Political Economy and Current Crisis

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

From white nationalists to male tribalists, and from Christian theocrats to Patriot movement activists, the U.S. far right has made dangerous gains in recent years. These “insurgent supremacists” bolster established systems of oppression but also challenge the existing political order in real ways. Antifascist researcher Matthew N. Lyons will outline the major far right currents, their ideologies and goals, their interconnections and tensions with the Trump administration, and some key lessons for antifascist work.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

With the end of the Trump regime in sight, it is time to bring ideas into the Democratic primary for a sharp left turn in US foreign policy. Under Trump, support has been extended to fascists, dictators and oppressors, and this obviously must end. While undermining human rights at home, China has been able to pose as friends of the environment despite building more and more coal-fired electric plants. The Belt and Road program has resulted in crushing debt burdens and eroding sovereignty for developing countries in South Asia and the Indian Ocean areas. The next US administration must therefore be pressed to adopt a policy of debt relief and debt moratorium for less wealthy countries -- a policy that will in effect be paid for by Wall Street, China, and other big money powers. Needy people cannot be free, so comprehensive economic development is necessary. Marshall Plans are part of the answer. The Belt and Road is all high-interest loans, but the original Marshall Plan was 85% grants and gifts, and only 15% loans. A good place to start is by implementing the $30 billion Marshall Plan for central America proposed by Mexican President Lopez Obrador. Zero percent financing for such Marshall Plans should come from a special Federal Reserve window, not from tax increases or new borrowing.

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What ever happened to Pan-Africanism? What has become of this once powerful current in black thought? During its heyday in the 1950s and 60s, in the vanguard of the anti-colonial struggle, it seriously vied for state power and for a minute, it exerted influence in those corridors. Is Pan-Africanism still relevant today?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

While the feminist movement began in 1848, never before in American history, have women splayed such a critical role in the political, especially the large numbers of young women, that now embrace socialism. This is been especially evident in the midterm elections and we would go so far as to say the extent to which women, especially younger women mobilize politically will be the deciding factor in the Democratic nominee and perhaps the election. As Marxists, how do we understand the role of women thaat was frist examing by Marx and Engels and how feminisim has changed over tiime to where it has become a significant factor impelling the progress toward a postcapitalist society. This panel will explore Marxist, and neo-Marxist perspectives on feminism from a variety of perspectives, such as political economy, intersectionality and female subjectivity

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel aims to provide critical analysis of Russia Gate and the onset of a new Cold War with Russia. The left has not been vocal enough in protesting the Trump administration's pull out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 outlawing short and medium ranged ground-launched cruise missiles. The Trump administration has also stated that it does not plan to renew the 2011 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) limiting the development of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads. These decisions threaten to trigger a dangerous new arms race and increase the prospect of nuclear war. Russia Gate has had the effect of whipping up public hysteria about Russia and dividing the political left. In a recent poll, 52 percent of Americans considered Russia to be a critical national security threat, compared to just 23 percent in 2003. This panel seeks to provide critical analysis while encouraging the audience to join with us in building a movement on the left that favors revitalizing arms control treaties and promotes peaceful cooperation with Russia.

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.