171 posts tagged with communism.
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The Club of 100 Year Ladies

English Russia often chooses odd subjects but the ladies in this article have lived sadly sweet lives through some of the most intense and difficult years in an intense and difficult place. It was originally published in Russian Esquire if you prefer the Russian language version
posted by Isadorady on Jun 13, 2012 - 19 comments

Please party, test me.

As young as 18, I'd already written the application to join the party, but I was too embarrassed to turn it in to the party branch. I've studiously read the party constitution countless times - always felt I wasn't worthy of the party's requirements. Applying to Join the Chinese Communist Party : a music video (w/ English subtitles)
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 14, 2012 - 21 comments

What a difference a decade makes

In 1990, right after the Berlin Wall fell, Stephen Koppelkamm ventured into East Berlin and photographed what he found. Ten years on, he revisited the same locations.
posted by pjern on May 5, 2012 - 43 comments

Think Of Capitalism As A Very Bad Way Of Organizing Communism

David Graeber in conversation with Rebecca Solnit. From Guernica. Previously.
posted by chavenet on May 2, 2012 - 5 comments

The Only Winning Move is to Watch This

Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War. Then, they made a documentary. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD, the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels. You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
posted by symbioid on Mar 27, 2012 - 78 comments

Coming Up Like A Flower

" Thus in today’s China one confronts the paradox of a communist regime that is at ideological loggerheads with left-leaning intellectuals, but which finds pro-Western, liberal intellectuals on the whole quite congenial." Richard Wolin is Dreaming In Chinese...
posted by artof.mulata on Mar 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Dreaming in French

On Angela Davis.
posted by latkes on Mar 25, 2012 - 10 comments

The End of the Free Market?

We're All State Capitalists Now 'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 10, 2012 - 29 comments

15 Million Merits

Are you encourages in your place of work by the use of gamification? Congratulations, comrade, you are treading in the footsteps of Soviet Russia!
posted by Artw on Dec 28, 2011 - 50 comments

Life After Capitalism

One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end. Maybe not soon, but probably before too long; humanity has never before managed to craft an eternal social system, after all, and capitalism is a notably more precarious and volatile order than most of those that preceded it. The question, then, is what will come next.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 24, 2011 - 85 comments

Stan Wojenny

On December 13, 1981, Poland awoke to an announcement by Premier Wojciech Jaruzelski declaring a "state of war" (stan wojenny). Martial law would last until July 22, 1983. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg on Dec 13, 2011 - 15 comments

Yuoo hefe-a nutheeng tu luse-a boot yuoor cheeens

Ereese-a yuoo preesuners ooff sterfeshun. Ereese-a yuoo vretched ooff zee iert. Fur joosteece-a thoonders cundemneshun. A better vurld's in burt. It is zee feenel cunffleect. Let iech stund in hees plece-a. Zee Interneshunele-a shell be-a zee hoomun rece-a.

BORK BORK BORK!

posted by jason's_planet on Dec 10, 2011 - 25 comments

Life is fleeting, but a body can be on display forever

Atlas Obscura provides a Guide to Communist Mummies, and there's plenty more online. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum, where he has been kept since 1924, defying his wishes to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. He wasn't alone forever, as Stalin's body was kept in the mausoleum after his death in 1953, until his body was quietly removed in October, 1961. Just under eight years later, Hồ Chí Minh died, and against his wishes to be cremated, a very large state funeral was held and Uncle Ho's embalmed remains were placed in a mausoleum. Chairman Mao Zedong made A Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death in 1956, but his wishes were overlooked when he died in 1976, and he joined the growing ranks of the preserved communist leaders in his own crystal casket, housed in a grand mausoleum. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 21, 2011 - 30 comments

“Today we have a new group of satirists who, at the same time that they bite the bourgeoisie, use only their lips, but not their teeth”

While he was contributing to the New Yorker as Syd Hoff, he was also contributing to the Daily Worker and New Masses as A. Redfield — the pseudonym he adopted for his radical work, The Ruling Clawss (Daily Worker, 1935) a collection of surprisingly relevant cartoons.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 29, 2011 - 21 comments

Inside the Russian Short Wave Enigma

UVB-76 is a Russian short wave station that has enthralled and mystified enthusiasts for decades.
posted by reenum on Oct 4, 2011 - 59 comments

I am your stalwart African brother

Red Song King Hao Di (Good Brother) sings "Without the Communist Party There Would Be No New China" (traditional recording), "The Words of Chairman Mao are Memorized by Heart” (info and lyrics), "Lake Water". [more inside]
posted by griphus on Sep 24, 2011 - 25 comments

"Many of the papers are still taboo to this day"

Secret Papers Reveal Truth Behind Soviet Collapse - the Gorbachev files. 'During a research visit to the Gorbachev Foundation, the young Russian historian Pavel Stroilov, who lives in London today, secretly copied about 30,000 pages of the material archived there and made them available to SPIEGEL.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 17, 2011 - 66 comments

Soviet Literature Summarized

Sovlit.com is a very large and comprehensive site dedicated to the literature of the Soviet Union (both official and dissident), with summaries (fans of the genres might find the examples of Soviet science fiction and spy novels to be particularly interesting), biographies, and even some full translations of short stories from authors such as Isaac Babel, Vasily Grossman, Yevgeny Zamyatin, and others.
posted by a louis wain cat on Jul 20, 2011 - 10 comments

Mao's Great Famine

The £20,000 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction has been won by Mao’s Great Famine by Frank Dikötter. Mao's quest to transform China through rapid industrialisation and the collectivisation of agriculture in the "Great Leap Forward" left up to 45 million people dead.
posted by joannemullen on Jul 7, 2011 - 34 comments

Christopher Alexander would have a fit

Freakish, otherworldly Soviet architecture. (previously)
posted by shii on Feb 15, 2011 - 49 comments

Tell me more about these Finns

Winston Burdett, one of the original Murrow's Boys, was a reporter for CBS Radio. He covered World War II, the invasion of Norway, the Axis retreat in North Africa (mp3), the invasion of Sicily (mp3), the invasion of Italy (mp3) and the capture of Rome (mp3). But from 1940 - 1942 Winston Burdett was also a spy for the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Feb 13, 2011 - 3 comments

Why are you taking a picture? It's forbidden here.

Art Lebedev visits North Korea, and provides a photo essay of rare quality.
posted by anigbrowl on Jan 28, 2011 - 36 comments

Communist Space Babies

Communist Space Babies. Title says it all, really. The tags were pretty easy too.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Oct 26, 2010 - 23 comments

The Director, the Actress, the Dictator, and the Monster who was Hungry for Iron

Shin Sang-ok (1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 5, 2010 - 14 comments

Communists, Socialists, And Anarachists Oh My

The Internationale, the anthem of international socialism, has been sung in many different ways. The original French. In Irish - Gaelic. In Russian. Hungarian. Romanian. By Billy Bragg. By Alistair Hulett and Jimmy Gregory. As Disco. As Chinese rock karaoke. As Gypsy guitar.
posted by The Whelk on May 1, 2010 - 35 comments

Candy Packers of the World, Unite!

Celebrate the eight-hour work day, dance around a pole, affirm your patriotism to beat the reds, build your community through candy and flower filled baskets, and get caught in flagrante delicto: it's a very special day. Previously, previously
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Apr 30, 2010 - 31 comments

"The most important questions regarding North Korea are the ones least often asked: What do the North Koreans believe? How do they see themselves and the world around them?"

Hitch reads up on North Korea: "I have recently donned the bifocals provided by B.R. Myers in his electrifying new book The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters, and I understand now that I got the picture either upside down or inside out. The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent "Constitution," "ratified" last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian "military first" mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia." Read the first chapter here.
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 2, 2010 - 59 comments

Satan Satan Satan Satan

The devil rides out - How Dennis Wheatley sold black magic to Britain.
posted by Artw on Jan 30, 2010 - 23 comments

Lovetown

Queens of Poland Long review/essay at the DRB on Michał Witkowski's Lubiewo (forthcoming in English translation as Lovetown; extract here), a book about gay life in Poland both in the days of communism and the subsequent Third Republic.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 17, 2010 - 7 comments

20 years ago, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were executed.

"The verdict was read out after a few hours. The Ceausescus were sentenced to death. They had ten days to appeal, but the sentence was to be carried out immediately. A nod to Kafka." 20 years ago on Christmas Day, the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were sentenced to death by an impromptu revolutionary tribunal and executed by firing squad. The Times speaks with one of the men who was there that day. Footage of their trial. Translated transcript of the trial, courtesy of the very informative ceausescu.org. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 24, 2009 - 21 comments

Imperialist Beetles

The American Imperialists have sent potato beetle by clouds and air to our Republic. He May Be a Communist.
posted by Gratishades on Nov 22, 2009 - 23 comments

Jelly Donuts or Bananas?

"In hindsight, it’s often seen as inevitable that the two Germanys would reunite. But this, too, is a somewhat revisionist view. " Tim Mohr writes about the "awkward twist" about the fall of the wall, many of the protestors did not seek unification.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 12, 2009 - 17 comments

1989, revolution in Eastern Europe

The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2009 - 20 comments

Why the Chinese support the Communist party

Why the Chinese support the Communist party Interviews with four elderly Chinese. Among the answers: "We used to live in a tiny house, over ten people all together, just a place of over ten square metres. Now I often say to my husband that life has been totally different for our grandchildren, not only from ours, but from their parents too. They have nothing to worry about, no need to worry about food, clothes."
posted by shetterly on Oct 4, 2009 - 52 comments

The form of the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Oppressed Nations

I have proposed, in the past, that the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Oppressed Nations should disperse the Amerikkkans throughout the Third World instead of allowing them to remain in occupied North America. Here are some of my reasons.
[more inside] posted by shii on Sep 29, 2009 - 93 comments

Arthur Ransome: Beloved Children's Author was a noted fan of the Lake District, and also Bolshevik Revolutionaries

Yet another 20th century English author in bed with the communists? Literally, in this case - Arthur Ransome might be best known for his 'Swallows & Amazons' books about children sailing in the idyllic Lake District, but before all that, he left his first wife (and a libel case that got him mixed up with Oscar Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas) to study fairy tales in Russia... only there he fell in love with Leon Trotsky's private secretary, ended up working for the Bolsheviks and also MI6. [more inside]
posted by Sifter on Aug 13, 2009 - 35 comments

Everyday life in the USSR

Real USSR is a blog containing commentaries on everyday life in the former Soviet Union. The liberal use of family and other amateur photos provides unusual insight into the daily experience of Soviet life. Topics range from 1940s homemade double-exposure photography to queueing to USSR - the birthplace of feminism. via
posted by Rumple on Aug 5, 2009 - 23 comments

Kocham Reksio!

Bolek i Lolek and Reksio are both Polish cartoons with little dialogue and similiar animation style. Both cartoons originated in the 60s (during the Communist era in Poland), and were extremely popular for decades. Due to their general lack of vocalization (except for Bolek i Lolek's later seasons), both cartoons were easy to bring to other markets. Famously, Bolek i Lolek was one of the cartoons broadcast on Iranian television after the 1979 revolution. [more inside]
posted by Askiba on Aug 2, 2009 - 11 comments

"Files Vanished, Young Chinese Lose the Future."

Imagine you're living in China, trying to work your way out of the family date farming business (which garners approximately $450 annually). You do all the right things. You apply for (and receive) Communist Party membership. You study literally to the point of collapse, and despite coming from coal-town origins, you score high on your gao kao ("high test," more-or-less the only thing that matters in getting into a Chinese university). Your already-poor family goes deep into debt to send you to college, and you even manage to come out with a degree. Classic rise-up-by-your-own-bootstraps tale, right? However, finally, when you go to apply for a job—your state-sanctioned educational, occupational, and political records are inexplicably, awfully gone. What has happened to that plain manila folder (!) that serves as your only legitimate, official history in Chinese society? Probably stolen and sold so a party official's child can get everything you worked so hard for. And then, of course, your family is detained by party officials when your parents demand to know where the hell your life went. Of course. [more inside]
posted by Keter on Jul 27, 2009 - 47 comments

Living communally in Russia

Kommunalka - communal apartments - were begun by the Bolsheviks in Russia at the end of the Russian Revolution to address overcrowding in cities - and also to punish the bourgeoisie who had previously lived in comfort. Kommunalka were an enduring social experiment, where multiple families were assigned by the state to live together in close quarters with no expectation of privacy. It was not uncommon for tenants to spy on each other. Though communism ended in Russia almost two decades ago, Kommunalka still exist today.
posted by contessa on Jul 18, 2009 - 18 comments

A spectre is haunting Western academia

Slavoj Žižek recently gave five talks under the title Masterclass - Notes Towards a Definition of Communist Culture. It sez 'ere, "The master class analyses phenomena of modern thought and culture with the intention to discern elements of possible Communist culture. It moves at two levels: first, it interprets some cultural phenomena (from today’s architecture to classic literary works like Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Heloise) as failures to imagine or enact a Communist culture; second, it explores attempts at imagining how a Communist culture could look, from Wagner’s Ring to Kafka’s and Beckett’s short stories and contemporary science fiction novels." Audio of Zizek's talks and subsequent discussion is now online: Part I Utopias; Part II Architecture as Ideology; Part III Wagner’s Ring as a Communist narrative; Part IV Populism and Democracy; Part V Environment, Identity and Multiculturalism. Those who like to watch the beard in motion will find links to video of some of the talks posted here.
posted by Abiezer on Jun 22, 2009 - 29 comments

Bonsoir, Monsieur COK!

Bonsoir, Monsieur COK!
Dans un formidable élan de générosité notre patron adoré nous offre enfin la possibilité de voir son FILM sur la toile!
A short film about efficiencies in bomb manufacturing.
posted by boo_radley on Jun 15, 2009 - 16 comments

Proletarians of All Lands, Unite!

Peasant! Free your pregnant wife from work, don't allow her to pick up heavy items since this will harm her and the child. An excellent collection of vintage soviet propaganda, public health, and infographics posters from 20s to 30s, many with full translations.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 7, 2009 - 17 comments

No freedom without Solidarity

June 4, 2009 marks 20 years since Poland's first semi-free election under Communism. The election marked the beginning of the end for Polish Communism with its overwhelming mandate for the pro-democracy movement, Solidarity. Today, the world recognizes Poland's accomplishment.
posted by orrnyereg on Jun 4, 2009 - 15 comments

You don't even have to be a Marxist to enjoy it

Everything you ever wanted to read about left-wing political theory but were afraid to look up. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Mar 23, 2009 - 67 comments

Sustainable Development or Green Menace?

Apparently some members of the far-right have figured it out! Environmentalists are communists! Being green is tantamount to an attack on "Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions". Think this is just an American phenomenon? Think again...
posted by JVA on Jan 16, 2009 - 27 comments

Communist Christmas

Communist Christmas. There's a red star up on the Christmas tree. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 13, 2008 - 20 comments

He made her forget she was a Communist.

He's a madman, she thought as he made love to her again. Oh my God, after twenty years of being the most rational Bolshevik woman in Moscow, this goblin has driven me crazy! Oh joy! It's time for the annual Bad Sex Award. Shortlist is up at The Guardian.
posted by jokeefe on Nov 25, 2008 - 69 comments

Someone is peeling Kundera's onion for him.

The czech magazine Respekt, known for its investigative reporting, has published a story claiming prize winning author and anti-communist dissident Milan Kundera denounced a young exile who was back in Prague to the communist secret police. [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada on Oct 14, 2008 - 22 comments

The last American Maoist in China

In the 1950s, American Communists fled to China. The idealists returned home and got book deals. But one pragmatist remained behind. [more inside]
posted by shii on Aug 29, 2008 - 21 comments

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