Populism: a dead end for the left

Above: Jean-Luc Mélenchon (left) By Eduardo Tovar In recent decades, there has been much discussion of “populism” as newly significant form of political movement. Some on the left even say we should embrace it. Admittedly, there are major conceptual difficulties when discussing “populism”. Even if we limit ourselves to examples on the ostensible left, movements … Continue reading Populism: a dead end for the left

Black Friday and the folly of anti-consumerism

By Eduardo Tovar In the US, Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). The day revolves around large discounts in shops. Black Friday sales are notorious for the levels of chaos or even violence that occur as crowds pour into the shops and scramble for the discounted goods. To take … Continue reading Black Friday and the folly of anti-consumerism

The Berlin Wall and socialism

Picture: Getty Images From the latest Solidarity and the Workers Liberty website: Thirty years ago, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. It was a wall built through Berlin by the rulers of East Germany, which called itself socialist, to prevent people escaping to West Berlin, which was capitalist and linked to West … Continue reading The Berlin Wall and socialism

Agnes Heller, 1929-2019

Above: Agnes Heller in 1981 (Photo: Angelo Palma/A3/Contrasto/Redux) By John Cunningham With the death of Ágnes Heller on 19 July an era in Hungarian politics has come to an end. She was one of the last links to the Hungarian Marxist György Lukács and the so-called Budapest School of the 1960s, which consisted of a number … Continue reading Agnes Heller, 1929-2019

Mary Davis and Phil Katz: “anti-semitism, like racism, has also permeated … socialist thought”

Above: some "left wing" denialists and antisemites The following article appeared in the July 27-8 issue of the Morning Star, but for some days did not appear on the paper's website, so we're republishing it here at Shiraz. The Morning Star gave the piece the heading The socialism of fools: anti-semitism in the Labour Party? but one suspects that … Continue reading Mary Davis and Phil Katz: “anti-semitism, like racism, has also permeated … socialist thought”

Putin, liberalism and the left

Socialists seek to go beyond liberalism, not regress from it By Colin Foster In September 1847, before they had even written the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels declared: “If a certain section of German socialists has continually blustered against the liberal bourgeoisie, and has done so, in a manner which has benefited nobody … Continue reading Putin, liberalism and the left

Zionism and the Left, from Arendt to Chomsky

Barry Finger reviews Susie Linfield’s book The Lions’ Den, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2019 “How has it come to this?” asks Susie Linfield. “How has ‘Zionist,’ sometimes shortened to the disparaging ‘Zio,’ become the dirtiest word to the international Left—akin, say to racist, pedophile or rapist?… “How is it that signs proclaiming … Continue reading Zionism and the Left, from Arendt to Chomsky