LF-NYC 2018: Theme


Toward a Winning Strategy for the Left

The Trump presidency has brought the most dangerous and oppressive aspects of America – rapacious capitalism and foundational racism and misogyny – out of the shadows and into a chillingly clear light. And we are seeing a rising tide of the reactionary right all over the western world. 

Still, our own movements – for worker power, race, gender, and sexuality justice, ecological healing, and a broad anti-white nationalist front – while under attack, are also on the rise. These are dangerous but invigorating times for a left resurgence. To make gains, to win battles, we must build a strong unified left which moves beyond the constructed dichotomies of class and identity, violence and nonviolence, reform and revolution. 

Fragmentation remains an obstacle to our power today. But we do not need a rigid consensus in order to build together. Unity allows for differences and embraces other voices—it does not squelch them. We do not have to block dissent and critical self-analysis. What we do need is to build broad coalitions for freedom and justice and strengthen each other in our efforts to push the reactionary demagogues back into obsolescence.  The time for action is now. 

And the space for left unity and power building is Left Forum 2018. 
The left has a uniquely robust power source gathering at the intersection of issues, identities, ideologies, and constituencies. There are so many examples of this model of convergence and creative action today. This is the model on which we come together to formulate new strategies for a new world. Left Forum 2018 will:

  • create generous, open, vibrant, interdisciplinary, and compelling spaces that will serve to transform ideas into action. 
  • identify and expand the common ground among movements, constituencies, issues, and ideas in a forum where a broad range of minds, issues, communities, affinities, identities, and strategies converge 
  • enable the cross-pollination of academic research and field organizing
  • organize panels and presentations as we have in the past. However, we will also achieve this through skill-shares, workshops, performances, network-building sessions, strategy roundtables, curated exhibits, screenings, and forecasting briefings. We will also extend our market/exhibitions to include more 
  • be a place of friendship, exchange, and discovery, where we build our power to make radical change in a world on fire with both chaos and the opportunity for transformation.

All our enemies have is division and destruction. Left Forum can be a living example of the exact opposite: a new convergence and a space for possibility, for hope, and for power.