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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.
'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.
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.
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 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.
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 proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.' Marx and Engels's revolutionary summons to the working classes - one of the most important and influential political theories ever formulated. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Marx's works available in Penguin Classics are Capital, Dispatches for the New York Tribune, Early Writings, Grundrisse, The Portable Karl Marx and Revolution and War.
“It is practically unprecedented to take two such monsters as Hitler and Stalin, who never met, and interweave their lives chronologically, chapter by chapter, often paragraph by paragraph, as Bullock has done. It sounds like a recipe for confusion, irritation and indigestion. In fact, it works brilliantly. the book is a triumph of organisation, lucidity and perspective.”
“A magnificent piece of historical writing which, despite its massive size, makes for compulsive reading. The sweep is broad and the information concisely conveyed without any sign of pedantry. The judgements are sane and balanced…The grasp of the biographical material is matched by a multitude of interpretations which are the mark of a master historian.”
“A titanic narrative history…Bullock is a master-builder who constructs his edifice beautifully, underpinning the narrative mass with analytical supports to prevent the story collapsing into detail and burying the reader, Yet he can slow the momentum for a vivid vignette or apt quotation.”
“A magnetic chronicling…which, by dint of its distillation of a vast amount of matter, and by virtue of its author’s consummate powers of analysis and narrative, becomes a standard work from the very instant of publication.”
“Lord Bullock has carried out to perfection an artistic revenge on Public Enemies Numbers One and Two. This enormous book is a fitting tombstone to their world.”
In 1969,at the height of the Cold War, a group of British Christian researchers and activists, moved by the persecution of believers in the Soviet Union, established an organization dedicated to the study of religion under communism. They had two major goals: to educate the public about religious persecution and to promote academic analysis of religion in communist societies. The organization they founded, eventually named Keston College, amassed an extraordinary collection of primary source and research materials, used by its personnel to document the experiences of persecuted believers in the Soviet bloc and beyond and to publicize human rights violations against believers of all faiths. This formed the basis of a unique collection, called the Keston Archive, now at Baylor University. Voices of the Voiceless , edited by Julie deGraffenried and Zoe Knox, presents readers with twenty-five essays on acurated selection of images and artifacts fromtheKestonArchive. Some of the world's leading authorities onreligionand communism as well asexperts personally involved with the operation of Keston College carefullyselectedand provided commentary for these images. The archival material presented in the book offers vivid testimony of this critically important era in the history of religion and of the Cold War. A guided look into the past, Voices of the Voiceless reveals the power of what atheist and antireligious regimes sought to silence. This collection documents how believers fought for religious freedom, coped with oppression, and practiced their faith, individually and collectively, in states hostile to religion. It also presents atheist propaganda produced by communist regimes that aimed to marginalize and ultimately eradicate religion. This book offers insights into how faith survivedaandeven flourishedaduringone of the most intense antireligious campaigns of the modern era.
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."
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.
This classic by an associate of Yugoslavia's Tito created a
sensation when it was published in 1957 because it was the first
time that a ranking Communist had publicly analyzed his
disillusionment with the system.
The first decade of the twenty-first century marked the demise of the current world order. Despite widespread acknowledgement of these disruptive crises, the proposed response from the mainstream remains the same. Against the confines of this increasingly limited politics, a new paradigm has emerged. Fully Automated Luxury Communism claims that new technologies will liberate us from work, providing the opportunity to build a society beyond both capitalism and scarcity. Automation, rather than undermining an economy built on full employment, is instead the path to a world of liberty, luxury and happiness. For everyone. In his first book, radical political commentator Aaron Bastani conjures a new politics: a vision of a world of unimaginable hope, highlighting how we move to energy abundance, feed a world of nine billion, overcome work, transcend the limits of biology and build meaningful freedom for everyone. Rather than a final destination, such a society heralds the beginning of history.
'A REMARKABLE BOOK... AN AMAZINGLY AUDACIOUS AND COMPLETELY INNOVATIVE WAY OF WRITING HISTORY... IMMEDIATE AND GRIPPING' - WILLIAM BOYD In Petrograd a fire is lit. The Tsar is packed off to the Urals. A rancorous Russian exile crosses war-torn Europe to make his triumphal entry into the capital. 'Peace now!' the crowds cry... German soldiers return from the war to quash a Communist rising in Berlin. A former field-runner trained by the army to give rousing speeches against the Bolshevik peril begins to rail against the Jews... A solar eclipse turns a former patent clerk from Switzerland into a celebrity, shaking the foundations of human understanding with his revolutionary theories of time and space... In Paris an American reporter in search of himself writes ever shorter sentences and discovers a new literary style... Lenin and Hitler, Einstein and Hemingway, Sigmund Freud and Andre Breton, Emmaline Pankhurst and Mustafa Kemal - these are some of the protagonists in this dramatic panorama of a world in turmoil. Emperors, kings and generals depart furtively on midnight trains and submarines. Women are given the vote. Artistic experiments flourish. The real becomes surreal. Marching tunes are syncopated into jazz. Civilisation is loosed from its pre-war moorings. People search for meaning in the wreckage. Even as the ink is drying on the armistice that ends the war in the west in 1918, fresh conflicts and upheavals erupt elsewhere. It takes six years for Europe to find uneasy peace. Crucible is the collective diary of an era: filled with all-too-human tales of exuberant dreams, dark fears, grubby ambitions and the absurdities of chance. Encompassing both tragedy and humour, it brings immediacy and intimacy to a moment of deep historical transformation - with consequences which echo down to today.
Have you ever wondered what Kant might have to say about your addiction to social media? Or whether Plato would be able to help resolve your constant arguments about what to watch on TV? Or if Hobbes would agree to feed your pet hamster while you're away on holiday? When it comes to the really important questions, who better to ask than the greatest political minds in history, with What Would Marx Do? Using 40 everyday questions and problems as springboards for exploring the great political questions of our time, this book will give you a crash course in political philosophy, and an introduction to the theories and ideas of the greatest political philosophers of all time. Includes questions such as: -Should I bother to vote? -Who should look after the baby? -Do you earn enough? -My car has just been stolen! But can I hold the thieves responsible? -Should I watch what I say on Twitter? -Should your children benefit from your success? -Is it wrong to want a bigger house? With quirky illustrations and intriguing and original takes on the biggest (and smallest) everyday questions, What Would Marx Do? is guaranteed to leave you with a better grasp on political philosophy, and able to discuss Marxism, Libertarian Socialism and Populism with ease.
How was the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) of Nicaragua able to resist the Reagan Administration's coercive efforts to rollback their revolution? Hector Perla challenges conventional understandings of this conflict by tracing the process through which Nicaraguans, both at home and in the diaspora, defeated US aggression in a highly unequal confrontation. He argues that beyond traditional diplomatic, military, and domestic state policies a crucial element of the FSLN's defensive strategy was the mobilization of a transnational social movement to build public opposition to Reagan's policy within the United States, thus preventing further escalation of the conflict. Using a contentious politics approach, the author reveals how the extant scholarly assumptions of international relations theory have obscured some of the most consequential dynamics of the case. This is a fascinating study illustrating how supposedly powerless actors were able to constrain the policies of the most powerful nation on earth.
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