“A writer or painter cannot change the world. But they can keep an essential margin of non-conformity alive. Thanks to them, the powerful can never affirm that everyone agrees with their acts. That small difference is very important. When power feels itself totally justified and approved, it immediately destroys whatever freedoms we have left, and that is fascism.
Dragan Müller-Ozren is one of the more enigmatic forgotten communist party intellectuals. Originally from Yugoslavia, he was never a Yugoslav communist in the proper sense of the term, and spent most of his creative life abroad.
Paul Nizan (1905–1940), novelist and committed socialist, who left Europe for Aden in September 1926 when he was just 20, to spend six months there and write the philosophical memoir for which he is best known today. This brilliant piece of writing, called Aden, Arabie, published in 1931, was eventually reissued in 1960 with the proverbial Sartre preface.
In 1926, Naville wrote a pamphlet seeking to steer the nascent movement of French Surrealists, with which he was associated as one of ‘19 founders’, beyond its spontaneous anarchism and hatred of bourgeois society towards what he saw as a more revolutionary politics grounded in historical materialism and in the “discipline” of working for a party committed, ostensibly (!), to
Two excerpts from Victor Serge’s fascinating Notebooks (1936–1947), including a scathing but remarkably prescient forecast of the moribund future of the Fourth International. The Notebooks are contained in a bundle of exercise books that were discovered in 2010, in a small town sixty kilometres south of Mexico City.
The cardinal fact to start from is that. if Walter Benjamin had committed suicide at Portbou, as we are told, how could he possibly have been buried in the local Catholic cemetery there? This, as a local resident pointed out to Mauas, the Argentinian photographer & filmmaker pictured here, was simply “unthinkable”, since suicides are never buried in Catholic cemeteries.
Abraham’s exile: the sad story of a young Marxist historian
Pasolini’s horrific murder on an Ostia beach at the beginning of November 1975 was a political crime camouflaged (and widely accepted) as a homophobic hate crime.
Marx drew the analogy between Moloch and capital at least once, in the economic manuscripts written between October and November 1862, which formed the last portions of Theories of Surplus Value.
When Abdelrahman Munif wrote his great work of fiction in the eighties, his name for the five novels as a whole was Cities of Salt (Mudun al-milh).