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Marie-Louise Berneri was well placed to argue that the USSR was no utopia, not only because of her firm conviction of what socialism should truly look like, but also because of her knowledge of utopianism. In Journey through Utopia, appearing posthumously in 1950, Berneri was the guide on a comprehensive tour of the history of utopian thinking from Plato to Huxley. Arguing that – in an era defined by the ‘compromises’ of modern democracy and the ascendancy of the ‘practical men’ of technocratic politics – re-acquaintance with the radicalism of utopianism was a tonic, she nevertheless discerned a dual current in the history of utopias.
Contemporary readings of Franz Kafka’s works often remark on the affinity between the ideas present in Kafka’s texts and those of postmodern philosophers such as Michel Foucault. Through an examination of some recent Foucauldian readings of In the Penal Colony and The Trial, this article argues that Kafka’s engagement with anarchist theory, particularly that of Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin and Gustav Landauer, may be considered an unacknowledged source for the well-documented ‘postmodern’ aspect to his work.
Anthony Painter considers whether the left's ‘institutional turn’ will extend freedom and empower individuals and communities, or tend towards bureaucracy and paternalism.
Jon Burke and Mika Minio-Paluello discuss climate transition, local government, and the potential for a geographical and ecological rebalancing of Britain’s economy.
Rachel Reeves, Nick Garland
Three recent books engage with the challenges of building institutions that can deliver real social security and empower people as workers and citizens.
Emma Rees, Adam Klug
In political campaigns in the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere we are seeing the importance of big politics – ideas radical enough to tackle the vast challenges we face – and big organising – building social movements and empowering volunteers to drive campaigns at scale.
Mary Kaldor, James Stafford, George Morris
Renewal meets Professor Mary Kaldor to discuss her support for left campaigns against Brexit, and to ask what remains of projects for a left-liberal globalism in our current age of revived national power-politics.
The notion of ‘Red Africa’ can perhaps be dated to the period immediately following the Russian Revolution of October 1917.Hakim Adi introduces this issue which discusses communist states and postwar Africa.
Tanja R. Muller
It is early November 2014, almost twenty-five years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall – in fact a few days before the anniversary. In Maputo, Mozambique, the Instituto Cultural Moçambique- Alemanha (ICMA) opens an exhibition in its foyer with the title ‘da ditadura – a democracia’ (from dictatorship to democracy), which tells the often rehearsed story of the oppressive former East German (GDR) regime and its fall. Shortly after that opening, in the adjacent ICMA auditorium, an event of a very different kind takes place that evening, also to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the end of the Cold War: a podium discussion on the lasting legacies of this period of socialist experimentations, in all their complexity.
Joe Guinan, Martin O'Neill
Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill discuss Labour's new twenty-first century socialist political economy.
Thomas M. Hanna argues for democratised and decentralised forms of public ownership.
A review of Rachel Reeves, The Everyday Economy, 2018.
Monique Charles, Natalie Thomlinson
Monique Charles and Natalie Thomlinson respond to Charlotte Proudman's critique of the Labour leadership’s engagement with the feminist tradition.
Francis King introduces Socialist History 53
Samuel Foster explores how the Southern Slavs, developed a distinctively socialist movement and culture of their own, particularly from 1903 to 1914, capable of both challenging and shaping politics in the Balkans.
Jeremy Gilbert introduces this issue of New Formations, which brings together a typically diverse selection of work in contemporary cultural studies and critical theory, as well as a major translation project of direct interest to ongoing debates in the field.
This article seeks to theorise boredom in the wake of the new technological modes of capture and commodification that have emerged in a digital network culture, by focusing on the popular ‘What to do When You’re Bored’ sub-genre of YouTube video tutorials that are addressed largely to female teenage audiences.
Zara Dinnen, Sam McBean
Zara Dinnen and Sam McBean contribute to thinking about the emergence of the face in digital culture.