Jacobin Radio: Democratic Primary; Victor Serge
Alan Minsky, producer of Jacobin Radio, is the guest on this episode. He wears multiple hats and one of them is Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). We talk about the Democratic primary field, and Alan reports on conversations he had on his recent trip to the European Parliament as part of a contingent of the American left. Then, a conversation with Mitch Abidor, translator of Victor Serge's just-published Notebooks, about the Belgian-Russian anarcho-Bolshevik and lifelong Left Oppositionist, who was one of the great writer-thinker-activists of the twentieth century. Serge's contribution is especially attractive today because he never compromised his commitment to the creation of a society that defends human freedom, enhances human dignity, and improves the human condition — and insisted that democracy was at the heart of the socialist project. This makes him both a contemporary as well as a man for our future. Serge’s life as a maverick and renegade relegated him to the margins. He was always poor. His last exile was in Mexico, and a rich trove of his daily writings, his notebooks, were discovered in Mexico in 2003. They were published in France in 2012, and NYRB has just published the English translation. We are fortunate today to speak to the translator, Mitch Abidor.