• Editorial

  • By Walter Baier | 22 Oct 09
  • Transform No. 5 is also dedicated to the global crisis. On the one hand, we will subject to a critical analysis the thesis that the global capitalist economy is now on the way to recovery. This is addressed from a European perspective by Joachim Bischoff and Richard Detje’s article, Europe in Crisis, and from a Latin-American angle by Pedro Páez Pérez’s article The Crisis of Capitalism and Post-Capitalist Horizons.

    On the other hand, in this issue we would like to add a new focus by dealing with the social, cultural and psychological effects of the crisis and of precarisation along with the resultant forms of resistance. In this light, see, for example, the article by Grzinic, Precarisation and Financialisation.

    Barbara Rauchwarter’s article on the precarisation of life and work, is, with its liberation-theology approach, a first for us.

    We are staying abreast of the dramatic developments in Honduras after the coup against the elected president with Leo Gabriel’s article, Honduras: Anatomy of a Coup d’État and with a photo gallery. The article and photos document the author’s one-week visit with the president and his staff at the Costa Rica-Honduran border.

    2009 saw a series of important European elections, most recently in Norway, Portugal, Germany and Greece.

    Last June’s European Parliament election are of course of particular relevance for the European Network transform! In an interview with “transform”, Lothar Bisky, chair of the European Left (EL), points to their ambivalence from the standpoint of the left. As a whole, the parties of the EL achieved stable electoral results and in Portugal and Cypress even striking successes. On the other hand, there is the defeat of the Italian left and the diminution of the GUE/NGL, the left group in the European Parliament.

    The continued advance of right-wing extremists, the continued drop in voter participation and the continent-wide collapse of social democracy, must, on the other hand, lead to important new assessments. Apparently, the crisis does not automatically lead to a strengthening of left forces, which shows that almost everywhere in Europe they are far from exerting cultural hegemony.

    With these questions in mind, the annual member’s meeting of Network transform! took place in Brussels on September 19 and 20. Sixteen organisations, associations and periodicals from 13 European countries developed the network’s main focuses of work and research for 2010.

    The meeting began with the unanimous decision to accept the application of the Association Culturelle Jaquesmotte (Belgium), the Society for a European Dialogue (SPED), Czech Republic) and transform! Luxembourg to become full members of transform! Europe.

    Discussions focused on the two major projects which transform ! Europe will carry out in the next years:

    • a research project on the strategic perspectives of the radical left in Europe conceived and presented by Haris Golemis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Greece) which also encompasses a project promoted by the Centre for Marxist Studies (Sweden) on the organisational and communicative strategies of the left.
    • The continuation of the long-term research project on the ongoing systemic crisis of capitalism. The next element of this project, which is coordinated by Elisabeth Gauthier (Espaces Marx, France), will be a seminar entitled “The Crisis in Europe. On the Way Out or Even Deeper In – Balance-Sheet and Perspectives” to be held in Vienna in November.

    Documentary material on the results of our discussions will continue to be an important component of our journal.

    In conclusion, we are happy to announce that the Fall will see the first issue of the Hungarian edition of Transform. With this, our journal now appears in seven European languages. The eighth edition, which will be in Spanish, is in preparation.

    I hope you find this issue enjoyable and stimulating.