GCAS Interviews Bhaskar Sunkara, Founding Editor of Jacobin
Bhaskar Sunkara has emerged as a courageous new leading writer in America and a formidable voice in shaping a younger generation. Bhaskar is a graduate of George Washington University and the founding editor and publisher of a leading left journal, The Jacobin, founded in 2010. He has been featured in The New York Times, The New Left Review, PBS, German Radio and many other media programs and publications. You can follow Bhaskar on Twitter.
Here’s a short interview I did with Bhaskar.
How did you come up with the idea of the brilliant, and now a leading magazine, Jacobin?
Eh, creative ignorance really. I was 20 years old, the summer between my sophomore and junior years at university, and I saw the need for a publication that defended the relevance of “old” ideas — not just the moral and ethical critic of capitalism, but the idea that it could be transcended through the agency of the organized working class — in a way that was fresh and exciting enough to capture the imaginations of people who would otherwise be unfamilar with socialist ideas. I say “creative ignorance,” because on paper that seemed like a not too difficult or time-consuming of a task… but four years and change later it’s basically all I do 60 hours a week….
So, you’re a featured speaker in GCAS’ world-conference, “Democracy Rising“. What are you going to talk about?
No real idea yet. I think I’ll visit the Eurocommunist tradition, and try to defend the relevance of “dual power” to any attempt at socialist transformation.
What are the main signs of hope you see in the younger, 20 something generation?
My sign of hope is simply that less and less people will openly defend the system from our generation, or say that it’s working for them. It doesn’t immediately follow that these people will ever see a socialist alternative as being feasible or relevant to their day-to-day struggles, but it’s a starting point.
Do you prefer to travel or read Karl Marx?
It depends where I would get to read the Marx.
What’s one of your favorite articles you’ve published in the Jacobin?
Tough question, we’ve published over a thousand in just the last couple years… I’d say “In the Name of Love
” simply because it really struck a chord with lots of people who would otherwise not be reading a magazine like Jacobin — close to a million pageviews, and that’s entirely the point of the project.
What advice would you give to young aspiring writers?
Read lots, write quickly, and edit slowly.
Thanks for your time, Bhaskar!