‘We want what we had’

what's left

July 20th, 2015

The Taylor Report

Stephen Gowans reviews Kristen Ghodsee’s book, “The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe.” Ghodsee interviewed Eastern Europeans about socialism and their situation two decades after dissolution of the Soviet Union, including activists at an Occupy-styled protest in Bulgaria.

From these activists, we learn that many people want free education (like they had in the Soviet Union), and free child care (like they had in the Soviet Union), but they reject the term ‘communism’ and the Soviet Legacy. “We don’t want communism” it has been said, “we just want to have a normal life.”

But lack of all these nice things is ‘normal life’ under capitalism. There is little understanding of the difficulties in providing social wealth in former-fascist, war-torn countries like Bulgaria.

This attempt to grapple with the disappearing welfare state and Soviet legacy…

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