Historically, socialist and communist movements have viewed the party as essential to their movements. Recently, that assumption has become open to dispute. This round table conversation examines the part that a political party may play in organizing resistance and building alternatives. Neither an abstract nor original question, there are many approaches and conversations about this topic. Our round table gets beyond familiar dilemmas and platitudes by bringing together organizers from different parts of the socialist movement. Each has years of exemplary practice and/or theorizing about “the party” while actively building transformative left-wing institutions – from media, to the solidarity economy, to local government, to formal parties.
In addition to the listed speakers, the round table includes Robert Caldwell (a member of Solidarity and coordinator for the Left Elect Network), Matt Nelson (Presente.org), and Suren Moodliar (encuentro5; Socialism and Democracy).