| Holy Shit. Gender as a unifying theme for the Right

by Gerd Wiegel

The AfD’s family and gender politics

Racism, hostility towards refugees and authoritarianism are crucial elements in the ideology of the AfD (“Alternative for Germany”), the new right-wing party which gained around 12% percent of the vote in the 2017 parliamentary elections. When people are scandalised by AfD statements and actions, the focus is usually on these topics. They are central to the public image of the party and its parliamentary group also because the AfD links nearly all policies to the issue of immigration. At the same time there is a polarity within the AfD between the neo-fascist right and the national-liberal centre, mostly around where it stands on the social question. The right of the party is ethnicizing the issue of social conflict, while the centre puts emphasis on a nationalist policy of market radicalism. This dichotomy that is also closely linked to power relations within the party is bridged and blurred by an overarching broad consensus in another field. The issue of family and gender politics is crucial for the party’s ideology and articulated in a fiercly antifeminist way.
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| Gender as symbolic glue. How ‘gender’ became an umbrella term for the rejection of the (neo)liberal order

Weronika Grzebalska, Eszter Kováts and Andrea Pető

‘Nevertheless one may say of it that it fiddles while Rome burns. It is excused by two facts: it does not know that it fiddles, and it does not know that Rome burns.’ (Leo Strauss)

In his contemplations on political science in Liberalism Ancient and Modern (1968), Leo Strauss described the condition of political science through scathing references to the Emperor Nero, supposed to have been playing a fiddle as Rome burned. This analogy metaphor is an accurate reflection of the progressive elites of the post-Brexit, post-Trump era; they maintain a business-as-usual attitude while the foundations of liberal democracy are challenged.
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| Ragpicking Through History: Class Memory, Class Struggle and its Archivists

by Tithi Bhattacharya

In 1990, I watched the Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (1981/1987) without registering the paralyzing potential of a particular scene.

The protagonist, Witek, meets an old Communist by chance on a train. As a result of that meeting Witek decides to join the Communist Party. Later, again by sheer chance, he runs into an ex-partner, also his first love. A beautiful, tender and fierce sex scene follows. In the calm of the after, Witek, almost absentmindedly, whistles the Internationale. His partner murmurs something approvingly. And then Witek says ‘How would you like it if I sang this everyday?’ The young woman recoils. She knows he has joined ‘The Party’. She leaves the room and his life.
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| From #MeToo to #WeStrike. A Politics in Feminine

by Liz Mason-Deese

A year before #MeToo erupted in the United States, women in Argentina were fighting against an epidemic of violence against women in which, on average, one woman was killed every thirty hours. At noon on October 19, 2016, thousands of women all over the country walked out of their jobs and stopped doing unpaid housework, as well as carrying out the emotional work required of political organizing. The strike was Argentinian women’s response to the growing number of femicides in the country, and specifically to the brutal murder of the young Lucía Pérez. But in their call to strike, they connected the many forms of violence that women experience in an economic system based on their oppression and exploitation:
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| »Breaking Feminism« – special english Edition of LuXemburg Magazine is out now

Recent years have seen a global wave of feminist protests. In the US, the Women’s Marches brought hundreds of thousands to the streets, while #MeToo raised public awareness for sexual violence. In Poland, Ireland and Argentina similar numbers protested against restrictions on reproductive rights and the 8th of March mobilized masses from Berlin to Buenos Aires and from Istanbul to New Delhi. In Spain, around 5 million people participated in a feminist general strike. These protests appear as the only successful transnational social movement of our times that is challenging right-wing populism as well as authoritarian neoliberalism. At the same time, right-wing parties and movements are gaining momentum, attacking the achievements of the women’s and LGBTIQ movements. They portray feminist issues as elitist and as a threat to allegedly ›natural‹ gender roles and ways of life. On the one hand, they build on existing racist and sexist attitudes and intensify them. On the other hand, they successfully articulate widespread discontents with social inequality and lack of democracy in the age of neoliberalism, presenting themselves as the voice of the ›common people‹.
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| Reflections on the Hungarian Election

Von Attilla Melegh

The results of Hungary’s April 8 elections were the product of a complex process encompassing institutional elements, the fragmented state of the political opposition, the ongoing campaign against refugees, and the delegitimization of democracy against the backdrop of capitalist transformation in Eastern Europe.

Hungary’s electoral laws were amended by the previous Orbán government in 2012, mixing direct elections in individual constituencies and a proportional system elected through party lists with a compensation system by which the votes of direct elections are added to the list vote according to a predefined key.[1]
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| LuXemburg Special »New Class Politics«

The question of class rests at the center of a left-Marxist project. Nonetheless, ‘class’ has not really played a role in recent stratecig debates and political praxises. The reasons are manyfold: since the 1970s, social democracy has abandoned the question of class in favor of models that assume a diversity of social strata; distancing themselves from an understanding of class reduced to male industrial labor, new social movements have turned to questions of modes of living, gender relations, the post-colonial legacy and ecology; and the ‘end of socialism’ has also done its part. At the same time, social antagonisms have intensified in Western industrial countries, and the gap between the poor and the rich is greater than ever as a consequence of a financialised capitalism in crisis and declining profit rates. The latter are being ‘compensated’ for by means of flexibilization, downward pressure on wages, and the destruction of public infrastructure, carried out on the backs of the majority of the population. Most recently, the successes on the right – from BREXIT through the Front National and AfD up to the election of Donald Trump in the USA have, in a strange way, put the question of class back on the agenda: the mostly legitimate anger on the part of those who feel they are being held back by this system and aren’t being represented has in many places been expressed by a rightward turn.
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| Ecological Class Politics

by Bernd Röttger and Markus Wissen

The Historical Contradiction between Ecology and Emanicipation [1]

Ecology and the emancipation of the working class are, considered in a historical sense, a contradiction. Or at least, that’s the case for the Global North.  Local struggles for social and political rights, as Timothy Mitchelll (2011) demonstrates in his book Carbon Democracy, considerably profited from the fact that in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, coal as an energy source began to play a prominent role economically.
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| The Impositions of Class: Manifold Identities and Socialist Class Politics

By Alex Demirović

The recent success of authoritarian-populist politicians and the critique of globalisation, unemployment and social insecurity they advocate has prompted renewed attention to the question of class. In Germany, this debate has been accompanied by discussions surrounding the publication of Didier Eribon’s recent book, Returning to Reims. From afar, these debates could leave one with the impression that the left had abandoned the social question in recent years in favour of an exclusive focus on questions of social recognition and “identity”, e.g. questions of gender and sexual emancipation, or the struggle against racism and nationalism. This line of argument also tends to imply that these concerns are the domain of the urban, well-educated petite bourgeoisie, open to new communicative and cultural practices while consuming expensive, fair-trade organic products, yet blinded to the living conditions of the overwhelming majority by their own bourgeois Lifestyle.
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| “Asys[1] go home!” Canvassing as a Strategy Against Division

by Anne Steckner

The current debate about immigration is polarized and racially charged. The political right is successful at presenting the pending challenges of an immigration society as a relation of competition and a conflict of distribution between “us Germans” and “the immigrants”. By posing the social question along ethnic lines, they connect with extant modes of thinking and present supposed solutions: the community of natives with corresponding preferential rights for the well-established. Interwoven with this narrative is the neoliberal tale of personal success, available to everyone, if he or she just properly strives for it.
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