Transversal journal 06/13: A Communality That Cannot Speak: Europe in Translation (2013) [EN, DE, FR, ES, PL, SR, HU]

29 June 2013, dusan

What is at the core of the European crisis today? The trouble with the Euro, as the ruling elites want us to believe? Wrong! The crisis is not about the common currency, but about the current commonality. Europe not only lacks a common language to collectively respond to the crisis, or a common public space to mobilize joint democratic action against its disastrous social consequences. It fails, above all, to address the very commonality of today’s capitalist crisis that now returns to Europe after having long been displaced to other parts of the world, outsourced to those “others” who were not, and still are not, supposed to enter a truly shared sphere of commonality. Hence, when today, caught in crisis, the European modes of speaking and decision-making fall apart into a cacophony of national languages and a chaos of parallel political realities, they simultaneously keep silencing the very commonality of the question of commonality.

It has been claimed that translation can offer a solution to the enigma of linguistic and political commonalities. But what kind of translation? Certainly not the one that simply serves the communication between allegedly homolingual communities and thus reproduces the already existing regimes and imaginaries. So how can we think of another kind of translation, one that addresses a non-aggregate community of foreigners, migrants of all sorts, but also all those who are becoming increasingly foreign to their own “native” languages, cultures, societies and political institutions: a translation that evokes a new mode of sociality still in search of its political actualization?

With contributions by Boris Buden, Naoki Sakai, Jon Solomon, Myriam Suchet, Loredana Polezzi, Peter Waterhouse, Arat, Rubia Salgado, 1. März – Transnationaler Migrant_innenstreik, Nicole Doerr.

Publisher eipcp – European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna/Linz
ISSN 1811 – 1696

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Samir Amin: Eurocentrism: Modernity, Religion and Democracy: A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism (1988-) [FR, EN, ES]

14 June 2013, dusan

Since its first publication more than twenty years ago, Eurocentrism has become a classic of radical thought. Written by one of the world’s foremost political economists, this original and provocative essay takes on one of the great “ideological deformations” of our time: Eurocentrism. Rejecting the dominant Eurocentric view of world history, which narrowly and incorrectly posits a progression from the Greek and Roman classical world to Christian feudalism and the European capitalist system, Amin presents a sweeping reinterpretation that emphasizes the crucial historical role played by the Arab Islamic world. Throughout the work, Amin addresses a broad set of concerns, ranging from the ideological nature of scholastic metaphysics to the meanings and shortcomings of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism. This second edition contains a new introduction and concluding chapter, both of which make the author’s arguments even more compelling.

French edition
Publisher Anthropos-Economica, Paris, 1988
160 pages

English edition
Translated by Russell Moore and James Membrez
First published in 1989
Publisher Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010
ISBN 1583672079, 9781583672075
288 pages

review (Joshua Moufawad-Paul, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books)

publisher (EN)
google books (EN)

L’eurocentrisme: Critique d’une ideologie (French, 1988)
Eurocentrism: Modernity, Religion and Democracy: A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism, alt link (English, trans. Russell Moore and James Membrez, 2nd edition, 1989/2010)
El eurocentrismo: Crítica de una ideología (Spanish, trans. Rosa Cuminsky de Cendrero, 1989)

Cornelia Hildebrandt, Birgit Daiber (eds.): The Left in Europe. Political Parties and Party Alliances between Norway and Turkey (2009) [English/German/Spanish]

12 December 2010, dusan

After thirty years the victorious march of neo-liberalism has ground to a halt at the beginning of the 21st century, having plunged the world into financial and economic crisis. For the first time a financial and economic crisis has coincided with social, environmental and climatic crises. The scale of the social deformations causing all this, the increases in social divisions, hunger and poverty, are already visible in all European countries. But no one knows yet how this crisis will end, and that goes for those on the Left as well.

In the past the European Left has identified and analysed many problems and proposed solutions. Many of these proposals, such as the control of financial markets, the Tobin tax, the closing down of tax havens, the banning of derivatives and hedge funds, the expropriation of shareholders of big corporations, putting together stimulus packages, and the introduction of a minimum wage, are being adopted under pressure of necessity by the ruling elites, who are even including some of them in their own programmes.

The crisis shows how right the demands of the Left were, though it also exposes its own crisis. The Left has so far proved incapable of social leadership. Its ability to rise above social, political and cultural differences and successfully act in concert is still in its infancy. Only now does the Party of the European Left have its first joint election platform.

On the other hand, there is plenty of common ground. All left-wing parties in Europe, of which we examine only a selection in this publication, stand for social justice, democracy, and a Europe in which people can live in dignity, social security and peace. All the parties presented here are arguing against the neo-liberal policies of the ruling elites and in so doing representing the interests of most Europeans. The European Left has sufficient experience and potential to wage joint struggles, such as those against the Iraq war, the neo-liberal slant of the proposed EU constitution, and the Bolkestein Directive. But all this has never been enough to rally people around a unifying alternative project that could mount a challenge to neoliberalism.

This raises several very different questions: Where are the causes of this situation to be sought? Where is existing potential for development being blocked and by what? How must the Left change in order to build up an alternative hegemonic bloc? How can it create a society in which the freedom of the individual is the condition for the freedom of all, a society which the left-wing parties of Europe can call socialist?

In order to discuss such questions with parties, trade unions and social movements on the spot the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation – supported by its offices in Brussels, Warsaw and Moscow – works closely with its partners Transform!Europe and the parliamentary group of the Left in the European Parliament. Together with the latter a long-term project on the non-socialdemocratic Left in the European countries was launched. Within this framework the country reports collected here constitute a first snapshot, a necessary basis for the elaboration of a joint research programme.

The primary intention is to give the reader an overview of the history and current situation of left-wing parties in Europe, it being remembered that the articles express solely the views of the authors.

The Left presents a very different picture in each of the individual countries, resulting from the different traditions and political structures in the country under consideration and from differences in the sense of identity of the various organizations. Among the left-wing parties selected by way of example for the present volume are some that have evolved out of former ruling communist parties, some that have a Eurocommunist background, some that come from the non-social democratic reformist Left, some that belong to the traditionally communist Left with a feminist extension, and others. (Preface)

Publisher: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Brussels, July 2009


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