Monthly Archives: February 2008

Ousting the Ideological Enemy (More on the Closing of EUSP)

Ousting the Ideological Enemy
By Yelena Biberman
Russia Profile

 

 

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BASTA! Special Issue: Kirill Medvedev, “The Experience of the Majority”

This is the seventh in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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We often explain that we will work for “majority” and consciousrevolutions. Majority: which implies revolutionary-democratic processes. […] Conscious: which requires the preparation of the revolutionary rupture by a series of confrontations where the masses go through the experience of the superiority—even partial—of socialist solutions compared to capitalism.

—François Sabado, “Components of Revolutionary Strategy”

Advanced by the workers of the Ford plant in Vsevolozhsk on the eve of the parliamentary elections (in early December 2007), the slogan Don’t Vote! Strike! was a precise and capacious reply to certain vital questions. For example, it became clear what was meant by the “active boycott” to which leftists have long been making abstract appeals. An answer was given to the question, “Which is better: not to go to the polls or to go and invalidate your ballot?” This question has, up until now, been followed by the useless, apathetic answer, “Go or don’t go. Tear up the ballot or don’t tear it up. All the same we’ll be deceived.” A weighty word has also been uttered in the debate about whether there is a working class, and if there is one, who should represent it and how it can be given a voice.

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BASTA! Special Issue: An Open Letter to Alain Badiou

This is the sixth in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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An Open Letter to Alain Badiou
& His Rejection of Gleb Pavlovsky’s Invitation

From: Chto delat <info@chtodelat.org>
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 2008 12:50:32
To: <abadiou….>
Subject: Lettre des activistes russes concernant votre prochaine visite
en Russie

Dear Comrade Badiou!

We are Russian activists and leftist intellectuals. We know and value you as a philosopher and intellectual who has not surrendered in the face of the current neo-capitalist reaction. In your public statements, you have on many occasions expressed your allegiance to the great contemporary liberation movement, of which we also consider ourselves to be a part. In particular, we have greatly appreciated your latest book, De quoi Sarkozy est-il le nom?, which deals with the reactionary movement in the contemporary world. Your philosophical and political program is attractive to many local activists and groups who are otherwise locked in a constant polemic with one another. At the same time, it has come to our attention that Gleb Pavlovsky’s foundation (The Russian Institute is a branch of this foundation) has invited you to visit Moscow this coming April. This news dumfounded those of us here who know and appreciate your work and your political stance. We have long dreamed that you would visit us in Russia. But a visit under these circumstances would be worse than no visit at all. It would compromise you and us, your readers and supporters. Continue reading

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BASTA! Special Issue: RASH, “We Have to Take People to the Next Level”

This is the fifth in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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At first I was in one of the communist parties. There, it was all “Jawohl, mein Fuehrer!” They did everything they did because that’s what Lenin wrote. It was round then that I first read Kropotkin’s and Bakunin’s books about anarchy. That is why I left the party and became an anarchist.

The RASH movement [Red and Anarchist Skinheads] emerged here in 2003-2004. I was the first RASH. Nearly all of us were anarcho-punks who became anarcho-skinheads. We take part in demos. We publish pamphlets, broadsides, and a newspaper [Frontline, available for download at www.redskins.ru]. I am also involved in the skinhead and punk subcultures, so I organize concerts and do propaganda work within these groups. If folks react, we work with them. We try and develop them physically; we conduct training classes in martial arts and self-defense. When you go to an antifa concert there’s a risk you’ll be attacked by Nazis. If you’re not prepared to defend yourself, the attack will probably end badly for you.

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David Ruccio, editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism, March 2-6, IFA, RAN Moscow

David Ruccio, Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA) and editor of the journal Rethinking Marxism, will visit Moscow from 2 to 6 March 2008.
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BASTA! Special Issue: Artemy Magun, “What Is to Be Done (Again)?”

 

This is the fourth in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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1. The regime has launched an aggressive attack on the educated, politically conscious part of the population. For the first time in the history of Russia and the USSR, the authorities feel that they could make do without an intelligentsia, using only political spin-doctors and popular humorists to keep their hold over people’s minds. In this sense, the country’s Americanization coincides with its Brezhnevization, that is, more and more arbitrary behavior by a corrupted bureaucracy.

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BASTA! Special Issue: Mañana Mejor, “A View of a Construction Site”

This is the third in a series of translations of the articles in BASTA!, a special Russian-only issue of Chto Delat that addresses such pressing issues as the fight against racism and facism, the new Russian labor movement, the resistance to runaway “development” in Petersburg, the prospects for student self-governance and revolt, the potential for critical practice amongst sociologists and contemporary artists, the attack on The European University in St. Petersburg, and Alain Badiou’s aborted visit to Moscow.

The entire issue may be downloaded as a .pdf file here. Selected texts may be accessed here.

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I sit typing this text on my notebook. Out the window I see a sixteen-storey building under construction. The guys who work there from morning till night have never in their lives seen the Internet. They have come to this city from godforsaken villages—in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzia, and Russia itself—to earn money. Most of the guys don’t leave the construction site. To avoid taxes, their employer hasn’t given them their papers. In their free time, all that they can do is sit in the trailer and watch TV programs in a language—Russian—that most of them, especially the younger ones, understand poorly. Although it is cramped in the trailer, it is warm. A shower isn’t provided, so after a hard day’s work they have to wash themselves using a bucket and a pitcher. The guys put up with these hardships, however: they are young and full of strength. And hope?

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