Marxism

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Abstract: “For about 200 years something called socialism has been the positive culmination of anti-capitalism. When people are driven to fight exploitation, when people rebel against racist and religious oppression, when a global corporate economy drives their wages down and takes away their jobs, they learn that socialism is the alternative.” Charles Andrews, ‘Author of The Hollow Colossus’ in ‘There Is No Socialism Without a Communist Party’1 2016 saw the nationwide revival of the word Socialism in Bernie sanders’ campaign for presidency. Sanders qualified it; calling it “Democratic Socialism”, by which he meant that democratic control on capitalism will allow workers to live a life somewhat like a human being with enough income, educational opportunities for their children, affordable medical care and social security. Although he was used and then discarded by the Democratic Party, many of his supporters take socialism more seriously than ever before. The working class in the US has started to rise up after the neoliberal turn enforced by capital manifest in Thatcher-Reagan era and continued by Bush, Clinton and Obama in their own ways. The mass following of Sanders on the left and Trump on the populist right in the follow up of Occupy movement testifies to the fact that the working class is in the mood of claiming it’s place in the political space so constrained by electoral politics. The recent upsurge of activism around Black Lives Matter and #MeToo points toward a desire to overthrow the yoke of oppression associated with racism and patriarchy in the society. In this talk, panelists would argue that the potential of this great working class can only be fulfilled if we build our social and political movements with revolutionary outlook of the socialist revolutions of 20th century, not by rejecting them. The panelists will highlight the achievements of 20th century revolutions and make a case for the need of socialist revolution in the US so that the working class can solve the problems created by capitalism and lead the world’s working and oppressed peoples towards ecologically sustainable life with social justice for all. The panelists will also argue that socialism is not a reform of a capitalism but its replacement. Socialism today must be the answer to contemporary forms of capitalist exploitations while it draws on the success, not only on the reversal of the socialist projects in the U.S.S.R. and China. Panelists: 1. Raj Sahai is an engineer and a socialist, who started his activism during the Anti-Vietnam War struggles in Chicago, IL in 1968- continuing in Berkeley, CA from 1971 onwards. He has published article in India and US, has been member of the Institute for Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland California. He has assisted in translation of the book ‘Khrushchev Lied’ by Grover Furr. His recently published article titled ‘Stalin’s Ghost Haunts Capitalism’ can be viewed thru the following Link: http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/02/stalins-ghost-haunts-capitalism.html 2. Amit Singh is an adjunct faculty and research associate at Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech. He has been involved with labor movements in India. He has also worked with several socialist and anarchist organizations in Minneapolis. Among his several published articles is one below: “The ownership of Sarovar: A saga of benefitting from sexism, workers’ exploitation, fascism and economic crises”, published by IIT Kanpur Citizens Forum (2017) Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14Q7sTYAEd9xFY23-hhqIWSDz0IM-3uX1/view 3. Dipjyoti Das is a post-doctoral associate at Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University. He has been involved with various socialist groups in India, and primarily associated with a communist vernacular news-paper, 'jabar-dakhal' (meaning 'forced possession') in Kolkata, India (link: http://jabardakhal.in/english/). 1. Link: https://mltoday.com/communication-no-socialism-without-communist-party/
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Universities today are dominated by notions of identity developed in a broad range of academic disciplines, from subaltern studies to critical race theory to intersectional feminism. This panel seeks to examine these identity discourses in relation to Marxism and the history of the world proletarian movement. Can we conceive of Marxism as an aggregation of identities? How do Marxism and identity discourses respectively articulate the relation between oppression and exploitation? What are the consequences of the rise of identity discourses on organizational forms, including that of the vanguard Party? Are identity discourses idealist or materialist? Can identity discourses be reconciled with Marxist dialectics? Or do they rather evacuate dialectics in favor of a metaphysics of difference? Is social class an identity? How does Marxism treat various forms of oppression – of women, of nations and national minorities, etc.? Can identity discourses organize a genuine politics? Does Marxism simply aspire to gather diverse particular identities – subjects as they currently exist – in a common state project? Must Marxism incorporate supposedly ‘positive’ non-Marxist ideas in order to periodically ‘update’ itself? Or should the universality of political, military, and organizational line rather be grasped in terms of a summing up of objective history and the revolutionary experiences practiced by the masses on the basis of objective conditions? The panel will examine identity discourse and Marxism both generally and in the context of communist political mass work in both India and the United States.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Recent years have seen the persistent rise of fascist, semi-fascist, and other extreme right movements and figures on a world scale, from the National Front in France to Forza Nuova in Italy and the RSS in India. In many countries, far right forces have taken executive power, weakening the parliamentary political form of the bourgeois state. The proper names associated with the extreme right capture of government include Modi, Duterte, Erdoğan, Trump, Putin, Assad, and Orbán. This panel aims to address a series of questions concerning this phenomenon: How does one distinguish fascism from other forms of extreme-right populism? In what ways does the ‘classical fascism’ of the 1930s relate to the fascism and right populism of the current political conjuncture? Can a country with a parliament, elections, and a relatively free press be characterized as ‘fascist’? What is the mass base of the extreme right? What social conditions have led to the political and ideological crisis of the bourgeoisie today? How does extreme right forces relate to the weakness of the worker movement and proletarian forces worldwide? What are we to make of the parallel rise of welfarism (Sanders) and social-democracy (Corbyn, Podemos, Syriza)? The panel will examine these and related questions with particular reference to concrete examinations of Modi in India and Trump in the US.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
We've now reached a point where global capital, legitimated by neo-liberalism, has created a r world in which a handful of men have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world and if the present trend continues, there will be an even greater concentration of wealth. While the numbers of billionaires grow, billions of people face going hardships in finding food, water, and the necessities of life. Dialectically understood, economic domination/injustice creates the conditions for its own negation and as has been evident in a number of cases, there is an alternative – economic democracy. This panel, will note the : work of Piketty showing growing inequality but will also show, but his analysis of political economy, shows no understanding of what Marx meant by capital, and thus his analysis cannot offer a solution. Evidence from a number of sites from Porto Alegre to Bologna to the Mondragon organization and Spain show that another economic system is possible: economic democracy!
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
To the extent that the left still has a future oriented utopian project it is an accelerationist project. This panel discussion will cross examine the accelerationist tendency and attempt to interpret the culture and subcultures that have risen up to meet our current level of technological development. Questions that will be covered will include: Can we imagine technological progress that isn't in the service of capital? Is Vaporwave a Capitalist Realist musical genre? Was the Pokemon Go fad prefigurative? Are video games inherently right-wing?
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
There are many definitions of "surplus value" on the left, perhaps too many. This debate/panel discussion will take a look at two approaches to the surplus created under capitalism. One version of surplus value comes to us from Marx and his law of value, while the other emerged from Jacques Lacan's return to Freud. What is the relationship between Lacan and his followers psychoanalytic reinterpretation of Marx and Marx's original theory? Can one hold with both Marx and Lacan?
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Annual statistical values are found for the four branches of capital identified by Karl Marx. These are fixed asset devaluation, constant capital, variable capital, and surplus-value. The data source is the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis. The industries are agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and mining. The range of years is 1948 through 2014 inclusive. The rate of exploitation is given; the Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall is given official statistical measure. The accumulation of excess capital as defined by Marx is given statistical measure. The dynamics of the mortgage, student debt, auto loan, and credit card bubbles are explained, as is the growth of the military budget and federal debt. Financial crisis comparable to 2008 will occur at any time. The uncontrollable growth of excess capital presages the end of capitalism in the United States.