In this three-part interview, conducted, transcribed and edited by Zoltán Ginelli, history professor James Mark talks about his latest book James Mark is a British Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the history and memory politics of state-socialism in East Central Europe from the perspective of broader global histories, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Dossier 1989 Thirty Years Later: Several profound contradictions have defined the dynamics of Ukrainian economy, politics and society since the collapse of the Soviet Union: the contradiction between transnational and local capital, those between factions of the local capital, Ukrainian national identity contradictions, geopolitical contradictions with Russia, the US, and EU, and contradictions between civil society, the active public, and Ukrainian society at large. I will first expose them, and then discuss how the Ukrainian new left has been failing to respond to these contradictions with a project for Ukraine’s alternative development.
1989 Thirty Years Later: The combination of ill-prescribed market transition reforms and loaned funds mismanagement and misappropriation by kleptocratic ruling bloc with its rivalrous fractions have resulted in a toxic debt dependency that has become a tool for manipulation in the renewed geopolitical confrontation between Russian and the USA/EU, as I discuss at length in my recent book. These asymmetries and unevenness condition the consciousness, thinking, approach, praxis of politics in Ukraine, be they conformist, populist performers of counter-narratives, or ideologically progressive e.g. the Social Movement party-in-the-making, – they all have to present solutions to the same realities while interpret those via their ideological lens.
Those embryonic revolutions towards a third way were repressed and dismantled by the bipolar world’s dominant forces through different episodes, because the mobilised democratic forces were an alternative to the existing political order which tried to impose its own end, a reality hidden by Cold War concepts and the transformation that followed 1989.
Dossier 1989 Thirty Years Later: Florin Poenaru “The passage of three decades therefore presents the opportunity to bridge the gap between biography and history by introducing an intermediary level – the generation – that presents simultaneously patterned trajectories, common experiences and divergent outcomes. Moreover, by placing the emphasis on the 1980s, I want to demystify 1989 as an annus mirabilis, as some sort of definitive breaking point that neatly separates between epochs, regimes and periods.”
We are told that it was thirty years before when our era has started and that we have never escaped the questions posed by that year. The Conventional liberal moral of these thirty years is mobilized against „old-new“ threats and views which essentialize the whole region (often by pointing to the deviations from the „right […]
Restauration of Capitalism in Slovenia
This article outlines the processes of reintegration of former Yugoslavia into the world capitalist system and reestablishment of capitalism in its former federal republics, particularly in Slovenia.
An interview with G. M. Tamás by Jaroslav Fiala (A2 magazine) 1/You were writing on post-fascism. In recent years, the growing rise of nationalist and racist forces has taken place across Europe. What is your explanation for this phenomenon? The whole nature of European politics has changed after 1989: the two hegemonic blocs had […]