Category Archives: Theory

“Your Security Terrorizes”: An Interview with Ana Ivasiuc

That is an alternative political project worth thinking about: how to replace security with solidarity? In this light, I am profoundly against using the word ‘security’ in progressive political activism. To claim that the security of the subaltern is important, too, is to be blind to the fact that the powerful and propertied can never take that claim seriously in a system built on the primacy of property and of capital. Continue reading →

In the name of the communist ideal

One of the received ideas that became a ‘truth’ after the fall of the Berlin Wall was that the Soviet bloc’s populations cursed communism, yet obeyed it slavishly. In fact, many social movements within the Eastern bloc had long aspired to genuine socialism. This article was first published in the French edition of Le Monde Diplomatique in March. The British Edition was published in May and is available here. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989-1991 is still portrayed as a collection of simplistic clichés (1). British political analyst Timothy Garton Ash says that ‘in 1989 Europeans proposed a new mod ..

Coronavirus and the Contradictions of Capitalism

Coronavirus has revealed yet another contradiction of capitalism: the capitalist tendency to globalize as a solution for the profitability crisis has undermined the capitalist capacity to profit. The virus has exacerbated an already deepening capitalist crisis into a catastrophe and illustrated how vulnerable global capitalism is to any external risk. Globalization, which emerged as a solution to a previous crisis of profitability, has rendered the world capitalist system extremely vulnerable because of the unprecedented connectedness that it has created. Also, the retrenchment in public healthcare, which was sup ..

Searching for Alternatives in Eastern Europe

"...History, rather, is an alternative process in which socialism has a great chance because there are no other real alternatives to capitalism. This is the reason why Marx is so reviled in Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, in the absence of a socialist perspective, humankind might face total self-destruction. This is also a realistic alternative." Continue reading →

A Utopian in the Balkans

This book review was originally published by New Left Review. Darko Suvin,Splendour, Misery and Possibilities: An X-Ray of Socialist Yugoslavia. Haymarket Books: Chicago 2018. How is it,asks Darko Suvin, with Brechtian directness, that socialist Yugoslavia started out so well, yet ended up so very badly? In answering that question he has produced an extraordinary work on the philosophy of emancipation, the lived possibilities of workers’ self-management and the horizon—in Ernst Bloch’s sense of the willed and worked-for future—of democratic communism.Studded withaperçusfrom Aristotle, Dante, Montesquieu, ..

New Politics in Post-Socialist Europe and the former USSR: a workshop for sharing knowledge and experience

This article comprises a report on the proceedings of a conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia on 11-14 October 2018, co-organized by a number of foundations as part of the Transnational Institute’s New Politics project. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the world finds itself in a new era of political turmoil. If the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 were celebrated as the beginning of a global neoliberal era, the contradictions set in place by this reconfiguration of global capitalism are breaking open today in the form of economic and soci ..

Counter Hegemony and the Rise of a New Historical Political Block

Note from LeftEast editors. We republish this article which originally appeared on the Transform Europe Network Site. A critique of radical -and by now mainstream- anti-immigrant populism in Europe based solemnly on ideals of liberal-humanitarianism, without a systemic critique of capital is misleading in many respects. Such Analysts and commentators fail to understand properly or they just ignore, why institutionalized solidarity has not got embedded into societies, why large scale often lower class masses loudly reject help now, why Eastern Europe started the nationalist ‘revolt’, and why migration has gone ..

Populism or people’s movements? Interview with Mary Taylor

Ágnes Gagyi: “Populism” seems to have become a central notion in debates about contemporary politics. How do you see the socio-political process that led to this centrality within the US? How would you characterize the political and discursive fields that shape the meanings and applications of this notion in contemporary US debates? Mary Taylor: Let me first address the term ‘populism’s status as a catch phrase more generally at this global historical juncture. It seems that people are using the term quite often without defining it, and that (in most cases) it is valued negatively; it is an accus ..

Interview with Moishe Postone: “Critique and Dogmatism”

Note from LeftEast editors: We re-publish this article, originally published by antidotezine.com on 22.03.2018 – on the occasions of the seven-year anniversary of the Syrian uprisings as well as the passing of the great scholar and political theorist Moishe Postone. The interview (conducted in 2011 by Slovenian then-doctoral student Anej Korsika), was first published in English on Korsika’s blog in 2015. Anej Korsika: In the beginning of 2011, I spent three months at the University of Chicago, studying under the supervision of professor Moishe Postone, my foreign doctoral adviser. As time passes, one ..

From over here, in the periphery: a decolonial method for Romanian cultural and political discourses

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article was originally published as part of the Gazette of Political Art (GAP) #12 „In the Name of the Periphery. Decolonial theory and intervention in the Romanian context” December 2015, coordinated by Veda Popovici and Ovidiu Pop. It is the first out of a small series of materials from this issue, which LeftEast will present in English. The illustration was prepared for GAP by Alex Horghidan. by Veda Popovici and Ovidiu Pop (translated from Romanian for LeftEast by Raluca Parvu) During the 18th century, philosophers from Western European kingdoms have elaborated a ..