Catherine Samary and Fred Leplat, Decolonial Communism, Democracy and the Commons, IIRE, 2019 (521p., 19€)

IIRE Notebook no. 62 is edited by Catherine Samary & Fred Leplat, with contributions from Samuel Farber, Silvia Federici, Franck Gaudichaud, Zagorska Golubović, Ernest Mandel, Goran Marković, Svetozar Stojanović and Raquel Varela.

How far did the Bolsheviks introduce a ‘decolonial communism’,  later destroyed by Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’? Did the Tito-Stalin break in 1948 and the other revolutions transform these objectives? How far did the struggles and debates in the Yugoslavia of ‘market socialism’ in the mid 1960s follow a path towards democracy and the commons?

The contributors in this book review past and present experiences and Catherine Samary reconsiders the debates in the light of current thinking.

”Catherine Samary applies an appropriately international and historical perspective to reclaim marginalised traditions of workers control at a very opportune moment. Samary provides an invaluable intellectual resource for the task of carrying through a project of popular control in today’s conditions of corporate and financial rule. Bravo!” – Hilary Wainwright, co-editor Red Pepper.

”This is a fascinating text that discusses the relationship and sometimes the contradictions between commons, socialism and self-management, it helps us to better understand the practice and politics of moving to an ecological society, a society that moves beyond markets and states to create genuine alternatives for neoliberalism” – Derek Wall, author of Elinor Ostrom’s Rules for Radicals.

”Vivid historical memory, global outreach and emancipatory nerve are all present in this necessary compendium that guides us through our current situation and arms us with heavy intellectual artillery in face of dramatic challenges ahead. Under the guidance of Catherine Samary, whose erudition, perseverance and energy are legendary, she and other authors leave no stones unturned: from October 1917 to the Left’s new dilemmas and imperatives hundred years later, from socialist Yugoslavia and its self-management to the new Balkan rebels, via Prague in 1968, Chile and Portugal in the 1970s, and the 1989 ‘velvet’ revolutions, all the way to the Zapatistas and the worldwide defence of the commons.” – Igor Štiks, author of Nations and Citizens in Yugoslavia and the Post-Yugoslav State and co-editor of Welcome the Desert of Post-Socialism.