Resistance

Russian LGBTQ and New Left Activism

Guest: Jessica Mason on LGBTQ activism and the New Left in Russia.

Feminists in the Maidan

Guest: Emily Channell-Justice on feminist activism and the Maidan.

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Women, Resistance, and Revolution

Guest: Sheila Rowbotham on a lifetime of socialist feminist activism.

SRB on This is Hell!

A This is Hell! interview with your humble host.

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Navalny and the Left

A response to the responses to the Navalny question and the Russian Left.

Protest in Putin’s Russia

Guest: Mischa Gabowitsch on Protest in Putin’s Russia.

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Russian Labor, Class, and Conflict

Guest: Steven Crowley on the Russian labor movement.

There Is No Other Way

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Oleg Shein posted the following on his Facebook page:

Today, the State Duma adopted a law raising the minimum wage from 6200 to 7500 rubles. This is definitely a good move. In fact, it’s not so small for workers who earn pennies. In 2011, 2.3 million people earned less than a subsistence wage in the formal sector of the economy alone.

But there’s cause to compare this with other countries. 7500 rubles equals $116 at the current exchange rate. At a standard 40 hour work week totaling a 167 hour working month, this comes to 70 cents an hour. The Russian Federal State Statistics Bureau traditionally considers the ruble undervalued by about 40%, as is easily found on its website. If we assume that the ruble is not undervalued by 40%, but by 70%, then the hourly rate minimum wage would be $2.

Compare this with the minimum wage purchasing power parity of other countries. Honduras $2, Laos $2.10, Iraq $ 2.40, Thailand $2.86, Paraguay $3.57, and Turkey $5.89.

Who would have thought that 25 years ago Soviet citizens compared the incomes in the USSR with Norway and Sweden? And the reason is simple: to receive a decent wage under capitalism, you have to fight for it, form trade unions, go to protests, and go on strike. There is no other way.

Alexander Shlyapnikov: An Old Working Class Bolshevik

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Guest:

Barbara Allen is an associate professor of history at La Salle University where she specializes in the Russian revolutionary movement and the early Soviet regime. Her research interests include the history of working-class opposition to the Soviet Communist Party’s dictatorship. Her most recent book is Alexander Shlyapnikov, 1885-1937: Life of an Old Bolshevik which was just released in paperback.

Music:

John Lennon, “Working Class Hero,” John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970.

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