Author: Alex de Jong

ALEX DE JONG is editor of the socialist journal Grenzeloos and an activist in the Netherlands.

The Philippine Left in a Changing Land

Under Duterte’s authoritarian rule, the Philippine left is faced with new difficulties.

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Memories of Struggle and Despair in the Philippines

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In the foreword to Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years, the authors write it “was not intended to be about communists and communism”—still the book provides remarkable insights into the Philippine communist movement. The book is a collective memoir of the surviving Quimpo family, relating their lives during the years of the Marcos dictatorship from the early seventies to the mid-eighties. With many of the siblings involved in the revolutionary movement, their memories furnish stories of underground organizing, imprisonment and torture, repression and resistance.

A Commune in Rojava?

ImageThe siege of Kobani by Islamic State (ISIS) brought worldwide attention to the Syrian Kurdish PYD (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat, Democratic Union Party), the leading force in the Kurdish-majority areas in northern Syria. The PYD calls this region Rojava—literally meaning “land of the sunset” but also translated as “West Kurdistan.” 

The Netherlands: Neoliberal Dreams in Times of Austerity

Describing Dutch society and politics in 2012, sociologist Willem Schinkel used the metaphor of a museum.[1] Conservative and turned inward, Dutch society is afraid of change, fixated on something called "Dutch values." One expression of this is the right-wing, nationalist populism that since a decade stood in the center of Dutch politics and public debate. Social-economic policies were guided by an unquestioned acceptance of neoliberal principles. The elections of 2012 seemed a chance to break with this pattern.

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