The rise of neo-liberalism has had a devastating impact on the institutions and organisations with which the left has traditionally been associated. In the final volume in the Recasting Marxism trilogy, Boris Kagarlitsky examines this crisis and explores areas of opportunity for the left. He begins by focusing on the decline of trade unions in the West and the attempts to revive them, contrasting this with the rapid growth of unions in the nations of the developing world and the new industrial countries. He argues that trade unionism has a vital role to play in the twenty-first century. Kagarlitsky then provides a critique of the post-modernist left, arguing that the experiences of Eastern Europe and of the Third World demonstrate the vital need for a universal left as the only viable alternative to the emerging 'new barbarism'. The state of the contemporary left is explored, with an assessment of the contributions of the 'third left' and 'third socialism' and the new wave of left parties and movements, such as the German Party of Democratic Socialism, the Workers' Party in Brazil, and the Zapatistas in Mexico.
Boris Kagarlitsky is a senior research fellow in the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was a political prisoner under Brezhnev and latterly has been an adviser to the Chair of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia. He is the author of New Realism, New Barbarism (1999), The Twilight of Globalisation (2000), The Return of Radicalism (2000) and Russia under Yeltsin and Putin (2002), all published by Pluto Press.
Preface Introduction 1. Does Trade Unionism have a Future? 2. Beyond Identities 3. The Third Left or the Third Socialism Notes Index Introduction: Pride and Protest Chapter I. Does trade unionism have a future? The crisis of unionism The post-Soviet trade unions South Korean activism South African militancy Third World workers form fighting unions New social unionism in Europe Changing the concept of unionism Chapter II. Beyond Identities Changing fashions Identity politics Discoursive struggles Feminism: from protest to career politics Individualist mass movements Moving East The real differences The Marxist approach Hegemony and postmodernist strategy Universalism and democracy Affirmative action From defensive struggles to corporatism Leftist strategies Non-governmental organizations Class politics comes back Chapter III. The Third Left or the Third Socialism "The third left" The third socialism The Zapatistas Return to the arms Protests and programs Rifondazione in Italy Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany The Workers Party in Brazil Struggles in Eastern Europe Pluralist left Between resistance and "constructive work" From networking to challenging the system Conclusion: The Stage we are in