[Marxism] Fwd: From intersection and interaction to a social and political alternative for Russia: Interview with Kirill Medvedev | LeftEast

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 21 06:07:57 MDT 2015

Yevgeniy Zhuravel interviews Kirill Medvedev, a Moscow-based poet, 
translator, and activist. He is the founder of the Arkady Kots band.

YZ: Can you tell a bit about yourself and how did you became a leftist? 
It seems that in Russia till recently it was not a common political choice.

KM: I became a self-conscious leftist at the beginning of the 2000s. 
There is a rather typical scenario for that generation of the Russian 
left, which emerged mostly from the Soviet intelligentsia of different 
levels of prosperity. Many of us were still able to spend our childhood 
under still rather comfortable conditions, so we were able to absorb the 
humanistic code of the Soviet intelligentsia, and then suddenly found 
ourselves in the historical hole of the 90s, when this code turned out 
to be not only redundant, but simply made survival difficult. Some of 
our parents had believed that shock therapy and total privatisation are 
the necessary stages on the way to democracy, others voted for the 
failed Communist Party, and some became quickly disappointed and 
depoliticised. The new left emerged  from this trauma, but not out of a 
desire for revanche, but with the feeling that both nostalgia for Soviet 
times and jolly anti-Sovietism, which brought most of the intelligentsia 
to support Putin, are dead ends; that if one wants to be a citizen and a 
political subject, some hard work is required in order to build a new 
political culture and environment. Sometime during 2003-2004, I started 
getting an idea that maybe this thankless job—being part of the left—is 
not the worst way to spend the next decade or two.


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