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Angelica Balabanoff

International socialist activist Angelica Balabanoff died in Rome on this date in 1965. She was born in 1878 to a wealthy, privileged Jewish family in Chernigov, near Kiev, in Ukraine, but found the privilege unbearable and rejected it to become a social activist in Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and Russia. Balabanoff was fluent in several languages and held […]

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A New Socialism (Actually, Three New Socialisms)

by Sparrow   IN 1990, I visited the Soviet Union for three weeks. The cities were dilapidated; the clothing looked like bags. Yet workers promenaded down the street with a pride I’d never seen in a capitalist country. Ever since, I’ve been struggling with this question of how to create a socialist society that isn’t joyless. Last year […]

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In Defense of Marxism

by Michael Zweig From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents To read Sam Friedman’s recent “Why I’m (Still) a Marxist” in Jewish Currents, click here. To read Lawrence Bush’s “Why I’m Not (Still) a Marxist,” click here. To read about Jewish Currents’ communist history, click here.   UNTIL I RETIRED in 2016, I taught an undergraduate course […]

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The Bund at 120

A CONFERENCE REPORT by Bennett Muraskin Illustration by Aharon Varady TWENTY YEARS AGO, in honor of the centennial of the Jewish Labor Bund, a day-long conference took place in New York City. Among the speakers were a surviving Bundist leader, Motl Zelmanowicz, and a prominent historian of European Jewry and the left, Abraham Brumberg. Other speakers […]

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Bopping in the Balkans, part 2

by Lawrence Bush To read part 1, click here. WE’RE NOW IN VELENJE, an old Slovenian mining town rebuilt as “a socialist miracle, a town in a park” by Marshal Tito’s government between 1959 and 1964. I listened here yesterday morning to my wife’s keynote talk at the International Dance Pedagogy Conference. Susan spoke slowly and passionately to these English-as-second-language Slovenians about […]

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Living Communally as Teens in Israel

IF THIS IS SOCIALISM, WHERE’S THE BATHROOM? by Marah Birnbaum From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   ALMOST EVERY DAY, I walk into the living room to find two to six young men in the assumed position: sunk into the couch, fixated on their phones or computers, necks tucked and backs hunched. The staccato clicking […]

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Lewis Black

The ranting and raging comedian Lewis Black was born in Washington, DC on this date in 1948. He earned an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1977 and began his career as a playwright-in-residence and associate artistic director at a theater in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, where he collaborated with composer and lyricist Rusty Magee and artistic […]

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Why I’m (Still) a Marxist

THE ANSWER, MORE THAN EVER, IS BARBARISM From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents by Sam Friedman LAWRENCE BUSH, the editor of Jewish Currents, asked me to write this essay. He did so because we’ve had a few conversations about Marxism as an important current in Jewish culture, politics, and history. Marxism is also an […]

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Why I’m Not (Still) a Marxist

BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE, NO MATTER THEIR CLASS by Lawrence Bush   I AM A SOCIALIST. I want to see the social and cooperative capacities of human beings cultivated at least as much as our individualistic and competitive tendencies, and I want to see an economic system developed that reckons justly with the reality that […]

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