Today, many argue that a new Cold War has begun between the USA and China. Since February 2022, it also appears as if a new group of non-aligned states might be emerging. How do these developments compare to the Cold War and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) of the 20th century? How did the socialist states’ approach to anti-imperialism and the NAM during the last century? On 7 July 2023 we will be discussing with Indian historian and communist Vijay Prashad how non-alignment and anti-imperialism relate to the struggle for socialism – both in the past and present.
We were invited by The People’s Forum in New York City to discuss the history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and its enduring relevance for progressive movements today. In the two-session seminar, we covered the historical context in which the GDR was founded, the character of its planned economy, the functioning of its socialist democracy, and the significance of proletarian internationalism.
What characterizes the socialist approach to health? We will explore experiences from the German Democratic Republic, the Georgian Soviet Republic, and modern-day Belgium to understand how socialist systems of the past and present have defied economic constraints and transformed health care to serve the needs of the people rather than profit.
Together with the social physician Dr. Heinrich Niemann and the former head of a polyclinic in Berlin Marzahn, Dr. Wolfgang Dübel, as well as the doctor Dr. Anita Rausch, who is active in medical training and further education, we discussed the health care system of the GDR and what significance the experiences made here can play for current political debates. We looked at the health policy orientations of the GDR and how they were realised in practice, alongside the contradictions and debates that arose in the process.