Can we use the f-word of history? Why understanding precisely what one is opposing will help dissent; how the trauma of WWII helped blur the European colonial past, and history in the making in Belarus.

Given the political challenge posed by the rise of authoritarianism worldwide and, specifically, by the prospect of a Trump victory in November, it might be asked whether the Left has better things to do than debate whether we are seeing a resurgence of interwar-style fascism. After all, proving a historical point won’t compensate for losing an election; or, for that matter, for a descent into fascism — or whatever.

But those discussing whether it is accurate to call Donald Trump a fascist are anything but sequestered intellectuals. Shutting down debates in the name of a higher progressive purpose is generally not a good idea. …

Osteuropa studies the history of Russia’s diseased democracy;
Soundings considers remaking the world;
Merkur debates representation versus twitterocracy;
Razpotja reads Hegel as comedy; talks to novelists about redemption, patriarchy and elephants.

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Osteuropa 6/2020

Osteuropa studies the history of Russia’s diseased democracy

In Osteuropa, Otto Luchterhandt traces the decline of democratic constitutionalism in Russia and calls Putinism for what it is. Also: on the Kremlin’s increasingly restrictive definition of acceptable protest; and on the ethnonationalism of Russia’s National Democratic opposition
Read the full review in Eurozine

From protest to social enterprise

Recently toppled colonial monuments have been used to evoke and connect global race-related injustices, past and present. Now anti-racism discourse on violence, worker’s rights, education and cultural heritage is encouraging greater accountability and social engagement. Black Lives Matter.

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Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

A mechanical whir cranks the upside-down bronze out from where it was unceremoniously dumped. Then, as if in flashback, euphoric protestors cheer and clap as several manually jettison the slaver’s statue into Bristol Harbour. Watching compiled clips that reverse the narrative from one of last month’s Black Lives Matter protests and its aftermath infers a question: was the entire effort in vain?

Politicians, unlikely to condone protestor action, speak of consent and responsibility. But few acknowledge their irresponsible failure to agree on the statue’s future. Local campaigners had been highlighting the colonial inhumanity lurking in their city centre for decades. …

Merkur reflects on the debate on antisemitism and postcolonialism;
New Humanist debates the ethics of wild west genetic engineering;
Kritika & Kontext visits Husserl in Moravia;
Critique and Humanism situates populism;
and Dialogi says clenched fists don’t make political theatre.

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Does the comfort of the quarantined consumer outweigh the life and safety of the slaughterhouse workers who cannot afford to stay home? The recent coronavirus outbreaks in meat processing plants pose a dreadful question.

The culture war around eating meat the north Atlantic way is a backlash against warnings that mass dairy and meat production contribute hugely to climate change — and many other forms of environmental destruction. The evidence has been around for a long time: CO2 and methane emissions on the one hand, industrial cruelty on the other, have motivated people to reduce their consumption of problem products. …

This editorial is part of our 11/2020 newsletter. Subscribe to get the weekly updates about our latest publications and reviews of our partner journals.

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Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash.

It shouldn’t take the video footage of a brutal murder to make us demand that it doesn’t happen again.

About one in every thousand black men can expect to be killed by police in the United States, a recent study concluded. It offers crucial data on something that has long been obvious. In the past decade, public attention has repeatedly been drawn to the violence that authorities exercise on bodies of colour, in large part through video footage of the brutality. And yet, many cases were without consequences for the perpetrators.

It should not take international outrage for murderers to be charged.

Weeks before George Floyd was murdered in cold blood by a Minneapolis police officer, jogger Ahmaud Arbery was lynched by a former police investigator and his son in Brunswick, Georgia. It took more than two months and the video of the murder to go viral worldwide for the killers to be arrested. …

Public Seminar debates the vision of M4BL;
Vikerkaar raises tenants’ consciousness;
dérive resists the social-spatial order;
Soundings redefines relations between city and state;
Revue Projet focuses on France’s poorest;
and Il Mulino says COVID–19 shows where Italy fails.

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Public Seminar reports on the convulsions in the US;
La Revue Nouvelle rejects prevailing nostrums;
Wespennest anatomizes the bourgeoisie;
Baggrund historicizes hygiene;
and Culture & Démocratie prescribes the narrative cure.

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Esprit learns from the lockdown;
Springerin wonders how we’ll come together;
Letras Libres makes cautious predictions;
Czas Kultury gives a voice to teachers;
and O’r Pedwar Gwynt considers language and loneliness.

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New Eastern Europe explains the Stalinization of Russia’s historical propaganda;
Osteuropa surveys the politics of COVID-19 from Budapest to Bishkek;
Kultūros barai blasts Lithuania’s myopic crisis management;
Varlık tries to concentrate;
and Fronesis puts algorithms in their place.

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