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What Happened to Europe’s Left?

Jan Rovny The London School of Economics and Political Science Blog
Only a handful of European states are currently governed by left-wing governments, and several of the traditionally largest left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party in France, have experienced substantial drops in support. Jan Rovny argues that while many commentators have linked the left’s decline to the late-2000s financial crisis, the weakening of Europe’s left reflects deep structural and technological changes that have reshaped European society, leaving left-wing parties out in the cold.

Crisis In Germany?

Victor Grossman Portside
The impasse in forming a government in Germany has dragged on since election day, September 24th – often like a traffic gridlock, hardly moving forward. But Germany is Europe’s main central power – and with no proper government! Angela Merkel still acts as boss, the old ruling cabinet holds on as caretakers, but it’s all on borrowed time, with no legitimacy.

Retail Jobs Don’t Need to Be Bad. Here’s Proof.

Eduardo Porter New York Times
Retail work does not have to pay poverty wages. New study compares work in Europe and the U.S. For all the power of market forces, from automation taking over routine tasks to globalization squeezing retailers’ margins, there is nothing inevitable about low-quality retail jobs. Social norms and political institutions can make them better, or worse.


A Modern Greek Tragedy Foretold

Bennet Baumer The Indypendent
Greece's former finance minister under the radical Syriza government offers a revealing tell-all about modern capitalism through his battles over Greece’s debt with the “Troika”: the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), and eventually with his own prime minister.

Catalonia: The Left and Sovereign Alternative

David Companyon Transform! Europe
Images depicting the severe brutality of the Spanish police clashing with voters at the October 1st referendum in Catalonia spilled across social media and TVs around the world. Faced with these images, many asked: What is happening in Catalonia?

The Real Disuniting of America and The Dangerous Trend Threatening the Future of the Nation-State

John Feffer Tom Dispatch
A country that hasn’t had a civil war in more than 150 years, where secessionist movements from Texas to Vermont have generally caused merriment not concern, now faces divisions so serious, and a civilian arsenal of weapons so huge, that the possibility of national disintegration has become part of mainstream conversation. Indeed, after the 2016 elections, predicting a second civil war in the United States has become all the rage across the political spectrum.

The Russians Are Coming, Again

Jeremy Kuzmarov and John Marciano Monthly Review
Americans are again being warned daily of the Russian menace, with persistent accusations of Russian aggression, lies, violations of international law, and cyberattacks on U.S. elections, as reported in leading liberal outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post.


Making Their Own History

Ingo Schmidt Solidarity
Historians of the bourgeois persuasion tend to focus on the doings of major figures in history. Less emphasis is placed by them on the role of working people, often nameless and ill-remembered. Edward Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class was a methodological breakthrough in showing how a working class made itself. The book under review follows that precedent, charting how ordinary Europeans from the Middle Ages to post-Soviet Europe made their own history.
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