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 /

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 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 12,026 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 7,875 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 6,875 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...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 5,552 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
Free Trade Explained In An Excellent Comic
Michael Goodwin, Illustrated by Dan E. Burr · 4,268 views today · The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are the latest in a long line...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 3,698 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 2,663 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Open Up - Have the Difficult But Important Conversations With Loved Ones
5 min · 2,650 views today · “The biggest casualty of humanity is the lack of communication, it’s the thing that breaks most relationships. It just feels so much better to talk and get it out.” There is...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 2,248 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,558 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,490 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 1,415 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 1,334 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,151 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 1,001 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 702 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 701 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 632 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 468 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 423 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...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Eurozone Crisis Has Sparked New Interest in Radical Publishing