What does the Bolshevik revolution, whose 100th anniversary falls this week, mean for Russia? Historian Orlando Figes speaks to the editor of Eurozine partner journal ‘Letras Libres’, Daniel Gascón, about some of its key themes – and explains that Russia has yet to come to terms with the consequences of 1917.
In central eastern Europe, memories of 1989–1990 mean strong support for Catalan independence. On the other hand, many of these countries fear Russian separatism within their territories. Is the comparison with eastern Europe entirely misleading? An interview with two representatives of Catalan politics and culture.
Writer Slavenka Drakulić has spent much of her career reflecting on what happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s – and how difficult it is to combat the ‘nationalist virus’ – in books like ‘Balkan Express’ (1993), ‘As If I Am Not There’ (1999) and ‘They Would Not Hurt a Fly’ (2004). In the light of developments in Spain, she spoke to Spanish online newspaper ‘El Confidencial’ about the potential dangers in the Catalan crisis.
How has the digital dream of the 1990s – equality, freedom of expression and accessibility for everyone – turned into the constantly surveilled dystopia that many observers comment on today? New media expert Evgeny Morozov and sociologist Colin Crouch discussed this digital dilemma at the recent Lector in Fabula festival, in conversation with journalist Marina Lalovic.
Born in Hungary before becoming a communist in Germany, then a French Foreign Legionnaire, then a wartime propagandist for the British government – but, above all, a writer and thinker – Arthur Koestler was one of the most intriguing intellectuals of the twentieth century. Michael Scammell, the author of his official biography, ‘Koestler, The Indispensable Intellectual’, spoke to Eurozine partner journal Letras Libres about Koestler’s life.
Taking bad ideas seriously
Historian Timothy Snyder, in conversation with Simas Čelutka of the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, discusses how to approach problematic works of political theory. In addition to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Snyder has recently studied the works of Ivan Ilyin, a twentieth-century Russian writer whose ideas are influencing the Kremlin’s current world-view.
I still believe in progress
In ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, Francis Fukuyama famously argued that the global spread of liberal democracy signalled the conclusion of humanity’s sociocultural evolution. In view of populism, inequality, Islamism and mass migration, how has Fukuyama’s thought developed in the intervening twenty-five years?
When the state becomes too powerful
Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, has been described in the Norwegian media as a ‘suspect liberalist’. In a wide-ranging interview, Truls Lie, editor-in-chief of Eurozine network partner journal Ny Tid and Modern Times Review, asked him about dictatorships, his native Venezuela, anarchism and meritocracy.
Political scientist Michael Freeden talks to Slovene journal Razpotja about rightwing populism’s sub-ideological fantasies, anti-liberalism and political dogmatism, and why there can be no such thing as a democracy without deficits.