Russia has long used breakaway states in Abkhazia and Transnistria to assert military power abroad. Yet the regions’ recent history also shows their growing integration into Western capitalism — and the limits of Moscow’s imperial power.
Loren Balhorn is a contributing editor at Jacobin and coeditor, together with Bhaskar Sunkara, of Jacobin: Die Anthologie (Suhrkamp, 2018).
On April 2, 1922, reformists and revolutionaries from three rival internationals met in Berlin in a bid to agree to a common program. Ending in failure, it was the last time for decades that Communists and Social Democrats would meet as ostensible comrades.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz has just committed €100 billion to defense spending. The move is widely touted as a strong response to Russian aggression — but is more about showing Germany’s fealty to US global foreign policy objectives.
There’s something about the phrase “price controls” that drives some people — mainly economists — around the bend. But history shows that market economies rarely go very long without needing some form of price control — especially in a crisis.
Die Linke was founded on the promise of unifying Germany’s left and rejuvenating what was once the world’s leading socialist movement. Fifteen years later, it’s struggling to survive.
This fall, the Communist Party won the local elections in Austria’s second largest city, Graz, for the first time in history. New mayor Elke Kahr told Jacobin what a proudly Marxist party can hope to achieve from city hall.
Throughout history, it’s been hard for agitators and troublemakers to hold down a good job. In the interwar decades, tens of thousands of them were hired by the Communist International — an employer with long hours, difficult bosses, and a lot of opportunities for travel.
In September’s German election, the socialist Die Linke party slumped to under 5 percent support. If the Left is to recover, it needs to show that it’s still on the side of disenfranchised working-class voters.
October 3, 1990, saw the reunification of Germany. But more than 30 years later, inequalities are deeper than ever — and Easterners are angered at the promises that weren’t realized.
Robert Michels developed his “iron law of oligarchy” after seeing the bureaucratization of the early socialist movement. His warnings are relevant today — but the path to social transformation still runs through building mass, working-class political parties.
The postwar German left has had a lot of ups and downs — and leading Marxist political scientist Frank Deppe was there for most of them. On his 80th birthday, he spoke to Jacobin about the need to root left-wing politics in the changed realities of the modern working class.
Next Sunday’s German election is one of the most unpredictable in decades. But even if Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats do pull off an upset victory, they’re promising continuity with Angela Merkel’s policies — not the change working people need.
The 1931 Workers’ Olympiad in Vienna was an inspiring example of mass-scale sports, free of corporate influence. These photos from the games show how the workers’ movement promoted collective joy and class pride, even outside the factory gates.
Esther Bejarano, who died Saturday at age 96, was an Auschwitz survivor and a lifelong communist. A talented musician, in later life she continued to raise her voice against the resurgent far right, setting an example for anti-fascists everywhere.
Slatan Dudow’s cinematic career took him from rural Bulgaria to working with Bertolt Brecht — making him one of the twentieth century’s most important socialist filmmakers. Yet the director’s work has undeservedly been forgotten.
Even before the pandemic, Bulgaria’s public health system had been wrecked by privatization. Now suffering among the world’s highest COVID mortality rates, Bulgaria provides a case study in how “market reforms” hobble public infrastructure and suck skilled workers from the European Union’s poorest countries to its richest.
Last fall, Armenia was devastated by a six-week war with its neighbor Azerbaijan, ending in the deployment of Russian peacekeepers across the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh. Yet the “peace agreement” has done nothing to resolve the deeper reasons for the conflict, in the ethno-nationalist strife which has simmered since the fall of the USSR.
After years of stagnant poll numbers and declining electoral results, Germany’s Die Linke party hopes that its new leadership team will return it to the promise of the 2000s. But as its social base in the former East fragments, the left-wing party doesn’t just need a different marketing strategy — it needs to rebuild its roots in working-class life.
The East German protests in the fall of 1989 included many who aspired for a democratic socialism. In the state’s final years, the young supporters of the Modern Socialism Project fought for an alternative to authoritarianism — promoting an ecological socialism rooted in democratic rights.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation promised Africa a “Green Revolution” to fight hunger and poverty. It hasn’t worked — but it has upped corporate agriculture’s profits. Local farmers are being left empty-handed, and hunger is rising.