Thursday, 1 April 2021

Resurrecting Bernstein in Portugal

Surprisingly, or not given that left-wing publishing in Portugal has been pretty much literati and scholars connected to the Communist Party, Anarchism or other assorted far-left intellectuals and academics since the mid 1970's, Eduard Bernstein has yet to be reprinted in Portugal, the only available copies of Evolutionary Socialism available are imported from Brazil (Socialismo Evolucionário, Zahar, 1997) and hard to find 2nd hand books from the original Portuguese edition (Os Pressupostos do Socialismo e as Tarefas da Social-Democracia, Universidade Moderna, 1976).

In 2020 we have decided that Libertária would me more financially viable as a website and a book publisher and not as much as a journal given that the sales of our latest issue were nothing short of depressing. The goal was to devote ourselves to become a digital publication instead and start a Socialist Library book series.

The first volume will be a fresh translation of Evolutionary Socialism by yours truly, while Jorge Matias will be translating l'Arnachie by Elisée Reclus and Tiago Silveira will glue together Sergey Nechayev's Catechism of a Revolutionary with Mikhail Bakunin's Revolutionary Catechism so we can print both texts on a single volume titled as Revolutionary Catechisms.

Eduard Bernstein, 1930

Due to pressure by the pro bono writers of the journal and a few readers, we ended up organizing a GoFundMe campaign and raised enough funds to cover part of the costs for a 4th issue of our print journal, but that's another story. We have decided this will be a turn point edition, after devoting the first three issues to Eduard Bernstein, Karl Kautksy and August Bebel, we have rewritten the Editorial Statute of the journal and from now on instead of a Socialist Party unofficial publication we decided to become a broader left publication, multipartisan of sorts inspired by the previous arrangement of the Socialist Party with The Green Party, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Left Bloc in the parliament.

We will be pushing for a more openly Libertarian Socialist agenda focusing on decentralization, cooperatives and municipalism while still giving space to other Democratic Socialist ideas, as stated on our last editorial virtual gathering: "we will be applying Eduard Bernstein's method to Libertarian Socialism". The major Anarchist bookstore in Portugal so far has refused to sell our journal, claiming they do not sell "partisan publications" and we were openly a publication founded and funded by members and sympathizers of the Socialist Party, we're pretty sure they will hate even more our new Revisionist approach towards Anarchism. 

Be it the Democratic Party in the USA, the Labour Party in the UK, PODEMOS in Spain, Die Linke in Germany, Left Libertarian political currents have always been active within mainstream, fringe and mainstreamish parties, the original Portuguese Socialist Party founded in 1875 was Anarchist in nature, inspired by both Bakunin and Proudhon, its History has been included in the only book devoted to the history of the current Socialist Party (O Socialismo e o PS em Portugal by Fernando Pereira Marques, Âncora Editora, 2017) and back in 1975 posters and medals were issued alongside a circle of conferences to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original Socialist Party.

Gabriel Feitor wrote a great piece on the Left Libertarian roots of the current Socialist Party original platform in 1974 for this 4th issue, including some of its MPs with a background in radical and Anarchist politics. 

We are devoting this cover to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and we are trying to expand our distribution to at least 10 independent bookstores spread across the country since so far the journal is only available in Lisbon and Oporto. Let there be heresy! 

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