Geography Archives: Poland

  • 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 […]

  • Germany: Threats of Violence, Hopes for Votes

    All summer the threat of violence was in the air in Hellersdorf.  This borough on the outskirts of East Berlin, once a huge site of modern high-rise buildings aimed at solving East German housing problems, provided homes for nearly 130,000 people.  After “the Wall went down” many high-rise buildings were cropped from eleven to five […]

  • The Sargasso Manuscript: Some Observations on Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980

    Susan Sontag.  As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980.  Edited by David Rieff.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. I. David Rieff has played the last of Susan Sontag’s jokes upon the reader: to remain austerely cool, distant, and unsympathetic toward us even in “journals and notebooks.”  The barbed wire of […]

  • A Little-Known Film Master, Kurt Maetzig

    An extraordinary mensch, an extraordinary filmmaker who made extraordinary films and lived to the extraordinary age of 101, Kurt Maetzig, who died last week, was virtually unknown in the United States, indeed, in the western world generally.  The reason: he lived and worked in East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, whose films — many mediocre […]

  • Tadeusz Kowalik, 1926-2012

      Professor Tadeusz Kowalik (1926-2012) was a noted Polish economist who played a major role in Polish economic debates for more than a half century.  A graduate of the University of Warsaw, Kowalik was a student of the distinguished Polish Marxist economist Oskar Lange and like his teacher, was a prominent advocate of market socialism […]

  • No Deutschland Über Alles — and No Bris

    Germany suffered two losses last week and underwent one very intimate decision.  Whether the latter was a win or a loss depends on your (point of) view — about male circumcision. Most important to most Germans was probably their hope to win the European soccer championship, held this year in Poland and the Ukraine.  Germany […]

  • Sectarianism Versus Ecumenism: The Case of V.I. Lenin

    Was Lenin, as the standard interpretations would have it, a sectarian who sought to destroy all who disagreed with him?  Or did he also display ecumenist tendencies alongside, or in tension with, his sectarian bent?  Is there perhaps a deeper relation between sectarianism and ecumenism in his work? The material from the time, especially before […]

  • Marines in Darwin: US Energy Imperialism and the South China Sea

      During Barack Obama’s visit to Australia in November 2011, the US and Australian governments announced the establishment of a permanent Marine presence in Darwin, located on South East Asia’s doorstep.  By 2014, some 2, 500 Marines plus associated hardware such as military aircraft, tanks, artillery, and amphibious assault vehicles will be based near the […]

  • Tough on Euros, Weak on Nazis

    Hurray!  Merkel won the day!  It took a long night of backroom bargaining, but except for that Tory, David Cameron, all European Union members agreed to save the euro, save the economy, save the world!  It had been on the brink of disaster, Sarkozy warned on the eve of the meeting: unless we reach agreement […]

  • Deconstructing the Foundational Myths of Israel

    Shlomo Sand.  The Invention of the Jewish People.  Verso, 2009. By this time already, after 60-plus years of heatedly arguing the topic back and forth, is there anything new and insightful to be said that might have a bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and help to bring some political and intellectual closure at long last […]

  • Occupy Wall Street and the Celebrity Economists

      The Occupy Wall Street movement has transfixed the nation.  In just a few weeks, it has spread from Manhattan to hundreds of towns and cities, and it has now taken root in other countries.  It has focused the widespread anger that we feel toward a tiny group of extraordinarily rich individuals (the 1%) who […]

  • Before October: The Unbearable Romanticism of Western Marxism

    Most Western Marxists suffer from a deep resentment: they have never experienced a successful communist revolution.  For some unaccountable reason, all of those successful revolutions have happened in the ‘East’: Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, China, Vietnam and so on.  And none of the few revolutions in the ‘West’, from Finland to Germany, […]

  • Workers in Neocapitalist Romania

      David A. Kideckel.  Getting By in Postsocialist Romania: Labor, the Body, and Working-Class Culture.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.  xii + 266 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-34957-6; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-21940-4. During the last twenty years, Romanian mass media and most Romanian intellectuals have typically portrayed the miners of the Jiu Valley in Romania […]

  • 25,000 People March in Tel Aviv in Support of Palestinian State Based on 1967 Borders

    About 25,000 people took part in a march in central Tel Aviv on Saturday evening supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. The march ended with a rally at the Tel Aviv Museum.  MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash), Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), Nino Abesadze (Kadima), and Zahava Galon (Meretz); the Mayor of […]

  • Michal Kalecki and the Economics of Development

    In the long and impressive catalogue of Michal Kalecki’s contributions to economics, the proportion of writings devoted to what is now called “development economics” is relatively small.  And most of his work in this area is concise to the point of being terse, in short articles that simply state some crucial principles, typically without much […]

  • Joint Statement of 58 Communist and Workers’ Parties against Imperialist Aggression in Libya

    The imperialist killers headed by the USA, France, Britain and NATO as a whole and with the approval of the UN started a new imperialist war.  This time in Libya. Their allegedly humanitarian pretexts are completely misleading!  They throw dust into peoples’ eyes!  Their real goals are the hydrocarbons in Libya. We, the Communist and […]

  • End “Supermax” Isolation in Ohio State Penitentiary

    TO: Warden David Bobby, Ohio State Penitentiary Director Gary Mohr, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Chief William A. Eleby, Bureau of Classification Ohio Department of Rehabilitation We the undersigned call for an end to isolated “supermax” imprisonment in Ohio State Penitentiary.  We are especially concerned about the cases of Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders); […]

  • Merkel, Muslims, and Multi-Kulti

    It’s those foreigners again!  In June and July, during the World Cup, Germans cheered their soccer team’s every skilled pass, every goal — and seemed proud that so many of its players had immigrant backgrounds, from Tunisia, Nigeria, Brazil, Spain, Yugoslavia, Ghana, Poland, and Turkey.  Hurrah! But now it’s October.  The leaves have changed color […]

  • Germany: SPD and Greens Regaining Lost Ground While the Left Gets Stuck in Debates

    Angela Merkel always seems to smile when she faces a camera.  Only once in a while does an unnoticed camera show her looking tired, if not worn and slightly haggard. Things are not all going her way.  More and more people are moving in Germany, mostly in the wrong direction, at least for Merkel.  In […]

  • How Does the World Bank Function?

    The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established at Bretton Woods in July 1944, at the initiative of forty-five countries that had come together for the first monetary and financial conference of the United Nations.  In 2010, it had 186 member countries, with Kosovo its latest addition (it joined in June 2009). The […]