Political Economy

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The solidarity economy is an alternative to capitalism that is growing up within and alongside of it, and within and outside of markets. In contrast to capitalism, centered in individualism, greed, competition, and domination, it is based on values of solidarity and cooperation, equity in all dimensions, sustainability, economic and political democracy, and pluralism. This roundtable will discuss the growth and development of the solidarity economy both conceptually and concretely within two cities, Boston and New York, and on a national scale. What forms is it taking? What are the forces encouraging its growth, and some of the problems and limitations being encountered? What can we learn from one another’s best practices? Julie will speak as an academic, providing historical and theoretical context for the emergence and growth of the solidarity economy. Micky will speak from her experience as a worker-owner in Agaric, with the platform cooperativism movement, and with UjimaBoston, which is building solidarity economy as a means of empowerment and economic development in an under-resourced community of color in Boston. Sarah works alongside Micky and 450+ members with the Boston Ujima Project as Ujima's Communications Organizer. She will discuss her work building connections and shared strategy with Ujima and with Resource Generation, a national organization focused on shifting wealth and power to POC-led movements, among young people access to wealth and class privilege. Emilie will speak as a board member and peer educator at CEANYC, involved in their leadership development work, including their Cooperative Leadership Intensive and Food Co-op Anti-Racism training, and as well as plans to build an Advocacy Council of grassroots solidarity economy practitioners.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This panel will review and discuss the economics and political background leading to the decline and fall of the US empire.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The Green New Deal should be the most important agenda for expanding the power of the working class since the original New Deal. However, up to now the response from labor has been skeptical or even dismissive. We will discuss how to formulate a Green New Deal plan that will appeal to the labor movement, by explaining how a broad-based Federal program of building new national and local green infrastructure systems will benefit the working and middle classes as a whole, and the labor movement in particular. Because of the millions of jobs, up to at least 20 million, that this program can generate, manufacturing can be revived, and along with millions of other jobs, a de facto job guarantee would mean that the working class would gain unprecedented power in the economy.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
With inequality surpassing Gilded Age levels, health care and student debt skyrocketing, climate change roiling the planet, and 80 percent of Americans surviving paycheck-to-paycheck, the majority of Americans are now calling for a major new political party, including an even greater number of young and working people. In 2015, a Princeton and Northwestern University study found that under the Democratic and Republican parties, public preferences have a "near-zero, statistically non-significant" impact on policy. As a result, the U.S. is no longer considered a democracy. Working people are responding by leaving the establishment parties by the millions. Gallup polls show that a record number of Americans have become independents, almost half the country. A majority of Americans now want a major new party, including an even greater number of young and working people — 57 percent of Americans and 71 percent of millennials. This February, the New York Times wrote that “Long-established political parties across the democratic world are blowing up. Could America’s parties be next?” From Mexico to France and Chile to Spain, a political revolution is sweeping the world. The breakthrough is coming in a series of fresh, new people-powered parties. They sweep in to government by challenging the corruption of the establishment parties and offering a stirring new vision and social contract. These parties begin as movements, launched by activists who learned through personal experience that the corporate-funded parties cannot be salvaged and belong in the past. They use social media and digital organizing to circumvent the corporate press and reach millions. Come join the Movement for a People’s Party in an open discussion and planning session on how we can bring the revolution to America with a party of our own. Donuts, bagels and coffee for all!
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In "High Score, Low Pay:Why the Gig Economy Loves Gamification," Sarah Mason draws on her experiences as a California Lyft driver to expose the modern day version of piecework, with drivers competing not only with other drivers, but driven by games created by the company's algorithm to compete with herself to achieve ever higher scores and company profits. Sarah Mason, winner of this year's Daniel Singer Prize, and Barbara Garson, author of "All the Livelong Day" and "The Electronic Sweatshop" will discuss the themes of Sarah's essay, the evolution of work in the 21st Century, and modes of worker resistance in the gig economy.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
From Eco villages and community land trusts to worm farms and worker co-ops, people all over LA, the country, and the world are coming together to reimagine economy from the ground up - from the dominant extractive, exploitative system currently in place to a regenerative system that values people and the planet. We are hoping to explore connections and make visible local initiatives. We invite you to bring your own passions, questions, talents and resources to explore ways we can come together to co-create the beautiful world we know is possible.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In light of the fate of the Syrian Revolution, which has been crushed by the genocide carried out by Bashar al-Assad together with his Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies, there has debate in the global left about the meanings of imperialism and anti-imperialism, and the political implications these carry. Many authoritarians claiming leftism cross-over with the white-supremacist right's open support for the Assad Regime by denying its crimes and overlooking the imperialist role played by Russia and Iran in Syria, focusing exclusively on the U.S.'s supposed opposition to Assad's rule. This tendency is a worrisome development, suggestive as it is of a red-brown alliance (or axis) that is not consistently anti-imperialist but rather, only opposed to U.S. Imperialism. It also fails analytically to see how the U.S. has increasingly accommodated Assad's counter-revolution. In contrast to such approaches, participants on this panel will present anti-authoritarian class analyses of militarism and imperialism. Panelists will discuss the red-brown alliance (or axis) as recalling the “Holy Alliance” and fascism; the concept and reality of imperialism in the Middle East; the current wave of popular protests in Iran; left and right interpretations of geopolitics and political geography both historically and today; the lessons of the Bosnian genocide; and the tragedy of the Syrian Revolution.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This panel will outline concrete steps to strengthen cohesion on the left. The presentation is based on a survey that gathered the ideas of experienced activists and organizational leaders about how progressives in Los Angeles could work together more effectively—toward social justice goals Activists and leaders in 43 wide-ranging progressive organizations voiced their views. The research indicated a critical need for a stronger ties to increase coalescence and success. Survey participants proposed a set of concrete programs to accomplish these aims: a newsletter for inter-organizational communication; more training opportunities for grassroots groups; a rapid response system for mobilizing for demonstrations and fast breaking events; a directory of progressive organizations; a common facility for meetings, events, and planning; and a mutual aid help line. These programs together would create a new infrastructure for a resilient left. Respondents felt that this initiative should not distract them from their current projects. They also thought that these programs should operate in a supportive rather than a directing way. The programs should enable participating organizations by boosting their capacity to carry out social action.
Location: 
LA
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Even in periods when the political forces necessary to begin building socialist societies do not yet exist, the careful envisioning of socialism -- methods of coordination, principles of decision making, exact plans to raise solidarian consciousness, increase meaningful participation and overcome long-existing divisions -- is hugely important. Thinking grandly, but also rigorously, about alternatives to capitalist polarization and crisis helps the 99% do what needs doing in the present. It is time we begin comparing, critiquing and aligning our visions of what a post-capitalist society can and should be. This panel is presented in conjunction with the appearance of a Special Issue of Science & Society: "Designing Socialism: Visions, Projections, Models," Vol. 76, No. 2, April 2012.
Location: 
LA
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The continuing capitalist crisis is stretching every thinner at the seams, providing the basis for simmering discontent, shifting political alignments. and popular upheavals. Amidst these processes, old alliances are broken, new bonds of solidarity form, and the matrix of possibilities for social change (both progressive and reactionary) have continued to multiply. This panel explores significant developments from a global perspective, focusing on cases in North America (Quebec), the Caribbean, Central America (Guatemala) and South America (Chile), each analyzing important interconnections that highlight different aspects of the current crisis.