Marxism

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

People often talk about love and revolution as though their relationship was self-evident. In this session, movement-based thinkers, authors, and organizers will explore the connection in greater depth. If it's true, as Che proclaimed, that "the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love," it is necessary to devise a clear understanding of those feelings and their implications.
Join AK Thompson (Co-Editor of Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution [SUNY Press, 2017]), Kazembe Balagun (Staff Person, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, New York), and Kelli Korducki (Author of Hard To Do: The Suprising, Feminist History of Breaking Up [Coach House Books, 2018]) as we get to the heart of the matter.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel will discuss the renewed Jewish Left, especially its focus on Diasporic Jewish renewal, action and materialism.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The entire left is struggling towards a coherent electoral strategy. On
the one hand, many committed activists continue to feel they must vote
for 'progressive' Democrats. On the other, a huge segment of newly
radicalized fighters for social change have become totally disillusioned
from electoral politics altogether. Perhaps there is a third way. Hear
different perspectives from activists who have run or are running
electoral campaigns independent of the Democrats and join a discussion on
how the movement can make a definite break with the parties of big
business.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

The fight against racism is a class issue. Attacks on Black people, Latinos and people of color are attacks on the entire working class. Meanwhile, attacks on workers’ rights and conditions embolden racists and the right wing.

This year’s Teachers’ Spring showed the potential for a new wave of class struggle at the same time that Black youth are rising up against racism and police murders. The struggle against bigotry which has heightened during the Trump administration is interlinked with police murders and attacks on worker conditions. The panelists — three rank-and-file workers — will discuss their experiences in overcoming racial divisions imposed by the bosses and linking workplace struggles to the struggles against police brutality, deportations, and other forms of racial oppression. How can labor activists and oppressed peoples unite? What has been the role of the police in class society and how can workers organize to fight police terror? How can we build a workers’ movement that not only seeks to improve immediate conditions but also can make political gains and overcome the racial, gender and other divisions that capitalism has created?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Faced with the numerous crises of our times, a small collective in Montreal decided to prepare a conference that aimed to bring together a thousand participants to discuss critiques of capitalism, strategies for overcoming it, and models of alternative economic organization in May 2018. We organized such a conference to think about the great transition out of capitalism, for a social and economic alternative that would be ecological, feminist, egalitarian and democratic.

This panel wishes to share the insights of this conference and its three main objectives: (1) to promote alternatives to capitalism; (2) to equip social movements and transformative initiatives with better theoretical tools by sharing experiences and knowledge; and (3) to strengthen ties between critical academic circles and militant organizations, as well as between Francophone and Anglophone communities in North America. This panel would both offer an appraisal of the conference and a larger strategic discussion on anticapitalist organizing today.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Sidney Hook and Max Eastman debate on dialectics in late 1920s to early 1930s; Raya Dunayevskaya, C.L.R. James correspondence on Hegel and Marx (1949 to 1950); Dunayevskaya, Marcuse dialogue on social movements, history, and necessity and freedom dialectic in Hegel and Marx (1954-1964); Marcuse, Critical Theory, "repressive tolerance" and today's social movements:

Kevin O'Brien:
The Dialectic Comes to America: Two Decades of the Hegel-Marx Relationship (1933-1953) in the U.S. Radical Milieu

This presentation will discuss two decades of American radical debate on the Marx-Hegel relationship (1933-1953), focusing on contention over the dialectic in the work of Sidney Hook, Max Eastman, James Burnham, and the Johnson-Forest Tendency (C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Grace Lee). The early period of Marxism in the United States was not devoid of discussions of philosophy, but the brief Hegelian upsurge in Europe represented by the contributions of Lenin (1914), Lukacs (1922), and Korsch (1923) was delayed in its trans-Atlantic impact. This presentation will attempt to examine two decades of American discussions of the Marx-Hegel relationship in the radical milieu, focusing on Sidney Hook’s Toward the Understanding of Karl Marx (1933), Max Eastman’s criticism of Hook, and the collaborative work of the Johnson-Forest Tendency (C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Grace Lee). This presentation will draw in part on the work of scholars Kevin Anderson, Paul Buhle, and Alan Wald.

Sarah Kleeb:
Looking Back to Move Forward: Violence, Tolerance, and Neutrality in the Critical Theory of Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse's trenchant engagement with the notion of “tolerance”, and the ways in which the rhetoric of tolerance can be used to maintain an unjust status quo, takes on new life in the present moment. By examining the complicity in structural violence that can accompany calls to “tolerance” and “neutrality”, this presentation will explore the ways in which Marcuse’s work requires us to continuously evaluate the pervasive manipulation of ideals, conventions, and aspirations present in many dominant narratives, facilitating ruthless critique in the face of systemic injustices.

Russell Rockwell
Dunayevskaya-Marcuse Dialogue on Social Movements, History, and the Necessity and Freedom Dialectic in Hegel and Marx

In 1958, at the peak of a twenty-five year dialogue, Raya Dunayevskaya and Herbert Marcuse published works the relationship between which was key for defining Marxist-Humanism and Critical Theory in the U.S. Following an analysis in the text of Dunayevskaya’s Marxism and Freedom, Marcuse in a preface to that work, for the first time in the substantial body of his own work, analyzed Karl Marx’s Grundrisse. A close reading of the texts suggests that the two theorists’ interpretations of Marx’s important work significantly differed –especially in connection with historical and contemporary workers’ movements and automation. Equally significant, however, despite a several years long disagreement to date on the question of the contemporary social relevance of Hegel’s philosophy, Marcuse notes in his work Soviet Marxism, also published in 1958, that Hegel considered the transition from necessity to freedom to be the “hardest” of all dialectical transitions, and concedes that the relation between necessity and freedom is the key problem in the Hegelian as well as the Marxian dialectic, and also a key problem in the idea of socialism itself.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Author Terry Tapp whose book A Serf's Journal documents his involvement in what had been the longest wildcat strike in US history, hosts a conversation with the teachers and activists who broke, and continue to break, his record.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel of three writer-speakers will present the lives, writings and legacy of three authors whose art became explicitly enmeshed within their revolutionary activism: John Reed, Langston Hughes and Sonia Sanchez.