Austria’s capital city is famous for its model public housing and social services, the legacy of municipal socialism in the 1920s. But it’s been decades since the Social Democrats have done anything to build on this record. Now a new leftist party is working to turn Vienna red again.
As Austria turned toward Nazism, the Jewish socialist actress Stella Kadmon brought anti-fascist resistance to the stage.
Sigmund Freud often regretted the fact that most of his patients were drawn from the upper classes. But when socialists turned Vienna “red” after World War I, neurotics both rich and poor gained access to free treatment and new experimental methods.
Rising from the ruins of World War I, in the 1920s Vienna’s socialist administration was famous for its innovative housing and public health programs. But at the heart of “Red Vienna” were its services for children, guaranteeing that even the poorest young people could share in the joys of childhood — and the foundations of a fulfilling life.
The 1931 Workers’ Olympiad in Vienna was an inspiring example of mass-scale sports, free of corporate influence. These photos from the games show how the workers’ movement promoted collective joy and class pride, even outside the factory gates.
Austrian socialist Julius Deutsch was a key figure in Red Vienna’s workers’ sports clubs. Founder of the Schutzbund workers’ militia, Deutsch and his comrades used the class pride built on the sports field to mobilize against rising fascism.
Few major cities have welcomed the world’s oligarchs and kleptocrats like London has. Yet nestled within the neoliberal dystopia, London’s neighborhoods reflect the long and ongoing struggle to transform Britain’s capital into a self-managed, social-democratic municipality for its residents.
The fight over pandemic prevention isn’t just about surviving the coronavirus. It’s about our potential to build a more collective and compassionate society. Despite Donald Trump’s absurdities, most Americans are ready and willing to adopt solidaristic measures.
Recent battles over eviction moratoriums and homeless encampments have shown the depressing limits of our political horizons. We need to envision a radically different system that guarantees everyone the right to decent, stable housing.
Slowly but surely, the idea of social housing — a public housing model most commonly associated with the socialist government of “Red Vienna” — is moving from being a leftist dream to a concrete policy agenda item in a number of US states.
The COVID-19 era eviction moratorium has given rise to a new journalistic genre: the “renter from hell” narrative, portraying landlords as the real victims of the crisis.
The Austrian socialist architect Josef Frank resisted modernists who wanted to make homes look like workplaces — an idea with new resonance in an age when so many of us are working from home and feel like we can't escape from our work.
Today in 1918, Eugene V. Debs delivered the speech that landed him in jail. We reprint it here in full.
Leon Trotsky's brief 1917 stay in New York City left a mark on the American socialist movement.
Media pundits hail the economist Karl Polanyi as a brilliant theorist of capitalism and a thinker for our time. In order to understand Polanyi’s ideas, however, we need to see him in the context of his own time: Europe’s "age of catastrophe" in the early twentieth century.
The late Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm recounts the origins of International Workers' Day. "The priests have their festivals," announced a 1891 May Day broadsheet, "the Moderates have their festivals. The First of May is the Festival of the workers of the entire world."
On Berlin’s May Day 1929, the latent hostility between Social Democrats and Communists finally spilled over into bloodshed. A day meant to demonstrate workers’ unity instead showed tragic divisions in the face of rising Nazism.
In Graz, Austria’s second-largest city, Communists have ridden a wave of working-class discontent to become the main challenger to the ruling conservatives.
Born this day in 1900, Anna Seghers was one of Germany’s great modern writers, an internationalist and anti-fascist through the darkest hours in German history. Her works are a monument to the dignity of the oppressed.
Building a humane city should start from the premise that every person deserves a decent place to live. And the only way to accomplish that is through collective action, carried out by working-class movements.