1. Dangerous “new” thinking
*TREAT US WORSE!
In August 2016, the Center for Syncretic Studies had the honor to publish an exclusive interview with the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia’s deputy chairman for ideology and communications, Dr. Josef Skala, produced by the Center’s esteemed Russian colleagues, Dr. Eduard Popov (Fort Russ guest analyst, Europe Center for Public and Information Cooperation) and Alexander Gegalchiy (International Russian Award Foundation).
We are pleased to continue this fruitful intellectual exchange with the following, latest interview with Dr. Skala conducted in early January 2018. This interview touches on a number of pressing topics ranging from the challenges facing the “post-socialist” left to “populism”, NATO expansion, and the possibility of a third Maidan in Ukraine. As such, it should serve as a case study in the transformation of the left in the 21st century in relation to geopolitical processes. – Jafe Arnold
Eduard Popov: Dr. Skala, how do you see left socialist and communist thought developing? Is any creative potential being demonstrated, i.e., anything “new”, or is the left clinging to unchanged positions?
Josef Skala: To this day the left remains the victim of the so-called “new” thinking invented by Gorbachev and his associates. This, of course, is a serious distortion of left thought. But many modern theoreticians are still under the pressure of the stereotypes propagated by this “new” thinking. After all, this thought was nothing new!
On the contrary, it was a program for returning to the distant past. Nevertheless, new philosophical talents are emerging which have a good grasp of what happened with “Catastroika” and are advocating fresh ideas.
In the Czech Republic, we have a group of young theoreticians capable of not only quite profoundly analyzing the tendencies of the development of modern capitalism, but also evaluating the dead ends and traps towards which capitalism is heading which Western elites are incapable of doing anything to avoid.
For example, there is the debt trap. There is the trap of chaotic migration from the Third World to Europe. And there is the phenomenon of what used to be profit for capital, a driving process, that is now rent, parasitic rent. We recently released a book by the young economist Ilona Shveglikova titled Capitalism, Socialism, and the Future. T
Popov: How might left thought be popular-democratic, and in what ways?
Skala: The contemporary ruling elites treat democracy, so to say, worse and worse. This is natural, as global capital has no need for real democracy. Global capital is even seizing for itself a number of powers which until now were left in the hands of states.
Therefore, questions of democracy, democratic values, and democratic demands are left without a speaker. The liberal parties are abandoning the resolution of this problem. They are de facto becoming servants of global capital. Even the socialists have capitulated.
Meanwhile, a growing number of populist parties are intercepting traditional political platforms from the left. They are occupying the positions being left by the liberals.
Popov: Left thought is usually associated with the defense of workers’ socio-economic rights and oppressed peoples. But what can the modern left in Europe offer to defend traditional culture and morality?
- Traditional culture and morality are being squeezed by some aggressive forces and trends. On the one hand, there is Americanization, which is squeezing out European culture and art.
- On the other hand, there is the chaotic wave of Islamic migration that is planting its own cultural models and stereotypes in a number of European countries. It is well known that lists of so-called “no go zones” have appeared in France and Germany, where not even those born there risk going.
- Centers of aggressive fundamentalism are being established there which are hostile to Europe’s cultural values. This is an extremely dangerous phenomenon. Left forces, frankly speaking, have not found adequate answers to these issues. Many on the left have decided that we must be internationalists in some weird, distorted way. Angela Merkel has altogether got the point of saying “welcome!”
Let’s take the interesting example of Germany. The fact that the Alternative for Germany movement has won striking results in recent elections is related to the fact that the well-known left parties have all the while not found any adequate solutions or approaches to voters.
Alexander Gegalchiy: Do you mean to say that Alternative for Germany has deprived the traditional left parties of their votes and followers?
Skala: Yes, our friends who always had strong positions in Germany, have lost at this stage.
* The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: syncreticstudies.com
TagsCenter’s esteemed Russian colleagues Dr. Eduard Popov (Fort Russ guest analyst Dr. Josef Skala Europe Center for Public and Information Cooperation) and Alexander Gegalchiy (International Russian Award Foundation) exclusive interview facing the “post-socialist” left ideology and communications In August 2016 Jafe Arnold NATO expansion number of pressing topics ranging from the challenges the Center for Syncretic Studies the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia’s deputy chairman to “populism”
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