The 2017 volume of the Socialist Register addresses the question of the meaning of revolution in the 21st century. Coming to terms with the legacy of 1917 is obviously one aspect of this. ‘October’ was a unique event which provided inspiration for millions of oppressed people but also became an inevitable point of reference for socialist politics in the 20th century. The 21st century left needs to both understand and transcend this legacy through a critical reappraisal of its broad effects – both positive and negative – on political, intellectual and cultural life everywhere as well as on the other revolutions that took place over the last century. But the main thing is to look forward more than back. All revolutions emerge in conjunctures saturated with unique contradictions, contingencies, class alignments and struggles. This is the concrete confluence of forces and setting that must be examined closely to understand the political conditions that the contemporary Left must not only understand but also act and organize in. The ‘political event’ of gaining state power, whether by taking parliament or in a collapse of the existing political regime, has proven time and again to be less crucial than the social revolution of building capacities for self-government and the democratization and socialization of institutional resources.
The Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution (Monthly Review Press)
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name:
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Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Biography:
Associate Professor, Department of political Science, York University, Toronto. Co-Editor The Socialist Register; Co-author, In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives.
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Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography:
Leo Panitch is a Senior Scholar and Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto, Canada. Editor of the annual Socialist Register for over three decades, including the 2017 volume on Rethinking Revolution. His most recent book (with Sam Gindin), The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire,was awarded the Deutscher book prize in the UK and the Davidson book prize in Canada. Among his many other books are: Social Democracy and Industrial Militancy; Working Class Politics in Crisis; The End of Parliamentary Socialism: From New Left to New Labour; Renewing Socialism: Transforming Democracy, Strategy and Imagination; In and Out of Crisis: The Global Financial Meltdown and Left Alternatives.
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University of Minnesota
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography:
Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Author of Marx and Engels: Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough and Lenin's Electoral Strategy.
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Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Howard University. Author of ‘A Critique of Degrowth and Its Politics’, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 23 (1), 2012; ‘The Great Bifurcation and Prospects for Solar Communism in the Twenty-First Century’, International Critical Thought, 3 (4), 2013; ‘Ted Trainer and the simpler Way: a somewhat less sympathetic critique’, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 25 (2), 2014; David Schwartzman, ‘My Response to Trainer’, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 25 (4), 2014; ‘Is zero economic growth necessary to prevent climate catastrophe?’, Science & Society, 78 (2), 2014, pp. 235- 240.
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University of Ottawa
Speaker 4/Fifth Facilitator Biography:
Associate professor of International Development and Global studies at University of Ottawa. Founder of the Quebec NGO, Alternatives. Editor of the journal, Nouveaux cahiers du socialism. Coordinotor, World Social Forum, Montreal 2016.
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