The Eurozone Crisis Has Sparked New Interest in Radical Publishing
The Zed Collective, who run the radical publisher Zed Books, explain why resistance to austerity is drawing readers to what was once a ‘marginal’ sector
The Eurozone Crisis Has Sparked New Interest in Radical Publishing
By The Zed Collective / theguardian.com

In their contempt for the resounding NO! of the Greek referendum, the Euro-elite currently inflicting economic devastation on the people of Greece resemble the Stalinists lampooned by Brecht in his poem The Solution:

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

When we planned to publish a new edition of Yanis Varoufakis’s book The Global Minotaur, following his appointment as Greek finance minister in January, we had no idea that it would be released the day after the Greek people would deliver a historic rejection of what Varoufakis has termed “fiscal waterboarding” by EU leaders in the referendum of 5 July. Nor did we expect that to be followed shortly by his dramatic resignation, and declaration that he would wear “the creditors’ loathing with pride”.

Since Syriza’s election victory in January, we have witnessed our author go from being a star of academic conferences to, in the words of the Daily Telegraph, the“rock star of Europe’s anti-austerity uprising”. The man we knew and admired as a sharp analyst was now in discussion with George Osborne in Downing Street and causing consternation in Brussels. As Paul Mason writes in the foreword to the new edition of The Global Minotaur: “Varoufakis’s straight-talking changed the modus operandi of Euro summits, probably forever.”

Aside from this week’s dramatic and disturbing twists, the growth of interest in The Global Minotaur is only one example of how radical publishers are finding new audiences for their books as the marginal goes mainstream, due to the crises caused by austerity policies. InGreece, a popular movement against austerity elected an “outsider” radical government whose leading figures have been catapulted from the world of academia and activism to “official” politics – bringing with them strikingly different ideas and values.

Fellow English-language radical publishers Pluto and Verso are also publishing leading figures of these new movements. Varoufakis’s replacement as Greek finance minister, the urbane Euclid Tsakalotos, published Crucible of Resistance, co-authored with Christos Laskos, with Pluto in 2013.

The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras praised the book as “a clear account of how Greece and the eurozone got into such a mess. It makes clear that the crisis is not only economic, but also one of growing regional and social inequalities and the retreat of democracy. More important still, the authors bring to the fore what the emerging radical left in Greece and elsewhere can do to get us out of the crisis.”

 The pony-tailed one … Pablo Iglesias in action Photograph: DANI POZO/AFP/Getty Images

Pablo Iglesias, or the “pony-tailed one” as he is known in Spain, is the leader of Podemos, which is aiming for victory in Spain’s general election in November, when the English-language version of the book will be published by Verso. Iglesias has become a celebrity in Spain for his attacks on the status quo during TV debates. In Politics in a Time of Crisishe sets out, says Verso, “his agenda for social justice, a fair economy and a new democratic Europe”, lambasting the “Troika, large corporations and the ‘Wall Street Party’ that make decisions and control economies without engaging with the people whose lives are affected”.

This is the new politics which is being thrust into the mainstream by the crisis – and defenders of austerity in the media and politics are both shocked and puzzled by it. The dramatic and swift rise of new populist and progressive political actors across Europe – the SNP in Scotland, Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, the Five Star Movement in Italy (alongside, of course, a frightening growth of political forces on the right) – finds a parallel in the sudden rise of interest in books and new writing from the radical left.

As a workers’ collective – in which all members of the company are owners of the business and on equal pay – Zed has a commitment to equality and participatory democracy built into our constitution. We are part of a broader movement that has seen around 500 new worker collectives and co-operatives set up in Europe since the crisis of 2008.

If a brighter future for Europe is to be forged, it will be thanks to the courage of ordinary people like those who placed their votes in the Greek referendum. As radical publishers, we aim to play our part by disseminating the ideas, analysis and information that will help to sustain and grow these movements.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 21,082 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 10,473 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 4,594 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 2,019 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 1,596 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
Sami Grover · 1,414 views today · When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't...
Solidarity Is About What You Do - Not Who You Are.
R.L. Stephens · 1,072 views today · I am Black. I capitalize Black and leave white lowercased. Sure, it’s the accepted spelling, but really I do it because it feels good. My family lived in Missouri, but my...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 988 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Bioregional Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Place in Which You Live?
Rua Lupa · 806 views today · In the vast emptiness of space there are an unimaginable number of galaxies, each galaxy containing billions upon billions of stars. Looking at one galaxy we find an average...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 712 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 655 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 634 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 580 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 575 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 543 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 542 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 527 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 491 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 393 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
Why People's Opinions of You Aren't Real
4 min · 373 views today · "You are what you love and not what loves you." - From Charlie Kaufman's film "Adaptation"
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Eurozone Crisis Has Sparked New Interest in Radical Publishing