possible, that goodness would prevail, that there could finally be justice and the righteous, thoughtful champion of human rights would win the election. The campaign was wonderful. It was full of kind ..

We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign: Mary N. Taylor

I felt kicked in the gut, that morning when I heard Bernie had pulled out of the race. It was a surprising feeling, because in recent years I have been less and less passionate about electoral politics. The last electoral cycle had really sealed it for me: the Democratic Party establishment decided to represent their interests by making sure Bernie would not be the candidate even if it meant losing to Trump. With the promise of serving the “people” that the Republicans undermine, the Democratic Party establishment has again and again shown its alignment with Wall street. I could not believe in the Democrats t ..

Czechia 30 Years on: The Coming-Out of the Oligarchy

The pieces in the dossier 1989 Thirty Years Later were developed around the workshop “Eastern Europe after 30 years of transition: New emancipatory perspectives from the region,” held in Prague on 25-26 October 2019, organised by the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Prague), coordinated by Agnes Gagyi and Ondrej Slacalek. In addition to their commentary on the present, these articles also give a virtual tour of the collapsing state-socialist world at the moment of its demise, through the memory of those who lived through it, and implore us to reconsider what critical mem ..

Decolonization and Semiperipheral Postcoloniality: Hungarian Experts in Nkrumah’s Ghana

Notes from the LeftEast editors: this piece was first published in the Hungarian journal Mezosfera, and was reprinted with kind permission of the author and the journal. It should be cited as: Zoltán Ginelli, “Hungarian Experts in Nkrumah’s Ghana. Decolonization and Semiperipheral Postcoloniality in Socialist Hungary,” Mezosfera Issue No 5, Refractions of Socialist Solidarity, ed. Eszter Szakács (Budapest: tranzit. hu, 2018), http://mezosfera.org/hungarian-experts-in-nkrumahs-ghana/. How was Hungary connected to post-WWII decolonization? What does this episode of Eastern European history tell us abou ..

Dissidents among Dissidents: Interview with Ilya Budraitskis about his recent book

Note from the LeftEast editors: Interview conducted by Vasile Ernu for Criticatac.ro, introduced by Giuliano Vivaldi and translated from the Russian by Joseph Livesey. One would have hoped that the occasion of the centenary of the Russian Revolution would have lead to a serious reimagination of both the event in itself as well as the legacy and history emerging from this monumental event. In the English-speaking world many books have been rolling off the press in an attempt to reread this event in a number of ways. China Mieville’s October was arguably the best-written of the actual accounts of the revolutio ..

The Marvelous and the Everyday: How Rama is failing the Left in Albania

On a May evening six years ago, standing close to the venue where the opposition’s MPs are on strike, darkened by the night and time, solitary and pensive, Edi Rama looks as if painted by some Neue Sachlichkeit artist. “You have a weak handshake” – he tells me and shows how a handshake is supposed to be. For the then 19-year old me, he is an artist, the leftist that has to be a Prime Minister. Indeed he does but nowadays the artist surfaces here and there, whereas the leftist is nowhere to be seen. During the first years that followed the collapse of the communist regime, a young Rama wrot ..

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

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 ..