Arguably the most interesting essay to appear in Britain in 1968 was Perry Anderson’s “Components of the National Culture”, published in New Left Review in July/August of that year and later described by Ian Birchall as Anderson’s “ponderous tour through the sterility of British intellectual life”.
Tran Duc Thao (1917–1993) joined the École Normale Supérieure in 1939 and worked on Husserl under the supervision of Jean Cavaillès. Much later he would write,
D.D. Kosambi (1907–1966), Indian mathematician, statistician, and Marxist historian, who was fluent in several European languages and active intellectually in a wide range of fields from genetics to Sanskrit philology.
The philosopher and communist militant Lucien Sève died, aged 93, on the 23rd of March 2020. Lucien had been a close friend for over thirty years. The experience of reading his books, and then of our regular meetings, played a decisive role in my life.
Revolutionary Russia’s avant-garde with the Japanese writer Tamiji Naito, Moscow, May 1924 (photo by Anatoly Cemenka). From left to right: Pasternak, Mayakovsky, Naito, (diplomat) Arseny Voznesensky, Olga Tretyakova, Eisenstein, and Lilia (or Lili) Brik.
In 1948 the Ukrainian Marxist Rosdolsky wrote a devastating critique of the “nationality politics” of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, the paper that Marx and Engels published and used as the platform for their interventions in the uprisings and struggles that surged around the “bourgeois” revolutions of 1848.
In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre recasts Marx’s notion of alienation as our experience of the practico-inert. Alienation, Sartre suggests, is our ‘experience of the materialised result’.
Much of the work of Dutch historian Benjamin Aäron Sijes (1908-1981) revolved around the Second World War. He wrote about the persecution of Roma and Jews by the Nazis, forced labour of Dutch workers during the occupation and the February strike of 1941 that broke out in protest against the anti-Semitic measures of the occupiers.
Nico (Niek) Engelschman (1913-1988) was a Dutch actor, resistance member, and pioneering gay-rights activist. During the Nazi-occupation, members of the socialist group around the journal De Vonk (The Spark) met at his house. Together with his brother, Engelschman helped several Jews escape deportation by finding hiding places for them.
‘The concept that society must necessarily be divided into “leaders” and “led”, the notion that there are some born to rule while others cannot really develop beyond a certain stage have from time immemorial been the tacit assumptions of every ruling class in history.