Political Economy and the Current Crisis

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Bill Kreml is the creator of an original political philosophy, it is based on psychology rather than economics or any other variable. Kreml’s panel will discuss the utilization of cognitive forms in the constitution, the original seven articles being analytic in form and the Bill of Rights being synthetic in form as the German Idealists Kant and Hegel understood these terms. Kreml has argued in a recent article, found in both the Green Party’s spring issue of Green Horizon magazine and freepress.org campaign finance another layer (March 26, 2018) that the Supreme Court misunderstood the cognitive nature of the constitution’s two components, the Bill of Rights protecting synthetic, that is politically aggregative, but not analytic, political activity. Large political campaign contributions are of an analytic, or contractual, nature and are not protected by the Bill of Rights.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Amidst the “techlash”, some tech workers are beginning to realize that they are, in fact, workers. But due to the prevalance of a technology-inflected neoliberal ideology in Silicon Valley, it will be a long road to an organized tech industry. On this panel we will hear from tech workers who have been involved in recent organizing efforts in the tech industry. We will also reflect on the wider importance of organizing efforts in Silicon Valley—specifically, how harnessing power from below could address some of the economic and ethical concerns associated with unaccountable technology corporations.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
In the decades long tradition of award-winning investigative journalism by writers for CovertAction Quarterly, this panel will address the secretive and nefarious activities of the U.S. government in their efforts to destabilize democratic processes, both past and present. It is now ever more critical to expose such ongoing efforts: efforts that further U.S. geopolitical regional and global control while creating favorable investment climates for U.S. multinational corporations. While their goals are invariably masked in the name of “democracy and freedom,” their efforts invariably strive to exploit cheap labor and natural resources. Topics will include: American exceptionalism, ending torture, closing Guantanamo, opposing the appointment of Haspel as CIA Director given her roles in black sites and her destruction of the CIA torture videotapes, ongoing scrutiny of the National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) programs globally, ...and much more.
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: 
Late night comedians may try to laugh him off, but Trumpism has created a dangerous instability in our political system and across the international political order. So in terms of a "left" strategy, what is the "Trump phenomena"? Is it a "nouveau" assertion of "American Exceptionalism"; a rehash of "Manifest Destiny"; or part of the new wave of authoritarianism threatening the legitimacy of democratic rule across Europe, North Africa and Asia? And how should the left respond to a crisis of democratic legitimacy that is, in part, of its own making? By way of self criticism, how should the unexpected advent of Trumpism inform the strategy of the left both here in the United States and around the world? Join us for our wide ranging discussion of this perplexing topic.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Roundtable participants--Rodolfo Pastor de María y Campos from the LIBRE Party, Vicki Cervantes of the Honduras Solidarity Network, Alex Main from CEPR and Adrienne Pine (American University) will discuss the ongoing crisis in Honduras, with a particular focus on the increasing, and increasingly militarized consolidation of power since the recent installation of Juan Orlando Hernández as dictator following blatant electoral fraud. Today, over 40 people who protested the 2017 fraud are dead and dozens of anti-fraud political prisoners languish, pre-trial, without healthcare, adequate food or access to family members in new, post-coup U.S.-style maximum security prisons that have enriched foreign corporations with no accountability or transparency. International extractive and tourist corporations, in collusion with powerful drug lords, oligarchs and politicians (often the same people) harass and murder activists and journalists with complete impunity. While the 2017 electoral fraud was roundly and internationally condemned, it came as no surprise to Hondurans that the U.S. State Department supported its outcome, just as the Clinton State Department supported the 2009 coup that laid the path for the nation's downward spiral into neoliberal fascism. Similarly unsurprising are the crickets coming from mainstream media regarding U.S.-supported violence in Honduras, compared with depictions of state violence in, for example, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Despite this bleak panorama, Hondurans continue to bravely resist. This panel will provide examples of that resistance on multiple levels, and will discuss strategies for effective solidarity.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Our task today is not to imagine pies in the sky for a future that can always be postponed, but to think and act on what Andre Gorz called "concrete utopias". The possibilities for change are not in the distance; they are all around us and available. It’s a matter of breaking the spell of the crisis and seeing and seizing these useful, world-changing tools. For a long time it seemed as though the future would always look like the present, and imagining utopia was largely a theoretical exercise. Over the past 10 years, since the "Great Recession" of 2008, this situation has been changing, as the neoliberal global order that sustained the idealization of liberal parliamentarianism as "the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution" entered into a prolonged and profound crisis. Today, homeless populations are exploding in major US cities, wages remain flat or are falling, and yet CEO bonuses have rebounded to pre-crash levels. But there is no legitimacy for this growing inequality. No one believes that a rising tide lifts all boats and the faith in capitalist realism (TINA) is losing ground. Today, more and more people are recovering the ability – and realizing the urgency -- of imagining life differently. How do we use this moment of the crisis of neoliberalism, only persisting now in a zombielike state, to repudiate the equation of markets with democracy? How do we shatter the fallacy of this central premise of neoliberalism to actualize resolutely concrete but radically utopian futures?
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The city of Jackson is the capitol and the progressive stronghold within the reactionary and deeply racist state of Mississippi. Join organizers and cooperative developers from Cooperation Jackson as they highlight how they are engaging in struggle for Black self-determination with aims to transform their city and broader state using tools of worker-self-management, democratic-people/community centered decision making processes, in developing a solidarity economy that will serve as an social, cultural and economic basis for achieving a liberated zone/ an eco-socialist territory within this settler-colonial project, the so-called United States.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The panel will lead a discussion on Domestic Violence and the revictimization of survivors through underfunding of services and available services that are unable, or unwilling to help. Specific topics will include law enforcement's role (and failures) in Domestic Violence, financial support, mental health needs, and others.