Geography Archives: Italy

  • Power to the People: In Italy, Potere al Popolo, a new left-wing movement is born

    The meeting, attended by thousands of people, was thrilling and inspiring; all Italian communist parties and organisations, as well as environmentalist groups, social and community centres and workers associations took part in it.

  • Gramsci (Photo credit: The Economist)

    Between Como and confinement: Gramsci’s early Leninism

    In May 1924, near the small town of Como, close to the border of Italy and Switzerland, the two great figures of early Italian communism faced each other at a meeting of the Parti Communista d’Italia (PCI) leadership.

  • Protest against burkini bans

    Marxism, religion and femonationalism

    Our very modes of thinking about the social are fragmented, or intersectional…[which is] why intersectionality has become such an important paradigm for feminism. It conceives of different experiences of oppression and exploitation as coming from different and separate systems and tries to recombine the fragments of oppression without denying their singularity. Social Reproduction Feminism seeks to include and to go beyond intersectionality by saying both that we need to understand capitalism as the very specific socio-economic system in which those forms of oppression are generated and nourished, and that there are not ‘separate’ systems of oppression or exploitation under capitalism that can be understood in isolation one from the other.

  • The Imperial War Museum in London: A Lesson in State Propaganda?

    In January 2016, I attended Tate Britain’s Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, a disappointing exhibition that in spite of its title did not face Britain’s past in any meaningful way.  On the contrary, as I argued in my review, it shied away from this bloody history in favour of quasi-glorification, non-committal wording and […]

  • Brexit and the EU Implosion: National Sovereignty — For What Purpose?

    The defense of national sovereignty, like its critique, leads to serious misunderstandings once one detaches it from the social class content of the strategy in which it is embedded.  The leading social bloc in capitalist societies always conceives sovereignty as a necessary instrument for the promotion of its own interests based on both capitalist exploitation […]

  • Immigrants, Welcome and Unwelcome

    A silent three-year-old, lying drowned on a Turkish beach; the tearful protest of a Syrian man as he, his wife and baby are torn from the tracks next to a locomotive by Hungarian police; desperate families jammed into tiny, leaky boats, hoping to reach Europe alive or, if they do, facing ever new obstacles from […]

  • Europe’s Moment of Truth

    Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras’ acceptance of an “austerity package” on July 13, which contained measures rejected by the Greek people in a referendum barely a week before, represents not just an abject surrender by the Syriza government, or a sign of contempt on the part of German finance capital for the Greek electorate; it marks […]

  • German Know-Nothings Today

    “I don’t know.”  Those words, often repeated 160-odd years ago in the USA, earned the gang of those using them the nickname “Know-Nothing Party.”  Those were no expressions of intellectual modesty; party doings were secret, so members were not supposed to disclose anything about them, but just say, “I don’t know.”   Their patriotic title was […]

  • Berlin, July 1, 1990 — Athens, July 1, 2015

    In a recent news video I watched people pushing and shoving at a bank entrance.  I immediately recalled another scene, also with people pushing at a bank entrance.  In the older scene people looked eager and gleeful, pushing so hard, I believe, that one man’s rib was broken.  In the recent pictures they looked very […]

  • ΟΧΙ!

    For some in other lands and continents Greece may seem distant and marginal, a few narrow peninsulas and scattered archipelagos jutting out of the sea.  Some may vaguely recall school knowledge about it.  “Didn’t some fellow named Prometheus steal fire from the gods?  Or was it Alexander the Great untying some “Gordian knot”?  Or a […]

  • Blockupy the ECB, Blockupy the NATO

    I defied my advanced age to board a special train, with a thousand mostly young people, and join in the big “Blockupy” demonstration in Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s big banking city.  The trip, though not the usual four and a half but seven hours, retained till well into the night a spirit of happy anticipation. […]

  • Interview with KKE’s Kostas Papadakis on Why KKE Does Not Support SYRIZA: “We Are Against the EU, NATO, and Chains of Capitalism”

    Greek Communist Party (KKE) MEP Kostas Papadakis firmly says: “SYRIZA has made very clear that it is not going to defy the EU or NATO.  We say: What kind of left is this?” “The EU has no fear of SYRIZA.  SYRIZA is not the oligarchy’s first choice, but it is the new face of social […]

  • An Early Activist Critique of Stalin’s 1934 Antihomosexual Law: “A Chapter of Russian Reaction” by Kurt Hiller

      Introduction This article, titled “A Chapter of Russian Reaction,” translated into English here for the first time, was written in German by longtime homosexual activist Kurt Hiller (1885-1972) from London and published in the Swiss gay journal Der Kreis in 1946.  Hiller had been active in Germany’s first homosexual-rights organization, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäre Komitee (Scientific […]

  • Dresden and Its Dangerous Demonstrators

    Dresden, Saxony’s beautiful capital, has a distinguished history.  One ruler, August the Strong, could bend horseshoes with his bare hands and, so legend has it, sired 354 children.  In 1697 he pushed and bribed his way onto the royal throne of neighboring Poland, made possible by his quick conversion to Catholicism.  (His wife, refusing the […]

  • Germany’s Left Party on the EU and NATO

    Running up a down escalator is itself mighty difficult.  Trying to keep your footing both on an up and a down escalator at the same time is simply hard to imagine.  Yet it gives an idea of Germany’s present Ukrainian policy. Soon after Soviet soldiers left East Germany between 1989 and 1994, the newly-unified country […]

  • Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Its Uses and Limits

    Thomas Piketty.  Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014.  $39.95. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty has caused a stir, which it deserves.  Capital 21, as we will abbreviate the title, grapples with a prominent current issue: outrageously unequal incomes and wealth.  It is a data-rich, […]

  • Treme Rewrites Post-Katrina History. And That’s a Good Thing.

    After three and a half seasons, HBO’s Treme concluded in December, and last week the entire series became available as a box set.  The show started with low ratings that got lower as time went on, never won many awards, and divided critics.  But as time passes and more audiences discover the show, it may […]

  • The “Brown International” of the European Far Right

      In the lead-up to the international day of action against fascism on 22 March, Thanasis Kampagiannis, writing in the latest issue of Σοσιαλισμός από Κάτω (Socialism From Below), the theoretical journal of the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK), looks at the danger of a major far Right breakthrough in May’s European Parliament elections and […]

  • What Is Political Will?

      Samuel Grove [SG]: For a while now you’ve been working on and defending the old idea of ‘the will of the people’, and you’ve described it in terms of a ‘dialectical voluntarism’; what do you mean by this? Peter Hallward [PH]: I’m not stuck on the terminology, and I’m leery of the way these […]

  • Statement of Support to Middle East Technical University’s Resistance Against the Government’s Unlawful Environmental Massacre on Their Campus

    Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party), has, despite opposition, initiated a road construction project that goes through a forest area located in Ankara’s inner city, which is also property of Middle East Technical University (METU). University students, the University presidency as well as the residents of the neighborhood located right […]