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Égalité! The Legacy of the Soviets

Friday Night Unlimited -

Equality reconsidered: in the 20th century, the Soviet Union added a strange flavour to the second ideal of the French Revolution. Equality reduced to the repression and monotony of state socialism and the dullness of old Ladas.

Writers Unlimited investigates the value of equality as a European ideal in the framework of the intellectual legacy of Karl Marx*. What can we learn from the socialist era in Central and Eastern Europe? Can Marx remain a fount of inspiration after the Soviet debacle?

In his revolutionary pamphlet Resist! (Querido, 2017), novelist Gustaaf Peek proposes that, after thirty years of capitalist domination, it is high time to aim for equality and to reconsider and reevaluate a communist-style redistribution of wealth.

He discussed this subject with the Georgian-German writer Nino Haratischwili and the Romanian poet and essayist Magda Carneci. Professor and essayist Paul Scheffer moderated the conversation. Classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko and his trio provided music.

*More Marx? During Saturday Night Unlimited, Winternachten festival screened the Dutch premiere of The Young Karl Marx by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, whose earlier successful documentary I Am Not Your Negro focused on writer James Baldwin. His feature film is an intense reimagination of the birth of communism and the meeting of Marx and Engels.