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Revolutionary optimism: Journeys in radical politics past and present


Leo Panitch. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

On the “Reality Asserts Itself” program of The Real News Network, Professor Leo Panitch is interviewed by host Paul Jay.

Part 1: The Radical Ferment of Winnipeg’s Jewish Socialist Politics: Prof. Leo Panitch talks about the political culture of his family, shaped in Winnipeg’s radical Jewish community before and after World War Two; Labour Zionists, Social Democrats and Communists debated and organized within the Jewish working class movement.

Part 2: “I Think I’m a Marxist”: Panitch says as he became politically active, he concluded that neither the bureaucratic socialism in the Soviet Union or Canadian social-democracy would democratize the economy or the state.

Part 3: The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn and Class Struggle in the UK Labour Party: Panitch talks about how the UK Labour Party moved from being a Tony Blair party of class reconciliation and war, to a truly left mass party with more than 600,000 members that may take power.

Part 4: Is Another World Possible?: Panitch says it’s a dilemma that the gradualism of European social-democracy and attempts at a more radical transformation have so far both failed; Panitch says a first step toward democratizing the economy is to make finance a public utility.

This is a four-part interview recorded in March 2018. Transcript available here.


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