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From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia. Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Second-Hand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism. As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals. ‘Communism had an insane plan: to refashion the “old” breed of man, ancient Adam,’ writes Alexievich. ‘This was perhaps communism’s only achievement. Seventy plus years in the Marxist-Leninist laboratory gave rise to a new kind of man, the Homo sovieticus.’ In this magnificent requiem Alexievich’s method is simple: ‘I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life… It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths… I am fascinated by people.’ From this fascination emerges a hugely important and deeply moving portrait of post-Soviet society. In a nation that likewise grapples with making sense of scattershot historical experience, Alexievich’s portraits may make the South African reader draw unexpected and uncomfortable parallels between Russia post-1990 and South Africa post-1994.
The history of the South African Communist Party (SACP), formed in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) and subsequently banned in 1950, has generated a very rich and fascinating literature. From its beginnings as a largely white organisation that had to adapt its Marxism-Leninism to settler colonialism and oppression of the African majority, to the days of its participation in the formation of Umkhonto weSizwe and beyond, the SACP's influence on the country has been as immense as the country's influence on it.
Follow the story of SACP leaders who were forced to flee the country and go into exile in the aftermath of the Rivonia Trial coupled with the 90 day detention act. Maloka tells of their relationship with ANC leaders and their struggles to keep the movement alive until their eventual homecoming in the early 1990s.
This volume is a revised version of The South African Communist Party in Exile, which was published by the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA). What is covered here is the story of the SACP during the exile years until its unbanning in 1990, the 1990-94 negotiated transition, and the immediate period after the 1994 first democratic elections, which brought into being post-apartheid South Africa.
Capitalism’s addiction to fossil fuels is heating our planet at a pace and scale never before experienced.
Extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels and accelerating feedback loops are a commonplace feature of our lives. The number of environmental refugees is increasing and several island states and low-lying countries are becoming vulnerable. Corporate-induced climate change has set us on an ecocidal path of species extinction. Governments and their international platforms such as the Paris Climate Agreement deliver too little, too late. Most states, including South Africa, continue on their carbon-intensive energy paths, with devastating results. Political leaders across the world are failing to provide systemic solutions to the climate crisis. This is the context in which we must ask ourselves: how can people and class agency change this destructive course of history?
The Climate Crisis investigates ecosocialist alternatives that are emerging. It presents the thinking of leading climate justice activists, campaigners and social movements advancing systemic alternatives and developing bottom-up, just transitions to sustain life. Through a combination of theoretical and empirical work, the authors collectively examine the challenges and opportunities inherent in the current moment.
Most importantly, it explores ways to renew historical socialism with democratic, ecosocialist alternatives to meet current challenges in South Africa and the world.
A spellbinding new biography of Stalin in his formative years This is the definitive biography of Joseph Stalin from his birth to the October Revolution of 1917, a panoramic and often chilling account of how an impoverished, idealistic youth from the provinces of tsarist Russia was transformed into a cunning and fearsome outlaw who would one day become one of the twentieth century's most ruthless dictators. In this monumental book, Ronald Grigor Suny sheds light on the least understood years of Stalin's career, bringing to life the turbulent world in which he lived and the extraordinary historical events that shaped him. Suny draws on a wealth of new archival evidence from Stalin's early years in the Caucasus to chart the psychological metamorphosis of the young Stalin, taking readers from his boyhood as a Georgian nationalist and romantic poet, through his harsh years of schooling, to his commitment to violent engagement in the underground movement to topple the tsarist autocracy. Stalin emerges as an ambitious climber within the Bolshevik ranks, a resourceful leader of a small terrorist band, and a writer and thinker who was deeply engaged with some of the most incendiary debates of his time. A landmark achievement, Stalin paints an unforgettable portrait of a driven young man who abandoned his religious faith to become a skilled political operative and a single-minded and ruthless rebel.
'Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.' Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and founder of the USSR, was profoundly aware of the power of words. As a zealous orator and prolific writer, he used his words to launch a soaring critique of imperialist society and to theorize the development of the world's first socialist state. Much of his writing was translated into English in order to further the Socialist cause. This book is a compilation of some of Lenin's most famous sayings, taken from speeches, tracts, letters and recorded conversations. They expose his views on topics ranging from democracy to terrorism, from religion to Stalin's untrustworthiness and from education to music. Accompanied by a range of arresting images, including contemporary propaganda posters, photographs, portraits, illustrations and Soviet art, these aphoristic proclamations offer an insight into the atmosphere of pre- and post-Revolutionary Russia and the mind of one of the twentieth century's most defining political figures.
'Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor' Fuelled by anger at injustice and optimism about humankind's ability to make a better, truly communal society, the anarchist writings of Peter Kropotkin have influenced radicals the world over, from nineteenth-century workers to today's activists. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.
The traditional narrative of the Russian Civil War is one of revolution against counterrevolution, Bolshevik Reds against Tsarist Whites. Liudmila Novikova convincingly demonstrates, however, that the struggle was not between a Communist future and a Tsarist past; instead, it was a bloody fight among diverse factions of a modernizing postrevolutionary state. Focusing on the sparsely populated Arkhangelsk region in northern Russia, she shows that the anti-Bolshevik government there, which held out from 1918 to early 1920, was a revolutionary alternative bolstered by broad popular support. Novikova draws on declassified archives and sources in both Russia and the West to reveal the White movement in the north as a complex social and political phenomenon with a distinct regional context. She documents the politics of the Northern Government and its relations with the British and American forces who had occupied the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk at the end of World War I. As the civil war continued, the increasing involvement of the local population transformed the conflict into a ferocious ""people's war"" until remaining White forces under General Yevgeny Miller evacuated the region in February 1920.
Packaged in handsome, affordable trade editions, Clydesdale Classics is a new series of essential works. From the musings of intellectuals such as Thomas Paine in Common Sense to the striking personal narrative of Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, this new series is a comprehensive collection of our intellectual history through the words of the exceptional few. Originally published as a political pamphlet in 1848, amidst the revolutions in Europe, The Communist Manifesto documents Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's theories on society and politics. It does so by defining the state of the class system in contemporary Europe in which a larger, lower class is controlled and oppressed by a tyrannical, oppressive upper class. The Manifesto argues that, at some point in history, the lower class will inevitably realize their potential and exploitation and subsequently revolt. Once this occurs, Marx and Engels argue, there will be an uprising among proletariats that shifts political and economic power, ultimately resulting in the dismantling of class systems and capitalism. Additionally, in the Manifesto, Marx and Engels also predict the future state of the global economy and discuss their viewpoints on private property, while also addressing many other topics pertinent to today's world. Although written nearly 170 years ago, The Communist Manifesto is still widely read and cited. Amid the current turmoil between social classes and the societies of the world, its revolutionary prose and ideas can still yield ripe food for thought.
In the ten years since the last edition of this book, the world has undergone tremendous and, seemingly irrevocable change. With the virtual demise of the international communist movement and the increasing isolation of the remaining old-style regimes, communism has become history. Robert V. Daniels has updated his definitive work to chronicle the last years of international communism. It contains a new chapter with 22 documents pertaining to such key ideas and events as perestroika, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the Tiananmen Massacre. Together with his Documentary History of Communism in Russia, this book provides a complete documentary history of the communist movement from Lenin and world revolution to Gorbachev and the end of world communism.
The Jewish Communist Workers' Party, the Poale Zion, provides a unique perspective on the question of how Marxism and the early Soviet Union dealt with issues of nationalism. According to Bolshevik ideology, when anti-Semitism disappeared in the new Socialist society, Jews would assimilate. In reality, such assimilation would be a very long, slow process. The Poale Zion supported the socialist struggle against oppression and exploitation of classes and nations, but it called for the formation of an international organization that would recognize the right of Jews to emigrate freely to Palestine and work for the creation of a democratic republic where people could retain their national identities and have both autonomy and representation in the union. Gurevitz analyzes the Soviet Poale Zion as representative of Jewish communism as nationalism in its purest form, and he traces the complex contradictions between Jewish nationalism and the Communist ideal of assimilation in the early years of the Soviet Union.
Amidst waves of economic crises, health crises, class struggle and neo-fascist reaction, few possess the clarity and foresight of world-renowned theorist, David Harvey. Since the publication of his bestselling A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Harvey has been tracking the evolution of the capitalist system as well as tides of radical opposition rising against it. In The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Harvey introduces new ways of understanding the crisis of global capitalism and the struggles for a better world. While accounting for violence and disaster, Harvey also chronicles hope and possibility. By way of conversations about neoliberalism, capitalism, globalization, the environment, technology, social movements and crises like COVID-19, he outlines, with characteristic brilliance, how socialist alternatives are being imagined under very difficult circumstances. In understanding the economic, political and social dimensions of the crisis, Harvey's analysis in The Anti-Capitalist Chronicles will be of strategic importance to anyone wanting to both understand and change the world.
During Stalin's Great Terror, accusations of treason struck fear in the hearts of Soviet citizens-and lengthy imprisonment or firing squads often followed. Many of the accused sealed their fates by agreeing to confessions after torture or interrogation by the NKVD. Some, however, gave up without a fight.
In Stalinist Confessions, Igal Halfin investigates the phenomenon of a mass surrender to the will of the state. He deciphers the skillfully rendered discourse through which Stalin defined his cult of personality and consolidated his power by building a grassroots base of support and instilling a collective psyche in every citizen. By rooting out evil (opposition) wherever it hid, good communists could realize purity, morality, and their place in the greatest society in history. Confessing to trumped-up charges, comrades made willing sacrifices to their belief in socialism and the necessity of finding and making examples of its enemies.
Halfin focuses his study on Leningrad Communist University as a microcosm of Soviet society. Here, eager students proved their loyalty to the new socialism by uncovering opposition within the University. Through their meetings and self-reports, students sought to become Stalin's New Man.
Using his exhaustive research in Soviet archives including NKVD records, party materials, student and instructor journals, letters, and newspapers, Halfin examines the transformation in the language of Stalinist socialism. From an initial attitude that dismissed dissent as an error in judgment and redeemable through contrition to a doctrine where members of the opposition became innately wicked and their reform impossible, Stalin's socialism now defined loyalty in strictly black and white terms. Collusion or allegiance (real or contrived, now or in the past) with "enemies of the people" (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Bukharin, Germans, capitalists) was unforgivable. The party now took to the task of purging itself with ever-increasing zeal.
In this much-lauded memoir, acclaimed for its blend of literary elegance and political passion, Rossana Rossanda, a legendary figure on the Italian left, reflects on a life of radical commitment. Active as a communist militant in the Italian Resistance against fascism during World War Two, Rossanda rose rapidly in its aftermath, becoming editor of the Communist Party weekly paper and a member of parliament. Initially a party loyalist, she was critical of the party's conservatism in the face of new radical movements and moved into opposition during the late 1960s. The breach widened after she and others publicly opposed the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and were expelled in 1969. She went on to create the influential daily il manifesto, which continues to this day. Her unique experience enables her to reconstruct that period with flair and authority. She paints a revealing picture of fascism, communism, post-war reconstruction and the revolts that shook Europe in the 1960s. In The Comrade from Milan, one of the most influential intellectuals of the European Left relives the storms of the twentieth century. Both cool-headed and precise, Rossanda provides a rare insight into what it means to be politically engaged.
The foremost collection of essays from one of Britain's most important 20th century Marxist writers Considered by many to be the most innovative British Marxist writer of the twentieth century, Christopher Caudwell was killed in the Spanish Civil War at the age of 29. Although already a published writer of aeronautic texts and crime fiction, he was practically unknown to the public until reviews appeared of Illusion and Reality: A Study of the Sources of Poetry, which was published just after his death. A strikingly original study of poetry's role, it explained in clear language how the organizing of emotion in society plays a part in social change and development. Caudwell had a powerful interest in how things worked - aeronautics, physics, human psychology, language, and society. In the anti-fascist struggles of the 1930s he saw that capitalism was a system that could not work properly and distorted the thinking of the age. Self-educated from the age of 15, he wrote with a directness that is alien to most cultural theory. Culture as Politics introduces Caudwell's work through his most accessible and relevant writing. Material will be drawn from Illusion and Reality, Studies in a Dying Culture and his essay, "Heredity and Development."
In this interdisciplinary and controversial work, Igal Halfin takes an original and provocative stance on Marxist theory, and attempts to break down the divisions between history, philosophy, and literary theory.
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO WINNING AN ARGUMENT WITH A LIBERAL. Antifa leftists may still burn this book, but more than a few center-left individuals will read 13 1/2 Reasons Why NOT to Be a Liberal and develop a new respectful understanding of conservatism." - Dinesh D'Souza "A must-read for those determined to defeat the unhinged left." - Roger Stone Although conservatives outnumber liberals in 44 out of 50 states, it's a situation conservatives know very well in today's contentious political environment: Conservatives often find themselves in discussions with liberals who relentlessly hammer conservatives with insults, accusations, and unfounded assumptions about conservatism. The question is: WHAT IS A PROUD & INFORMED CONSERVATIVE TO DO?!?! The answer is: 13 1/2 Reasons Why NOT to be a Liberal: And How To Enlighten Others, the conservative playbook to persuasive facts and arguments that detail the policies, accomplishments, and often-ignored compassionate nature of the conservative philosophy. Presented in an easy-to-access format, Judd Dunning's ideological treatise will empower readers not only to hold their own in an argument with a liberal, but also to change hearts and minds, or at worst, preserve a few more mutually respectful relationships with more ease, clarity, and dignity. Both a current and timeless conservative philosophical and argumentative manifesto made for conservative, right-leaning, independent, libertarian or "on the fence" Americans who are both passionate about politics and love being Americans. If you can't achieve a win-win civil discussion with a liberal, at least you can use 13 1/2 Reasons Why NOT to be a Liberal to land some clear, intelligent blows. You will no longer serve as a liberal's doormat. You can maintain your pride and then move on to someone who really wants to both talk and listen. A "Freethinker"... probably a conservative!
Few writers have had a more demonstrable impact on the development of the modern world than has Karl Marx (1818-1883). Born in Trier into a middle-class Jewish family in 1818, by the time of his death in London in 1883, Marx claimed a growing international reputation. Of central importance then and later was his book Das Kapital, or, as it is known to English readers, simply Capital. Volume One of Capital was published in Paris in 1867. This was the only volume published during Marx's lifetime and the only to have come directly from his pen. Volume Two, published in 1884, was based on notes Marx left, but written by his friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Readers from the nineteenth century to the present have been captivated by the unmistakable power and urgency of this classic of world literature. Marx's critique of the capitalist system is rife with big themes: his theory of 'surplus value', his discussion of the exploitation of the working class, and his forecast of class conflict on a grand scale. Marx wrote with purpose. As he famously put it, 'Philosophers have previously tried to explain the world, our task is to change it.'
The worst idea in history is back. Communism has wrecked national economies, enslaved whole peoples, and killed more than a hundred million men and women. What's not to like? Too many young Americans are supporting communism. Millennials prefer socialism to capitalism, and 25 percent have a positive view of Lenin. One in four Americans believe that George W. Bush killed more people than Josef Stalin. And 69 percent of Millennials would vote for a socialist for president. They ought to know better. Communism is the most dangerous idea in world history, producing dire poverty, repression, and carnage wherever it has been tried. And no wonder-because communism flatly denies morality, human nature, and basic facts. But it's always going to be different this time. In The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, renowned scholar and bestselling author Paul Kengor unmasks communism, exposing the blood-drenched history-and dangerously pervasive influence-of the world's worst ideology.
As the immigrant teenage son of a Croatian miller, Steve Nelson
arrived in the United States after World War I and entered a world
of chronic unemployment, low wages, dangerous work, and
discrimination. Following the path taken by many fellow immigrant
workers, he joined the Communist Party. He became a full-time
organizer and ultimately a major leader, only to resign in 1957
after unsuccessful attempts to democratize the American party.
First published in 1978, this is a major study of Karl Kautsky. Kautsky was the most influential Marxian theoretician in the world from 1895 to 1914. With the exception of Friedrich Engels, with whom he worked in London, Kautsky did more to popularize Marxism than any other person. He was also the first to try to make Marxism the working doctrine of a mass party. An entire generation of Marxists, including Lenin and Trotsky, learned their Marxism in large part from Kautsky. Mr Steenson traces Kautsky's development from a romantic socialist to a consistent Marxist strongly influenced by Engels.
For decades, the West has dismissed Maoism as an outdated historical and political phenomenon. Since the 1980s, China seems to have abandoned the utopian turmoil of Mao’s revolution in favour of authoritarian capitalism. But Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’s Republic and the legitimacy of its Communist government. With disagreements and conflicts between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing.
The power and appeal of Maoism have extended far beyond China. Maoism was a crucial motor of the Cold War: it shaped the course of the Vietnam War (and the international youth rebellions that conflict triggered) and brought to power the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided, and sometimes handed victory to, anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; it inspired terrorism in Germany and Italy, and wars and insurgencies in Peru, India and Nepal, some of which are still with us today – more than forty years after the death of Mao.
In this new history, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy. It is a story that takes us from the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s fifth arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, from the rice paddies of Cambodia to the terraces of Brixton.
Starting with the birth of Mao’s revolution in northwest China in the 1930s and concluding with its violent afterlives in South Asia and resurgence in the People’s Republic today, this is a landmark history of global Maoism.
In Marx After Marx, Harry Harootunian questions the claims of Western Marxism and its presumption of the final completion of capitalism. If this shift in Marxism reflected the recognition that the expected revolutions were not forthcoming in the years before World War II, its Cold War afterlife helped to both unify the West in its struggle with the Soviet Union and bolster the belief that capitalism remained dominant in the contest over progress. This book deprovincializes Marx and the West's cultural turn by returning to the theorist's earlier explanations of capital's origins and development, which followed a trajectory beyond Euro-America to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Marx's expansive view shows how local circumstances, time, and culture intervened to reshape capital's system of production in these regions. His outline of a diversified global capitalism was much more robust than was his sketch of the English experience in Capital and helps explain the disparate routes that evolved during the twentieth century. Engaging with the texts of Lenin, Luxemburg, Gramsci, and other pivotal theorists, Harootunian strips contemporary Marxism of its cultural preoccupation by reasserting the deep relevance of history.
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