A Very Peaceful Russian Revolt
The calls by the “moderate left” for passively following behind the liberals are supposedly based on the need to “work among the people”, to go where the masses are. But how, and with whom, are the forces of the left to set out after these ardently pursued masses? With badly-printed leaflets full of abstract slogans?
Reflections on the Arab Revolutions
The Arab revolutions of 2011 came as a surprise to many people, including left analysts, who expected and predicted social and political shocks everywhere, from Latin America to Eastern Europe, except in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. These events, however, were not historical accidents (in history, nothing on this scale happens by chance), but were the logical and natural results of earlier developments. The effect of surprise was due to the fact that the societies of the Middle East had been kept under heavy pressure by authoritarian regimes that did not allow any serious mass protests; in outside observers, this created an impression of graveyard-like tranquility.
Modernization in the kitchen
Romanian philosopher Vasile Ernu talks to the author of "Catering" Irina Glushchenko.
Published in Russian in Levaja Politika ¹ 13, 2010
About the defenselessness of fragmented Russians in the face of cohesive Caucasians much has already been said. Possibly a bit less than was said on the occasion of aggression by Russian nationalists. For them, enemies are often not only immigrants with the "wrong" habits and traits, but also a "fellow" with "traitorous racial ideals" What troubles the average person, faced with the aggression of some nationalists? Is it the frightening fragmentation of Russian individuals? And what is the problem here for society and the state?
Russia's failure in the Olympic games
The authorities are looking for scapegoats for failure of the Russian team at the Olympics, but what is going on in sports is only an example of what is going on in other spheres of life - neoliberalism yields the same results no matter where it is applied.
Present-day Russia needs a renewal of the feminist movement
In the Soviet Union feminism was elevated to the status of official state policy and ultimately was destroyed as an ideology and a social movement. The dominant concept was one of a general, global equality; as a result, a separate movement for the rights of women simply could not exist. The feminist reference points of Soviet social policy took the form of a set of rights for women: employment in the workforce on an equal basis with men; political rights; equality before the law, and so forth. The gaining of formal rights, however, resulted in the restricting of particular, specific rights of women, which in practice proved very difficult to realise.
Socialism for bourgeoisie
The Russian elite and world leaders support the same strategy to deal with the economic crisis - saving the rich by combining the worst traits of the market capitalism with the most inefficient forms of government regulation, writes Boris Kagarlitsky.
Confessions of Cassandra
A hero of one American movie often exclaimed how he was tired of turning out right constantly. I can’t even retell the plot of that movie, but I remember the key-note: the hero predicted some kind of troubles, but he fated never to be believed, while they were coming true with the same regularity.
Beyond “feminine” and “masculine”
I live in a world constructed by men. I realise I have to put up with this, though sometimes it’s difficult and even painful. Yes, the struggle with gender, or against gender, is pointless and stupid. Yes, I like being a woman, and I can’t imagine a life for myself without men. But the things that many people, including me, find irritating in feminism arose not out of hysteria, but as a reaction (not always an appropriate one) to the harshness of the rules in our world, which is not ours. Often this is a cry of despair, and it deserves understanding, not irony, ridicule, contempt or aggression. This is why attacks on feminism irritate me so much.
The class struggle in post-soviet Russia
The restoration of capitalism on the territory of the former Soviet Union was accompanied not only by unprecedented attacks on the social rights of the population (not only rights characteristic of the Soviet system, e.g., the right to housing, were rescinded, but also many of those that in the West are considered a normal attribute of a civilized attitude toward the wage laborer). No less impressive was the ease with which the new bourgeoisie imposed its conditions on the workers.
Down with utopia!
The life of the ideology of capital ism fluctuates with the business cycle. How could it be otherwise? When the stakes are up, bourgeois ideology says that the market will reward the energetic, businesslike and competent, and that it will punish the lazy, inefficient and conservative.
Illuminating the world crisis
Before this global crisis, the world had an implicit faith in oil. At the end of 2007, it seemed hydrocarbon consumption was set to grow indefinitely. Oil became rooted in our economic life to the extent that no one now remembers how solid the faith in coal and the steam engine was at the turn of the 19th century. Everybody has forgotten that the devastating 1899-1904 economic crisis buried a steam-oriented future, making oil the main energy resource.