Theory

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The productive classes seem to have been entangled in a web of circular, self-defeating and fragmenting ethical problems. Aggressive wars justified on the pretense of self-defense, allowing Infanticide under the guise of reproductive rights, opening borders under humanitarian excuses in order to facilitate the modern slave trade, providing hospitality to asylum seekers while doing the favor of those interests which brutalized and displaced them from their very native lands, outsourcing jobs and replacing them with indebtedness, trading technological advancement for reduced and precarious employment, rising homelessness next to vacant pied-a-terre apartments, expanding the right to vote only to see the will of the people overturned by administrative coup d'etats perpetrated by unelected bureaucrats... the list goes on and on. Adding the growing crisis of mental health, affordability of health-care, growing unemployment, precarious labor, increasing rents, increased violent gang activity, mass shootings, random street crime there is a growing anxiety and uncertainty and a creeping feeling of gradual but constant dehumanization all across the globe. This panel, now in its 8th year, tries to engage in robust diagnostics of the root causes of these ethical problems and tries to engage the audience in a synthetic dialectic that could build a consensus on the common moral principles that should underlie the structure and evolution of our societies.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Our current Economic System seems to be producing two simultaneously existing contradictory trajectories. One is a trajectory of fast technological progress and material wealth creation and affluence. The other is a trajectory of Economic poverty, and the Social Ills that come along with it. The right wing exalts the productive achievements while the left wing abhors the social problems that seem to be a sine-qua non corollary of human progress. Both the right and the left seem to agree that our current system is "Capitalism". This panels disagrees with this nomenclature and blames it for a false consciousness both on the right and the left which fails to identify the true culprit of economic exploitation malaise and unequal wealth distribution. Instead the term "RENTALISM" will be introduced and explained as a more accurate, honest description of our Economic System and along with it we will motivate synthetic robust and lasting solutions which define succinctly the boundaries between Common Property and Private property and how to reconcile both of them in a cooperative way which maximizes both individual productive potential and social progress.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
We are now in the midst of an epoch of death and mass extinction. Conventional approaches are failing. Social and ecological regeneration must be rooted in communities of liberation and solidarity. The new book, Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community, by celebrated philosopher and educator John P. Clark explores significant recent progress in this direction, including indigenous movements of the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Democratic Autonomy Movement in Rojava, in West Papua, and many more. Longtime human rights activist, educator, organizer Matt Meyer joins this conversation with his own work on international and intersectional organizing. This is a call to arms for the rebirth of a libertarian and communitarian social imaginary, and the flourishing of a free cooperative community globally. Join us!
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
My Mis-Education in 3 Graphics documents the filmmaker’s darkly humorous journey through the mind-boggling constructs of mainstream economics. Critics offer some clear-sighted alternatives to the dominating economists' beliefs and models. The film is a visually fun satire deconstructing the current orthodox version of "the dismal science". Filmed introductory economics course lectures and interviews with economists reveal the enormous rift between the economic textbook models and the filmmaker’s and other critics’ understandings of economic reality. The first part of the film explores how mainstream economics (mis)represents markets, the next is a presentation of their befuddling model of the firm, and the final section, on macroeconomics, points to some of the major issues hidden by the models: financial debt’s contribution to inequality, and the unaccounted for destruction of the natural world. Mainstream economists such as N.Gregory Mankiw, George Borts, Timothy Taylor, and Lawrence Summers are critiqued by Herman Daly, Michael Hudson, Randall Wray, Richard McIntyre, Richard and Max Wolff, Robert Pollin, Nancy Holmstrom, Richard Smith, Costas Panayotakis, Doug Henwood, John Foster, Susan Feiner, and Stephen Marglin.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In his 1973 essay, "Anatomy of the Micro-Sect," Hal Draper gives a definition of a party as opposed to a ‘movement’ or the ‘sects’ that seemed to dominate the Left of his time: “A sect presents itself as the embodiment of the socialist movement, though it is a membership organization whose boundary is set more or less rigidly by the points in its political program rather than by its relation to the social struggle. In contrast, a working-class party is not simply an electoral organization but rather, whether electorally engaged or not, an organization which really is the political arm of decisive sectors of the working class, which politically reflects (or refracts) the working class in motion as it is. A “socialist movement” sums up the mass manifestations of a socialist working class in various fields, not only the political, usually around a mass socialist party.” Against both the “sect” and merely building a “movement,” Draper argues for the formation of a “political center,” which would be different from a unification of sects, as a first step towards the goal of building a socialist party. How is our present moment similar to or different from that of Draper? What is a socialist party and what are the greatest obstacles today to its realization and how can those obstacles be met? Hal Draper was deeply influenced by his study of Marx and Marxism when he wrote this essay. What can we learn from Hal Draper’s Marxism today?
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Socialism’s popularity is climbing but superficial conceptions of what socialism and capitalism mean are predominant. To avoid the pitfalls of co-optation and the kind of transformation into opposite that happened to the Russian Revolution, we examine these concepts from a serious theoretical and philosophical standpoint. The point is to ensure that socialism is based on revolution and self-activity of the masses rather than reducing it to state planning and nationalization, so that it can be a true alternative to capitalism. Three presentations focus on socialism in relationship to women’s liberation, to internationalism, and to climate change and the green new deal.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Recent years have provided no shortage of opportunities to become outraged at the powers that dominate our world. From spiraling social inequalities within and between countries, to the rise of white nationalist xenophobia and open misogyny in the Trump White House (magnified by the rise of social media), the basis for popular rage and Left organizing is widespread. The ruling order is rapidly losing legitimacy in many places. And yet, existing Left organizations often struggle and fall short of seizing the opportunities that our times present, caught up in their own contradictions, routinized habits, and knee-jerk reactions. While there has certainly been substantial growth in some Left groups (particularly those riding the Bernie Sanders wave), others falter, remain marginalized, mired by sectarian in-fighting, or have split apart suddenly and altogether--leaving members and onlookers in shock. What is going on? Why does it so often seem that Left organizations are prone to self-destructive tendencies? What ideas, attitudes, and methods currently in practice seem to be holding back the potential of our radical movement? Our panel will seek to draw from history and from personal experience, sharing reflections on practice that might contribute to building sustainable radical culture and organization. While examining some of the problematic aspects of Left organizing and discourse, this panel will also explore how we might shed oppressive habits of thought and practice that have been inherited from the dominant society, as we work to create a world of true justice, solidarity, equality, and human flourishing. A. Shahid Stover, "Bad Faith, Leftist Defeatism and the Imperial Mainstream" Linda A. Liu, "Victim Cultures and the Left" David Keil, "Problems on the Left: the need for due process and non-violent language"
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Race, Class, Gender, and the University: Struggles within and beyond the Campus Walls The university under capitalism is a site of political unevenness and contradiction. While academia promotes an image of impartiality and liberality in terms of viewpoints, scholarship, and diversity, those who don’t adhere to the restricted parameters of institutionalized “neutrality” are often marginalized, slandered, and sometimes dismissed. Indeed, as Steven Salaita argues, “disinterest and objectivity” are more often aligned with ruling powers both within and outside the walls of the academy. While identitarian positioning is often encouraged, solidarity that challenges systems of racial and gendered oppression or that exposes the symbiotic relationships between academic knowledge-production and imperialism are systematically repressed. At this same time, the university--perhaps especially our austerity-prone public universities, which often serve 'majority minority' and working-class students-- still can provide fertile ground for radical thinking and new social connections with the potential to resist hegemonic capitalist regimes of 'divide and rule.' Accordingly, this panel seeks to discuss the intersections of race, class, and gender struggles that challenge the status-quo politics within the university, or that use the base of the university to challenge capitalism and imperialism beyond the campus walls. While we intend to address some of the limits of critique offered by institutionalized identity politics, primarily this panel will offer first-hand accounts and theorization of alternative models for radical social justice organizing within the university space, with a view towards building resistance beyond the confines of campus-oriented politics.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
TBD
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This panel will discuss the renewed Jewish Left, especially its focus on Diasporic Jewish renewal, action and materialism.