new pamphlet: the collapse of the eastern bloc and after

7 01 2010

The latest pamphlet produced by The Commune looks at the regimes which existed in the Eastern Bloc and the state of the working class in those countries today.

The pamphlet features a symposium of critical Marxists from Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, and Bosnia on the twentieth anniversary of the historic events of 1989-91 and the lessons for communists today. Click here for PDF. Read the rest of this entry »





twenty years after the berlin wall fell

16 11 2009

November marks twenty years since the fall of the Berlin wall. This event represented one of the high points of a great mass struggle against the tyrannical order in the Eastern Bloc, and led to the downfall of the Soviet Union. But with the defeats of movements opposed to both these statist régimes and the free market, the popular movements of 1989 are now used to prove there is no alternative to capitalism.

wallfall

Here we present sections of a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc focussing on the struggles of the time, what system really existed in the “communist” countries and what has happened to the working class over the last twenty years. Read the rest of this entry »





borys chervonyy: twenty years after the berlin wall fell

12 11 2009

Latest in a series of interviews with communists from the former eastern bloc upon the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

ukrainecomm

Can you briefly introduce yourself/organisation?

My name is Borys Chervonyy. I’m a member of the executive committee of the “Zakhyst Pratsi” (Defence of Labour) independent trade union, a member of the “New Left” movement and a member of the organisational committee of the Ukrainian Left Party (ULP). The ULP is supposed to be an international revolutionary organisation; the program of the ULP will be based on the principles of communism and social liberation in all its forms; and will stand, in particular, on the traditions of Ukrainian left thought. Read the rest of this entry »





volodymyr ishchenko: twenty years after the wall fell

10 11 2009

The third in a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

orangerevolution

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

I am one of the editors of “Commons” (http://commons.com.ua), a Ukrainian left-wing intellectual web-site aimed at filling the gap in quality leftist analysis that might contribute to social struggles here and now, in Ukraine and across the globe. There is a gap between existing leftist theories and the practical work of grassroots social movements, the latter not receiving satisfactory analysis. Local movements often fail to use practical experience and theoretical discussions from other regions of the globe. Read the rest of this entry »





goran markovic: twenty years after the wall fell

9 11 2009

The second in a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

gapswall

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your organisation?

My name is Goran Markovic and I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am one of the co-editors of the socialist/Marxist regional magazine ‘The New Flame’ (Novi Plamen) which is published in the Croatian capital Zagreb. I am also the president of the Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Novi Plamen is a magazine which deals very much with the development of workers’ and leftist movements in former Yugoslav republics and worldwide and carries analyzes, mainly from a Marxist viewpoint, of current economic and political events in former Yugoslavia and worldwide. The Workers’ Communist Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a party established in the tradition of workers’ self-management and self-managing socialism. Read the rest of this entry »





russia’s marxist labour party: twenty years after the wall fell

8 11 2009

The coming week marks twenty years since the fall of the Berlin wall. This event represented one of the high points of a great mass struggle against the tyrannical order in the Eastern Bloc, but with the defeats of movements opposed to both these statist régimes and the free market, the popular movements of 1989 are now used to prove there is no alternative to capitalism.

content_berlin_wall

In the coming week The Commune shall be presenting a series of interviews with communists from the former Eastern Bloc focussing on the struggles of the time, what system really existed in the ‘”communist” countries and what has happened to the working class over the last twenty years. In the first of these we talk to Russia’s Marxist Labour Party. Read the rest of this entry »





a revolution which never was: from state socialism to multinational capitalism

4 11 2009

by Tamás Krausz

Towards a historical interpretation of the change of regimes in Eastern Europe

The title summarizes the main argument that I will develop in my presentation. Eastern European mainstream literature sacrificed the historical approach in order to shamelessly glorify the events of 1989-1991. In the theoretical, historical, economic and political literature on the history and consequences of the change of regimes, there is a fierce struggle among the different schools (labeled as discourses and narratives) for the “right” terminology. Nonetheless, the free competition of ideas seems to me illusory. The mainstream literature dismissed Marx’s theory of social formation as an unverifiable “grand narrative”, and excluded it from the set of competing paradigms. This exclusion can be closely linked with a previous development.

1989

In the 1980s, Marxist theory was equated with the legitimating ideology of the state socialist system, which was widely criticized at the time by Eastern European dissident intellectuals. After the change of regimes this criticism developed into a new legitimizing ideology, which was used to justify the rule of the new elite. The real aim of the attempts to discredit Marxist theory in general in Eastern Europe was to divert attention from the crucial issue of the transformation of property relations. The distribution of state property, which in the old times was called the property of the people, was inseparable from the issue of power relations. Therefore, the issue of the distribution of state property had a decisive role in the formation of the new nation states as well. Read the rest of this entry »





yugoslav “self government”

21 06 2009

by Dan Jakopovich

The Yugoslav experiment is a gold mine of experiences. As it is useful to learn about the positive aspects of this experience, it is also good to learn from Yugoslav mistakes and limitations.

Professor Stipe Šuvar humorously depicted the Yugoslav experience, in accordance with its underdeveloped material and cultural reality, as a form of “shephards’ self-government”. About 75% of the Yugoslav population were peasants prior to the Second World War. A leading communist and perhaps the single most important architect of the Yugoslav system of “self-government”, Edvard Kardelj, noted that Yugoslav pre-war electricity production was 59 times below the European average. Read the rest of this entry »








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