Political Economy and the Current Crisis

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel first examines pinkwashing in historical context, looking at efforts to link queer and Zionist organizing from the 1970s-1990s. Then it moves to the present, tracing Islamophobic funders' evolving investments in pinkwashing as a way to recruit queer youth and campus groups *away* from antiracist, anticolonial activism that challenges Israeli apartheid. It covers ways to expose these tactics and support student/youth and queer resistance.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Early in 2018 we saw Black Panther rise to become the 3rd highest grossing film in America, and there was no shortage of online conversations surrounding #WakandaForever. While this film made unprecedented history with its almost all-Black cast, our panel will get into some of the deeper themes of the film and how they have been perceived by everyday viewers. Discussion will be centered around how mass incarceration, toxic masculinity, economic inequality, and not only how it was addressed in the film but the longer lasting implications these ideas may have on society.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

VT Senator Bernie Sanders repeatedly declared during his presidential campaign that the 'The American people are profoundly sick and tired of establishment economics.' Whatever you think about Sanders, this statement nails it. But establishment economics has claws and fights back. Intolerance Economics: Ideology, Competing Visions and Institutional Retaliation will bring into focus the latest resistance to establishment economics and the forces of reaction against change to a long calcified doctrine that has one ideological purpose -- servicing the corporate status quo.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Since Trump took power, a classic mass strike process has emerged as protests against his regime have grown. Women, blacks, Latinos and other immigrants, students, and labor unions including teachers have mobilized. But if these groups remain fragmented, they are all in danger. A group of New Deal Democrats in Texas has developed some mass traction economic demands to serve as a Common Denominator for the unity of anti-Trump and anti-billionaire forces. Three of these demands have been overwhelmingly approved in the March 6 Texas Democratic primary. These results, ignored by the corporate media, show that the American people want to throw out Trump and the Wall Street Democrats and enact an economic recovery using ultra-low interest, long-term credit provided by a nationalized Federal Reserve:
Proposition #2, passed with 93% support: “Should everyone in Texas have the right to refinance student loan debt with the Federal Reserve at a 0% interest rate, as relief for the crushing burden of debt and an investment in the next generation of Americans?”
Proposition #3, passed with 95% support: “Should everyone in Texas have a right to healthcare, guaranteed by a universal, quality Medicare-for-all system?”
Proposition #5, passed with 93% support: “Should the Democratic Party promote a national jobs program, with high wage and labor standards, to replace crumbling infrastructure and rebuild hurricane damaged areas, paid for with local, state, and federal bonds financed through the Federal Reserve at low interest with long term maturities?”
This panel will discuss this program and organizing process.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel’s theme is on the linkages among economic and ecological crisis management, systemic resilience and points of vulnerability in advanced capitalist societies. Its point of departure is the capability of late capitalism to withstand the shock of economic upheavals, political scandals, environmental disasters, epidemics, and accelerating inequality -- crises arising largely or entirely from contradictions inherent in the system itself. It calls for theoretical inquiry into (1) the mechanisms (economic, political, cultural) used to contain or give the appearance of remediating disasters arising from contradictions in the capitalist system, and (2) how these mechanisms are featured as reforms or remediatioms in the short run but fail in the long run. Presentations at this panel will, hopefully, stimulate further research into the mechanisms leading to resilience and provide for organizers the grounds on which they can be demystified. Such theoretically attained knowledge opens the door for organizers seeking to illuminate these mechanisms at their most vulnerable points and thereby to strip away the props used by the capitalist system to maintains its legitimacy.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

There has arguably been a consistent left position on American foreign policy since the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when the current international legal and political order crystalized in a particular way. What Michael Walzer has described as the left's "default position," includes the following: a "commitment to neutrality in all international and civil wars," and a consistently critical position of U.S. foreign relations. The decidedly post-imperial positioning of the left is, arguably, an isolationist positioning that leaves open the question of what international solidarity can look like. However, recent events with the Arab Spring and the brutal slaughter in Syria have sparked some debate and a call to self-reflection about what internationalism for the Left can look like in the present global order. We are being asked to reconsider what has been dogma for the left regarding international law and global politics. Our increasingly interconnected world and the political and economic reconfiguration of states have placed the left's default positions in crisis. Specifically, there has been a split of the international left on the question of Syria and the interpretation of U.S. and Russian intervention. Left critique of liberalism has contributed to destabilizing its hegemonic power. However, it seems that liberalism is being replaced with illiberalism. The main problem is how the left should respond in this moment of rising illiberalism globally and the reconfiguration of geo-political spaces and ideologies. This panel proposes a discussion of the questions that are becoming increasingly urgent for the left to reflect upon, especially from inside American power.

Some of the questions the panelists will address include what "we" think an American foreign policy should look like. What space there is for dissent and disagreement in the left on its relationship to other peoples especially during times of conflict. And whether or not the left should reconsider humanitarian intervention?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

From day of his inauguration as president, Donald Trump has faced a broad, multifaceted resistance that ranges from neolliberal Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, to progressives such as Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren, on the one hand to social movements of women, immigrants, labor and antifa on the other. How do we characterize Trump's presidency? How do we view the Resistance? How will all of this impact the midterm elections? And where should we socialists be and what should we do?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

From day of his inauguration as president, Donald Trump has faced a broad, multifaceted resistance that ranges from neolliberal Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, to progressives such as Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren, on the one hand to social movements of women, immigrants, labor and antifa on the other. How do we characterize Trump's presidency? How do we view the Resistance? How will all of this impact the midterm elections? And where should we socialists be and what should we do?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Something remarkable is happening in the UK, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is, with the support of an energized grassroots base, articulating an economic platform that breaks with neoliberal orthodoxy to outline what an economy that works for the many, not the few, could look like. This new economics is grounded in "alternative models of ownership"—an innovative agenda that builds upwards from community wealth building frameworks for cooperative and municipally owned development at the city level to democratized large scale public ownership at the regional and national level.

This panel will discuss the origins of this platform (including the connections between Cleveland and Preston), the ongoing and accelerating efforts to implement it at the local level while Labour remains out of government (like Corbyn's new "community wealth building unit"), and what lessons the US Left can learn about how a popular economic agenda can be built to challenge the ownership patterns of corporate capitalism at all scales.