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No workers’ paradise, but the GDR wasn’t a prison, either: novelist Eve Ottenberg reviews “A Socialist Defector”

From the perspective of 2019, it’s often difficult to recall the cold war hysteria over East Germany. It was called a secret police state. Everyone there was said to be oppressively monitored if not actively harassed by the Stasi. For Americans, it epitomized communist tyranny. Then along comes Victor Grossman’s memoir, A Socialist Defector–he fled US anticommunism to East Germany in 1952–and the distortions about East Germany (GDR) go right out the window… | more…

“Challenges cold-war perceptions of the GDR”–UK’s Morning Star reviews Victor Grossman’s “A Socialist Defector”

In the popular imagination, the German Democratic Republic is indelibly linked with ideas of authoritarianism, poverty, secret police, stuffy bureaucracy and a generalised absence of democracy. ¶ Victor Grossman is uniquely well placed to challenge this McCarthyite narrative. Born in New York in 1928, he joined the Communist Party while studying at Harvard in the late 1940s…. | more…

Michael Yates talks to David Barsamian on Alternative Radio

Warren Buffett, the much-admired genius investor and one of the world’s richest men said, ‘There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’ And who are the losers? The working class, people who work for an hourly wage or are salaried…. Can the working class, long taken for granted by the Democratic Party, be a force for positive progressive change? How might it overcome its own internal divisions and contradictions? | more…

The fiction that the light is “white”: on Gerald Horne’s “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism”

Political analysis, alas, is no less immune to what has been called the ‘fashion system’ than any other segment of human consumption habits since the end of the Great War bequeathed the industrial form of indoctrination that prevails—now in digital form—today…. Yet the misery to which the vast majority of humanity is subjected has been altered only minimally since 1492 gave the Roman Catholic and later Protestant elites in Europe the impetus to seize the rest of the planet, dominating the world’s population and the rest of nature… | more…

“Refreshingly angry throughout”: Marx & Philosophy reviews “The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism”

Gerald Horne’s The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism initially appears to be a straightforward account of the role of ‘slavery, colonialism, and the shards of emerging capitalism’ in the rise of England as the first planetary superpower by the eighteenth century. In fact, it is the continuation of the thesis Horne first presented in his 2014 work The Counter-Revolution of 1776… | more…

New! Samir Amin’s “The Long Revolution of the Global South”

In this second volume of his memoirs, Samir Amin takes us on a journey to a dizzying array of countries, primarily in the Arab World, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, recounting in detail the stages of his ongoing dialogue over several decades with popular movements struggling for a better future. Along the way, we meet government leaders, activists in popular movements, and working people, both rural and urban. As in his many works over the years, The Long Revolution of the Global South combines Amin’s astute theoretical analyses of the challenges confronting the world’s oppressed peoples with militant action…. | more…