Place: Switzerland

Travel Notes – Impressions of the Left in Switzerland


I am in Switzerland to attend the Spring University of Swiss Solidarity, a radical socialist group most active in the French speaking region, for whose newspaper solidarities I write regularly. I’ve been talking to some of the group’s activists about the situation here, and they have given me some impressions of the situation of the left here. So these are my impressions, just impressions.

U.S. Gay Rights Movement Mobilizes, Wins Victory against Discrimination

ImageThis article was originally written for the Swiss socialist newspaper solidaritéS for which I am a correspondent with the goal of giving activists there some sense of the recent fight for marriage equality in the United States. – DL

The U.S. gay rights movement won a tremendous victory in early April as governors and the state legislatures in Indiana and Arkansas were forced to back down and revise laws that would have discriminated against gay and lesbian couples.

Swiss Labor Activists’ “Think Network” Proposes Alternatives on Public Policy

         Swiss German labor activists on the left have over the last few years undertaken a project which might be of interest to those of us in North America. Denknetz or Think Network is a leftwing think tank created in 2004 by a group of labor union activists, staff members, and others to address policy issues. The fundamental principles of the group are the promotion of freedom, justice and solidarity and the view that those three things must be fundamentally linked to each other.

The Swiss Healthcare System a Model for the U.S.?: Even the Swiss Are Growing Dissatisfied with Private Insurance!

The Swiss health insurance system, which mandates every individual to buy private health insurance, has been held up by many as a realistic model for the United States. In Switzerland, however, private insurers are far more highly regulated than is conceivable to imagine in the U.S. for example, they are not allowed to make profit on “basic” coverage. Yet even so, as my friend Dennis Clagett who lives in Switzerland has written to me, popular dissatisfaction with the country’s healthcare system is mounting due to the way that the private insurers have behaved.