"What’s Going On?” Imperialism and the Current Crisis

Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Chowdhury
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Kanishka
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
Abstract: 
“What’s Going On?” Imperialism and the Current Crisis. Over the last several months, in attempting to comprehend the current articulations of late capitalism, much of the attention has been devoted to the election of Donald Trump, the fallout from Brexit, and the ongoing war in Syria. Even as these events dominate the headlines and have important ramifications for all of us, we need to explore the continuing everyday mechanisms and contradictions of imperialism and the multiple ways in which capital moves across the globe, leaving in its wake devastated communities and resources. Are the appellations of the “New Imperialism” or neoliberal capitalism useful ways to characterize or understand the transnational extraction of surplus value and the continuing exploitation of the global proletariat? With the bulk of the super-exploited living in the global South, what challenges do we face in terms of the widening class struggle via “new” forms of working-class collectivity and action? How might the growing power of the BRIC nations upset our understanding of the imperial categories of North and South? How has the combination of authoritarian, strictly policed states and over 65 million refugees who have been forced to flee their homes complicated the present state of capitalist development? How might movements across borders, such as Black Lives Matter or the continuing struggle for Palestinian sovereignty address the current manifestations of imperialism? How have certain economic conditions contributed to particular manifestations of white supremacy, xenophobia, and racism? This roundtable will address some of these questions, always keeping in mind the immense potential for internationalism and solidarity movements across multiple lines of struggle.
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN