Marxism

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This roundtable explores the relationships between religion and socialisms in the past two hundred years, around the world, from the perspectives of history, theology and activist practice. In the 19th century Socialists and marxists across the United States and Europe were utopian Christians, Jews and pagans, who saw their socialism and religious beliefs as united. Later, in the twentieth century, socialism continued to inform the radical politics of Muslims, Buddhists and other traditions across Asia, Latin America and Africa. Across the world, socialism and religions have transformed one another. Most scholarly attention has been lavished upon secular socialist traditions. Yet, the historically significantly more popular and influential religiously inclined socialisms have not received a proportionate level of interest. Our panel remedies this gap, by exploring the multiplicities of religions and socialisms, asking: are religious socialisms really socialism? Are they really religion? Our panel suggests that while important, secular socialism has been the exception, not the rule. Historically, religious socialisms were the norm. Our panel recovers religious socialism as a living tradition that can and should inform our politics and ways of life.
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The German revolution of 1918-19 attempted to overthrow capitalism and establish a Socialist Republic. Unlike the Russian revolution a year earlier the German uprising ended in defeat. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, leading members of the young Communist Party of Germany, were murdered by reactionaries. What can we learn from this defeat in our struggle against capitalism? Come and discuss the way forward!
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What defines the capitalism system? How can we explain the dynamics of this global system and its enormous destructiveness - both of people's lives and the very ecology upon which we depend? Are workers still the potential gravediggers of the capitalist system? These are burning questions for our age. No wonder, then, that Marx's Capital, which takes up these issues, continues to excite debate and controversy 150 years after its publication. Joseph Choonara's guide, which aims to make Capital accessible to a new audience interested in socialist ideas, was first published to in the UK in 2017. Now, Haymarket books have made this work available to a US audience through a new edition of the book published this year. Join the author for a discussion of the contemporary relevance of Marx's greatest work.
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W.A.R Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney is a 2010 documentary film by Clairmont Chung which is a political and personal biography of the Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney who was assassinated in 1980. Cornell University's Africana studies dept gives this apt summary of the film: "It’s a story of a man who dedicated his life, and ultimately, gave his life in the struggle for equal rights and justice. He did so through his considerable intellectual gifts and actual grassroots involvement everywhere he went. The people who knew him weave a tale of how they related to him and him them. In the process we see the growth of their friend, brother, father, husband, his ideology and how that changed over the years from his coming of age in racially divided Guyana through the cold war, the Black Power Movement, Pan-Africanism, Caribbean independence, and the idea of self emancipation. " After the screening (1hr 27 mins), a brief discussion will be held on the implications of the film for contemporary Guyana and the wider Caribbean with the director Clairmont Chung, Robert Cuffy of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana and Twinkle Paul of Guyana Trans United.
Location: 
NYC
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Has America always been capitalist? Today, the US sees itself as the heartland of the international capitalist system, its society and politics intertwined deeply with its economic system. This book panel and discussion looks at the history of North America from the founding of the colonies to debunk the myth that America is 'naturally' capitalist. From the first white-settler colonies, capitalist economic elements were apparent, but far from dominant, and did not drive the early colonial advance into the West. Society, too, was far from homogeneous - as the role of the state fluctuated. Racial identities took time to imprint, and slavery, whilst at the heart of American imperialism, took both capitalist and less-capitalist forms. Additionally, gender categories and relations were highly complex, as standards of ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ shifted over time to accommodate capitalism, and as there were always some people challenging this binary. In this context, this panel will discuss these themes in the context of the publication of the recent book: How America Became Capitalist: Imperial Expansion and the Conquest of the West.
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Today, many on the left salute Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others seeking to revitalize and rebrand U.S. imperialism’s Democratic Party. Against this, those seeking to end capitalism’s many-sided oppression must reject the blind alley of tailing capitalist politicians. Only by fighting for the political independence of the working class can we chart a way forward. This International Women’s Day, three groups came together in a fusion that represents a step forging a nationwide revolutionary Trotskyist youth group for the first time in three decades. The Spokane (Washington) Marxist Group and the leadership of the Marxist Student Union at Central Connecticut State University fused with the Revolutionary Internationalist Youth, youth section of the Internationalist Group/ League for the Fourth International. This panel will focus on the role of Trotskyist youth and students in the fight for a revolutionary workers party to lead socialist revolution here and around the world, and reflect our work building support for union organizing drives by immigrant workers, solidarity with Ayotzinapa and the Mexican teachers strike, struggles against racist repression and fascist provocations, opposing the militarization of the universities, and on many other fronts.
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In recent years the fascist movement in India has been growing. Led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), their electoral wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and sponsored by the big corporate houses in India, this fascist movement has sponsored and carried out viscous attacks on Muslims, Dalits (the so-called "untouchables"), women, Adivasis (indigenous people), religious minorities, and national minorities. All this has been coupled with extractive neoliberal policies aimed at maximizing corporate profits while undercutting the most basic and meager social welfare programs that still exist in India. Recently, a series of poets, human rights lawyers, professors, and civil liberties activists have been arrested on trumped-up charges and accused of terrorism. This is all part of the government's plan to forcible evict 800 million people from their land and move them from the countryside to the city by 2050. When coupled with draconian laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (which give the state legal cover for arresting and killing activists with impunity), it clear that the people of India face a very dire situation. This panel will examine the growing fascist movement in India, speak on the dire situations that people face, and highlight the courageous resistance being waged across the country. We will also examine the role of US imperialism in supporting and sponsoring the fascist movement in India and the associated neoliberal extractive policies. ***Note: We are waiting for confirmation for several more speakers, the panel will be updated in the coming days (4/15)****
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Location: 
NYC
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Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Thanks to the Global Action Project's Movement History Timeline Technology, we were able to create an online, interactive timeline of the history of the NYC Tenant Movement. We also created curriculum to help folks teach and facilitate a workshop or session on the history of the tenant movement. The goal for the workshop is to learn together about the history of the tenant movement as well as to leave the workshop feeling confident in facilitating your own workshop or session on the history! We hope the workshop will remind us there is a vast and powerful history that should be accessible to all of us, to honor those who came before us, to inspire us to act and to hold us accountable to our future which is as bright as we make it.
Location: 
NYC
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This year, in contrast to the 2018 “red state” teacher revolt, strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland confronted Democratic Party bosses and rulers at every level. The strikes were militant and massive, with broad working-class community support. But the union bureaucracies, chained to the Democrats, rammed through settlements that betrayed the struggle to stop the spread of charter schools, the drive to privatize and sharply reduce class size. Class Struggle Education Workers campaigned to mobilize workers’ power – shut down the ports! – to win the strikes. In New York, an ongoing fight against adjunct poverty at CUNY poses broader issues of linking the fight to defend public education to class struggle in the center of finance capital. The key: ousting the pro-capitalist bureaucrats, breaking with the Democrats and forging a class struggle leadership. As Leon Trotsky wrote, “The independence of trade unions in the class sense, in their relations to the bourgeois state, can, in the present conditions, be assured only by a completely revolutionary leadership.”
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Location: 
LA
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This panel is inspired by the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth on May 5, 1818. On June 30, 2018, the NY Times published a column headlined: “The Millennial Socialists Are Coming.” Is “the spectre of communism [still] haunting” America and the world 200 years after Marx was born? Panelists representing different leftist parties and perspectives will tackle these questions and more. Speakers will explain their conceptions of what Marxism is and explore whether Marxism is still relevant 170 years after Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto. Is Marxism a Stalinist police state with a command economy and gulags? Or is Marxism a utopian pie-in-the-sky fantasy of a classless society? Is this just an outdated philosophy from 1848 that is no longer relevant in the 21st century? Or is Marxism a participatory, direct democracy of the workers, by the workers and for the workers? Is Marxism applicable in 2018? Come the revolution, how will Marxism impact on economics? Race? Gender? Class? Militarism? Endless war? Can Marxism solve inequality across the board and create an egalitarian social system? Is Marxism a workers’ paradise, “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all,” where the golden rule is “from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs”?