Essad Bey

By Jairus Banaji Here is a passage, drastically abridged, from Braudel’s Mediterranean that illustrates the sense in which history occasionally bursts into poetry:

A Communist from the Tata Family: Shapurji Saklatvala

By Jairus Banaji Shapurji Saklatvala (1874–1936), the first and one of only four Communist members of Britain’s parliament. 

The Radicalisation of Stephen Hymer

K. Damodaran

By Jairus Banaji

The Life and Legacy of Fred Hampton

Peter Sedgwick

By Jairus Banaji ‘German capitalism did not need Auschwitz: but it needed the Nazis, who needed Auschwitz.’

Luis Bunuel

“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 Ozren

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

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.

Pierre Naville

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