Sixty years ago today, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to leave our planet. The space race was inseparable from Cold War rivalry, but it also stands out as an inspiring example of what humanity can achieve through grand collective projects that aren’t geared to private profit.
Daniel Finn is the features editor at Jacobin. He is the author of One Man’s Terrorist: A Political History of the IRA.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has been an incompetent opposition to Boris Johnson. But he has fulfilled his immediate objective during his first year in charge: waging war on the Labour left, attacking Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy, and pushing his party to the right.
The Suez Canal blockage inspired a thousand memes, but its consequences for the world economy were deadly serious. The canal has always performed a vital function for capitalist trade, and there’s no reason to think its economic and geopolitical importance is going to decline.
Too much writing about Rosa Luxemburg nowadays focuses on her personal letters and relationships at the expense of her ideas. It’s good to humanize our heroes, but we risk belittling the significance of a revolutionary thinker whose understanding of socialism should be a touchstone for today’s left.
During the Korean War, the United States inflicted unimaginable horrors on the Korean people. Yet today Americans know almost nothing about their government’s role in war crimes and atrocities.
The Great Recession sent Europe’s social-democratic parties into a tailspin, exposing the contradictions of their political model. Now they face the pressure of another economic downturn, without having recovered from the last one or developed a convincing new vision.
The novelist Albert Camus is omnipresent in French cultural life, from TV shows to comic books, magazine covers and one-man shows. Camus-mania isn’t just a literary phenomenon: it draws on a deep well of political revisionism and colonial nostalgia.
Twelve months after the electoral defeat of Corbynism, we shouldn’t allow its opponents to rewrite history. It was the Brexit crisis with all its side effects that dealt a crippling blow to Corbyn’s project, not a left-wing policy agenda that spoke to the issues of the future.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hoped it would contain an inadvertent silver lining, in the form of reduced carbon emissions. But the real lesson of the past few months is now clear: we can’t stop global warming without radical systemic change.
US Media Rejected Trump’s Absurd Election Fraud Claims — But Accepted Them From the Latin American Right
US media outlets like the New York Times rightly dismissed bogus claims of electoral fraud by Donald Trump. Now they need to start applying the same standards to Latin America, where such claims have been used to justify the violent overthrow of elected left-wing governments.
When Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission announced it was investigating Labour’s treatment of its Jewish members, many of Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents claimed this as proof of his supposed antisemitism. But the inquiry is itself a political weapon — and as the Commission publishes its much-hyped, long-delayed report today, the attacks against the Left are only intensifying.
With his 1971 book A Theory Of Justice, John Rawls became the most influential political philosopher of his time — just as the liberal agenda he supported was retreating under conservative fire. A close look at Rawls can help us understand the fate of contemporary liberalism.
Shinzō Abe became Japan’s longest serving prime minister thanks to the weakness of his political rivals. But Abe never realized his dream of rewriting the Japanese constitution to legitimize the nationalist militarism that was central to his worldview.
“Football gives meaning to life, yes. But life also gives meaning to football.”
A historic leader of moderate nationalism, John Hume is widely eulogized for helping end the war in Northern Ireland. But praise for his rejection of violence shouldn’t be combined with amnesia about the deep injustices that fueled the conflict in the Six Counties.
Journalism on national conflicts from Belfast to the Balkans often speaks of ancient hatreds and ancestral sectarianism. But a closer look at the Irish conflict shows that questions of nationhood and identity are very modern phenomena — and have to be integrated into any serious analysis of class.
By sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey on a trumped-up pretext, Keir Starmer has set the seal on a drastic shift to the right for the British Labour Party. That shift comes just as the key arguments by Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents to justify a break with his left leadership have been falling apart in the face of overwhelming evidence.
US police have used rubber bullets against civilian protesters on a massive scale the past week. These projectiles actually originated in Northern Ireland — and their history is anything but “nonlethal.” There can be no justification for police use of rubber bullets.
The Black Death wiped out a third of Europe’s population in just a few years. But the peasants and laborers who survived wielded newfound power over their masters.
We don’t need melodramatic hyperbole from New Leftists telling us to campaign for Joe Biden. We need to build a democratic-socialist movement that is the only real hope for the planet’s future.