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Saturday, April 13
 

9:30am EDT

Registration/Doors Open
Registration!

Speakers

Saturday April 13, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am EDT

10:30am EDT

Demilitarizing the Academy
For decades, academic researchers have criticized the deep historical connections between our disciplines and imperial military projects. Only more recently, however, has that conversation begun to move out of the seminar room and into society at large.  Sparked by outcry over the US military-sponsored “Bowman Expedition” grants, anti-militarist geographers have developed an updated language—“geopiracy” (Wainwright), “force multipliers” (Bryan), “warrior scholars” (Wood & Bryan)—for describing the contemporary links between academic knowledge-production and military power. 

The purpose of this panel is to deepen and widen that discussion by connecting this language to material political interventions. Our intention is to begin cohering a layer of critical social scientists who can push for concrete political demands inside our professional organizations. Such demands may include support of BDS resolutions; a refusal to connect GIS-certificate holders with military tech jobs; even a binding professional agreement mandating principled non-collaboration with DOD agencies — similar to psychologists’ pact not to participate in military interrogations, or medical doctors’ near-unanimous refusal to collaborate in executions.


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
319

10:30am EDT

Leaflets of the Russian Revolution: Socialist Organizing in 1917 (Book Discussion)
This is a discussion of the book Leaflets of the Russian Revolution: Socialist Organizing in 1917, edited and translated by Barbara Allen, published by Haymarket Books in November 2018.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc

Author of the book Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics (Verso 2019), Eric Blanc is a journalist and a former high school teacher. He has appeared on Democracy Now and has written for The Nation and The Guardian. During the Los Angeles, Wes... Read More →


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
320

10:30am EDT

10:30am EDT

Migration, Gender, and Labor Organizing
Migration Beyond Capitalism – a labour-focused approach
—Hannah Cross

Subjectivities of resistance in terms of women's strikes, migrant strikes, and non-worker based modes of organizing
—Nathalie Jaques

The strategic importance of International Women's Strike to the revival of the political strike and the strike around the world and in the US
—Ximena Bustamente

Speakers
HC

Hannah Cross

Review of African Political Economy
NJ

Nathalie Jaques

University of Auckland
XB

Ximena Bustamante

International Women's Strike NYC


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
314

10:30am EDT

The Crisis and the Shop Floor: Class Composition in Britain
British politics is entering a tailspin. The formal channels of bourgeois politics have proven unable to metabolise the latest symptoms of social crisis. But, as ever, the most important factors determining the outcome of that crisis lie outside formal politics altogether. The future rests on the balance of class forces in the hidden abode of production - and that balance of forces can only be understood via inquiry.


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
334

10:30am EDT

Our Right to the City
The Olympics and inequality: gentrification, police militarization, weakening of local democracy, and criminalization of poverty, homelessness and informal economies
—Anne Orchier

The Municipalist Moment: An Assessment of Anti-Systemic Possibility
—Erik Forman

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Erik Forman

Erik Forman

CUNY Graduate Center


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
310

10:30am EDT

Perspectives on Socialist Strategy in the Democratic Socialists of America
Featuring:
Renée Paradis, Socialist Majority
Neal Meyer, The Call
John Michael Colón, Libertarian Socialist Caucus
Miriam Bensman, North Star
Tawny Tidwell, Build

Moderated by Micah Uetrecht

The Democratic Socialists of America has exploded as a political force since 2016. Membership has gone from less than 10,000 to nearly 60,000, DSA members hold elected positions everywhere from the House of Representatives to city councils around the country, and DSA members are playing key roles in working-class struggles of all kinds, including the labor movement, the immigrant rights movement, the feminist movement, and many others.

DSA is a multi-tendency organization, which means that a wide variety of perspectives exist within the organization on questions big and small for DSA: how should socialists approach elections generally and the Bernie Sanders campaign specifically? What should the organization's strategic priorities be, and to what degree should those priorities be coordinated in chapters throughout the country? What does democratic socialism even mean? Representatives from a range of caucuses and ideological currents within the DSA will explore these questions.


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
317

10:30am EDT

The Class Composition of Populism
Since the twin events of 2016, the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, there has been a veritable explosion of interest in populism studies. The bulk of these studies tend to represent populism as a performance or a political style. Conventionally, populism refers to a generic “anti-elite” discourse coupled with political activity focused on the symbolic recreation of “the people.” In other words, populism is seen as pure form rather than having any distinctive political content. The consequence of this analysis is a conflation of left and right populisms under a single banner.

This panel seeks to explore the limits of this conventional understanding of populism. To understand populism beyond pure form, the papers presented here
explore the role of class composition of the populist phenomena. Is populism better understood as a specific configuration of particular class fractions? Do different class configurations yield “left” or “right” wing populisms?


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
341

10:30am EDT

The Queer Psyche Under Capitalism
This panel will address the mentalities, coping mechanisms, strategies, and traumas associated with queer life-making under capitalist conditions. Informed by Social Reproduction Theory, transmarxism, and the history of gay liberation, this panel will provide a materialist perspective on queer struggles. Through both psychoanalytic and historical examinations of where mode of production meet sexual identity, the papers and discussion will provide socialists with insights into the revolutionary potential both offered and foreclosed by the awkward position queers face in a society still dominated by private households.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Leftovers Live

Leftovers Live

Leftovers is a non-sectarian Marxist online discussion group, focusing on unitary theories of capitalist domination, Queer Communism, and other materialist analyses of gender and race. We've provided a forum for wide-ranging discussions of queer materialism, transmarxism, vying approaches... Read More →


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
303

10:30am EDT

Catalunya and Greece: The State and Left Strategy
Greece: social and economic crisis, political crisis, crisis of hegemony
—Panagiotis Sotiris

The Catalan revolution
—Mònica Clua-Losada


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
328

10:30am EDT

State Theory and Political Strategy in the Era of Authoritarian Neoliberalism
This panel will address the relationship between political strategy and the problem of the capitalist state. Today’s left faces the challenge of re-developing a positive theory of political power, especially with regard to the institutions of the capitalist state. Old dichotomies of reform versus revolution, and parliamentary versus insurrectionary tactics, are complicated by the significant transformations of the capitalist state itself over the course of the last forty years. Drawing on the rich tradition of Marxist theories of the state, this panel will bring these studies to bear on contemporary problems of how the left can orient itself with regard to state power, to win democratic gains in the short term, and to fundamentally transform social relations with the goal of creating the conditions for a transition to democratic socialism.


Saturday April 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
313

1:00pm EDT

Outsiders in the Art World
Writing the Left Out of Art History: From Art History textbooks to pop culture, decontextualization through omitting Marxism in mainstream US-American education
—Laura Fair-Schulz

Class, Outsider/Folk Art and the Weak Avant-Garde
—Adam Turl

with Stella Becerril

Moderators
SK

Sharmeen Khan

York University

Speakers
avatar for Laura Fair-Schulz

Laura Fair-Schulz

Adjunct Professor of Fine Art, SUNY Potsdam
avatar for Adam Turl

Adam Turl

Art + Design Editor, Red Wedge Magazine
Adam Turl is an artist and writer from southern Illinois (by way of upstate New York, Wisconsin, Chicago and St. Louis) living in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is the art and design editor at Red Wedge and an adjunct instructor at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. Turl’s most recent... Read More →
avatar for C. Stella Becerril

C. Stella Becerril

I'm a labor and community organizer who's on #RentStrike during the COVID-19 crisis. The status quo is no more so we're either going to end up with more rights and protections after COVID-19 or less. Let's organize now so we can help create the future we want and deserve.

Sponsors

Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
314

1:00pm EDT

Making a Living on a Toxic Planet: The Struggle for Good Work and a Clean Environment
From mining accidents to bomb trains, from the Denora Smog to the Bhopal disaster, from the Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster to the Deepwater Horizon explosion both workers and the communities where they labor have a shared interest in work that is safe for humans and safe for the environment. We want jobs that are both socially useful and environmentally sustainable. As labor, both in and outside of unions, is pitted against a safe environment from the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to coal and uranium mining, we need to highlight the common ground and spaces for collaboration that can show a way forward for good jobs and a healthy environment.

Scientists and environmentalist Barry Commoner argued that regulation of environmentally destructive practices was not a solution to the crisis of pollution. The only solution proven to work is to ban environmental toxins altogether. He argued, “By adopting the control strategy, the nation’s environmental program has created a built-in antagonism between environmental quality and economic growth.” This antagonism has grown to a crisis point today as we face ever growing ecological crises and the continuing struggle for good jobs.

The role of labor is central to any socialist project. Socialists see the organized working class as the force capable of ending capitalism and bringing about a socialist society. And yet we're faced with an unprecedented set of environmental crises, climate change chief among them, that show certain kinds of labor as the cause of the crisis. This contradiction has been under-theorized. We need to take the challenge of finding a way beyond the jobs versus environment question that has plagued both the environmental and labor movement for at least 50 years and is now one of the central challenges of our generation. This panel will look at historical examples of attempts that shed light on this contradiction and to bridge this divide, as well as contemporary examples of challenges and possibilities, while working to outline a guide to action for environmental and labor activists.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors

Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
313

1:00pm EDT

Fighting Imperialist Austerity in the Caribbean
All across the world the economic crisis of capitalism is causing developing nations borrow heavily to attempt to kickstart economic growth. The debt accumulated is so enormous that many countries must pay upwards of 50 % of their GDP towards servicing the payments. The result is the institution of austerity programs on working people such as cuts in pensions and wages and spiked rates for utilities and food. This has sparked a fightback in the Caribbean which can be used to unite seemingly disparate nations into a unite struggle to repudiate, austerity, call for moratorium on Debt and address the regional and racial & gender divides in the West Indies.


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
328

1:00pm EDT

Land Rights and Indigenous Struggle
Resistance and Recognition in the Torment of Powerlessness
—Jack Davies

A Decade Resisting Global Capitalism: How local community debated Land rights in Jagatsinghpur, India
—Debabrata Baral


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
334

1:00pm EDT

Rebuilding a Principled Anti-Imperialism: Lessons from Syria and Nicaragua and Venezuela
Moderators
avatar for Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is a socialist writer and activist in Burlington, Vermont. He has written in numerous publications including Truthout, The International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, ZNet, Jacobin, New Politics and many other online and print publications. He is currently working... Read More →

Speakers

Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
310

1:00pm EDT

Endnotes 5 Preview
Introduction 
—John Clegg

Abolition of the Family
—Michelle O'Brien

Revolutionary motives
—Jasper Bernes

From Desert to Oasis in Five Years
—Shyam Khanna


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
303

1:00pm EDT

Prosperity Marxism: From Capitalist Scarcity to Communist Abundance
"The Myth of Scarcity and the Necessity of Proletarian Extravagance" - Peter Bratsis

"The End(s) of History: Overcoming the New Moralism and Reformism" - Michael Pelias

"Homo Datum: Emerging Contours of the Politics of Tomorrow" - Arto Artinian


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
341

1:00pm EDT

Brexit: WTF?
Making sense of the chaos of Brexit.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Jacobin

Jacobin

Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches over 30,000 subscribers, in addition to a web audience of 1,000,000 a month.


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
317

1:00pm EDT

1:00pm EDT

Fighting Trumpism and Left Accommodation: Marxist-Humanist Perspectives
Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Chris Gilligan

Chris Gilligan

Chris Gilligan is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). He is the author of Northern Ireland and the Crisis of Anti-racism (Manchester University Press, 2017) and editor of a number of collections, including: The Public and the Politics... Read More →


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
319

1:00pm EDT

Law and Social Movements
Capitalist society is supposedly based on the rule of law, but has relied on slavery, oppression of women, and constant rule breaking by the elites in order to continue. In the Trump era, this liberal mythology continues: donate to the ACLU, the Constitution will stop Trump, and judges will save immigrants from Trump's racism (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/21/opinion/asylum-jeff-sessions.html). In reality, people have won and can only win and secure democratic rights for themselves through social movements. This panel will explore that history.


Mukund Rathi is a socialist and law student in the Bay Area. He will introduce the Marxist theory of law and its relevance to social movements today.

Megan Lessard is an organizer with New York City for Abortion Rights. She works in healthcare analytics. She will discuss how, with the demise of Roe v. Wade is on the horizon, the Left lacks a fighting, grassroots movement for abortion access and reproductive justice. She will look back at the radical health activism of the last century, from Redstockings to the Young Lords, to help us chart a way forward, beyond electoral politics and professionalized advocacy groups.

Lea Ramirez is a Xicana socialist, activist, and union member living in NYC. She is a co-host of Working Class Heroes, a narrative investigative journalism podcast that explores the lives, histories, politics and culture of working class “New YorQuinos.” She will be discussing an overview of immigration law and the impact that the immigrant rights movements has had on these laws. She will be also sharing her own experience in organizing an anti-deportation case as a rank and file union member in the legal service field.  

Brian Sullivan is a labor activist, writer, and housing attorney. He lives and works in New York City. Focusing on a successful 2015 strike against a legal services provider in New York City, he will analyze the connection between the labor movement and the quality of legal representation that indigent clients receive.

Moderators
Speakers

Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
333

1:00pm EDT

Persistent Inequalities: A Discussion of How Inequalities Are Reproduced by Capitalist Competition
This panel will present a theory of how wage inequalities are reproduced by capitalist competition. Furthermore the panel will discuss how race and gender are reproduced by market mechanisms.


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
335

1:00pm EDT

US Policy, US Labor
The 1954 sit-down strike at the American Safety Razor company and the economics of racial discrimination
—Andy Battle

How a “capital strike" after World War II led the government to invest massively in US industry
—Marc Kagan

The ‘Volcker Shock,’ the beginning US government policies that rearranged the world economy in favor of financialization, increasing inequalities of resources and power
—Erik Van Deventer


Saturday April 13, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
320

3:00pm EDT

Marx at the Arcade
A book launch panel for Jamie Woodcock's "Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle", published by Haymarket Books.

 In Marx at the Arcade, acclaimed researcher Jamie Woodcock delves into the hidden abode of the gaming industry. In an account that will appeal to hardcore gamers, digital skeptics, and the joystick-curious, Woodcock unravels the vast networks of artists, software developers, and factory and logistics workers whose seen and unseen labor flows into the products we consume on a gargantuan scale. Along the way, he analyzes the increasingly important role the gaming industry plays in contemporary capitalism and the broader transformations of work and the economy that it embodies.


Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors

Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
320

3:00pm EDT

Ten Theses on Science and Research Under a Left Government
Government support for science, industry R&D, and other technical research has been a longstanding feature of American capitalism. Modern science has expanded possibilities for human welfare through incredible advances in medicine, agriculture, and other fields. Yet science, as a handmaiden to capital, has also played a nefarious role in building the unequal world we live in today: science built on black and brown bodies, science to develop weaponry, science to support extractive industry, science to design machinery that disciplines labor.

Join this session to explore visions for a different kind of science:
What are the different funding pools and mechanisms for government-sponsored science and research today?
Does Trump hate all science? Why?
What kind of near term changes - under a Bernie or a Corbyn government, for example - can we imagine for how science & research is funded, structured, organized, and produced?
What does a science for human liberation look like?

This discussion will contribute to the workshopping of an upcoming issue of Science for the People magazine.

Moderators
CD

Conor Dempsey

Science for the People

Speakers
CC

Cliff Conner

Author of "A People's History of Science"
SM

Seshat Mack

MD/PhD student at Mt. Sinai
CD

Chris Dols

Publisher of Science for the People Magazine

Sponsors

Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
305

3:00pm EDT

Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the Middle East
"The Syrian Revolution and Assad's Counter-Revolution" - Yasser Munif

"Neoliberalism and the Class Nature of Arab Revolution" - Anand Gopal

"Whither the Iranian  Labor, Feminist, Student, National Minority Struggles?" - Frieda Afary


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
314

3:00pm EDT

Subjectivity and Strategy Against Accursed Austerity
An examination of the possible ways that new political subjectivities can be conceived and created at the present moment of capitalist austerity, democratic decay, and ideological malaise. In particular, questions of trans-individuation, counter-hegemony, and ecological demands will be addressed.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
328

3:00pm EDT

Gestational Labor Pains: A Discussion of Sophie Lewis' "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family"
A panel on social reproduction, gestation as labor, family abolition, and struggles for reproductive justice, and sex worker rights.

The surrogacy industry is worth over 1 billion dollars a year, and many of its surrogates work in terrible conditions, while many gestate babies for no pay at all. Should it be illegal to pay someone to gestate a baby for you?

Rather than making surrogacy illegal or allowing it to continue as is, Sophie Lewis argues we should be looking to radically transform it. Surrogates should be put front and center, and their rights towards the babies they gestate should be expanded to acknowledge that surrogates are more than mere vessels. In doing so, we break down our assumptions that children necessarily belong to those whose genetics they share.


Sophie Lewis is a writer, translator and feminist geographer living in Philadelphia. Her translations include Communism for Kids by Bini Adamczak, A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp and Unterscheiden und Herrschen by Paula-Irene Villa and Sabine Hark. Lewis is a member of the Out of the Woods collective and an editor at Blind Field: a Journal of Cultural Inquiry. She has published her work in Boston Review, Viewpoint Magazine, Signs, Dialogues in Human Geography, Jacobin, The New Inquiry, Mute, and Salvage Quarterly.

Natasha Lennard is a contributing writer for the Intercept, and her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times, Nation, Esquire, Vice, Salon, and New Inquiry, among others. She teaches critical journalism at the New School for Social Research, and co-authored Violence: Humans in Dark Times with Brad Evans.

Jules Joanne Gleeson is an academic worker, comparative gender historian, queer phenomenologist, Hegelian Marxist, and Londoner. She's currently based in Vienna, and researching the normative exclusion of eunuchs from early Mount Athos. She enjoys long walks and late '90s R&B.

McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International, and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. They teach at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City. Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse? is forthcoming in November from Verso.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
313

3:00pm EDT

The Quebec Experience
Quebec has seen the rise of an exceptionally robust, albeit small, Left since the beginning of this century. Led by a transversal coalition of feminist and environmentalist groups, student associations, community organizations and trade unions, this Left has repeatedly confronted capital and the State, including in a prolonged struggle back in 2012 with the student strike. This panel wishes to address a few of the issues and challenges that the Left in Quebec is currently facing.

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Emanuel Guay

Emanuel Guay

PhD in Sociology, Université du Québec à Montréal
Emanuel is a PhD candidate in sociology at Université du Québec à Montréal and a regular collaborator of the community-based action research network in Park Extension (CBAR) and the Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) based at McGill University. His research interests... Read More →


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
319

3:00pm EDT

Academic Workers: Worker-Student Solidarity
New forms of disciplining at work, and new disciplinary forms of work in the academy, are made invisible by the inability to understand academic work as a form of work.
—Amelia Horgan

One episode in the failure of the New Left to leave a political party for socialism behind
—Edward Remus

From the George Soros University to the Trade Union Road Blockade: Student-Worker Solidarity in Hungary
—Sara Swerdlyk

Moderators
Speakers
ER

Edward Remus

Social Sciences Librarian, Northeastern Illinois University


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
335

3:00pm EDT

Labor and the Fight for Single Payer Healthcare
Moderators
Speakers
JM

Jeff Mikkelson

Jeff is an activist and organizer with Campaign for NY Health, NYC DSA and the New York Progressive Action Network.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
333

3:00pm EDT

Opioids, Unions, and the Socialist Project: Interrogating Connections, Strategizing Activism
In 2017, opioid overdoses claimed 49,068 lives in the US. This epidemic now surpasses the mortality of the HIV/AIDS crisis at its peak, annual deaths by car accident, suicide, gun violence or chronic kidney disease. Death by opioid also accounts for two thirds of all US overdose deaths, which totaled 72,000 in 2017. As with previous substance use crises, such as meth in the 2000s, crack in 1980s, and heroin in the 1970s, the current scourge also has a definable if shifting demographic profile. While it is hitting whites under 45 and blacks over 45 the hardest, it has had a lesser—though growing—impact on Hispanics. Men more often succumb than women and those without college degrees suffer at higher rates than those with them. At an aggregate level, there is also a distinct pattern of former industrial states—primarily those in the Northeast and Midwest—showing higher-than-average death rates. Pain- and/or stress-inducing occupations are also tied to fatal overdoses. There is a clear correlation between union decline since the early 1980s and state-level death rates today. What implications does America’s opioid crisis have for the project of building socialism—or, for that matter, a resurgent and effective labor movement—in the twenty-first century? This panel will bring together established critical scholars from these fields to discuss connections among the opioid crisis, underlying class conditions and strategies for effective working-class organizing.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
310

3:00pm EDT

What Would Happen If Bernie Won? Strategic Opportunities and Challenges for Social Democracy Today
The idea of social democracy is regaining popularity in the capitalist core, finding mass expression in two of its most liberalized economies through the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. In the US, this electoral insurgency has been matched by an even more unexpected growth of the socialist movement. This fledgling Left is faced with enormous opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, a majority of Americans support programs like universal health care, free college, rent control and a green jobs guarantee. Moreover, a decade of movement activity indicates potential for a level of class struggle not seen in this country in decades. On the other hand, these movements and the Left are up against the same class forces and political system that for over a century have successfully resisted most reforms. With these constraints in mind, our panel moves past articulating principles of redistribution toward debating the strategy that links them to a contemporary socialist vision. What growth model and political coalition are needed to pass and sustain these reforms, and how can they be pursued in a way that deepens class struggle rather than incorporating it? We will draw on the historical repertories and theoretical innovations around these questions, clarifying what is possible and desirable under the banner of socialism in our time.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
317

3:00pm EDT

Capitalism Has Failed: Disowning the System
Capitalism no sooner had claimed its global triumph in its financialized neoliberal form than it began swiftly to unravel as a system of social reproduction. The liberal democratic political form is in crisis, even in its most stable and long-lasting centers.  The global financialized economic system came near to collapse in 2008-9, and even in its weak recovery could not restore its sine qua non, growth, while the next crisis approaches.  And as a system of social reproduction it is unravelling on the most fundamental level, as we enter an ecological planetary death spiral. If there is still a chance to avoid impending disaster, a primary essential step is to identify capitalism as irremediable barrier to survival, to disown and destroy it.


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
303

3:00pm EDT

Fighting the Criminal Justice System
Not Guilty by Association: Organizing against Joint Enterprise in Manchester, England
—Harry Stopes

- Ian Alexander, No New Jails NYC

- Nabil Hassein, No New Jails NYC, Survived and Punished, and formerly part of Shut Down Rikers


Saturday April 13, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
341

5:00pm EDT

Film (and Discussion): A Feeling Greater Than Love
This will be the US premiere of A Feeling Greater Than Love - شعور أكبر من الحب

“Saba poetically creates a charged, personal account in which Lebanon’s history is a microcosm
of the whole region’s fate. As countries that led the 2011 uprisings have fallen into civil war or
deep social and political divides, A Feeling Greater Than Love is as a document for urgent
reflection on how to avoid the errors of the past — as well as on what cinema’s role can be.”
-Rowan El Shimi, Mada Masr

Dreams of popular revolution, erased by civil war. A young girl martyred at a factory strike in
Beirut in 1972 - her identity shrouded in mystery. In her directorial debut, Mary Jirmanus Saba
deals with a forgotten revolution, saving from oblivion bloodily suppressed strikes at Lebanese
tobacco and chocolate factories. These events from the 1970s, which held the promise of a
popular revolution and, with it, of women’s emancipation were erased from collective memory by
the country’s civil wars. Rich in archival footage from Lebanon’s militant cinema tradition, the
film reconstructs the spirit of that revolt, asking of the past how we might transform the present.
FIPRESCI International Critics Prize Winner at the 2017 Berlinale Forum.

In her debut film, Mary Jirmanus Saba restores a key moment of class struggle and feminism in
Lebanese history beyond civil war, sectarianism and despair. In celebration of the new global
feminist mass movement and strike wave of the present, and reflecting upon conditions of
counter-revolution in the Middle East, we invite you to attend this screening and discussion.

Featuring Mary Jirmanus Saba in conversation with:
- Maya Mikdashi: Assistant Professor at the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at
Rutgers University, and co-editor of Jadaliyya Magazine
- Suzanne Adely: Arab-American lawyer and organizer, with the Food Chain Workers Alliance
and the International Women’s Strike, International Association of Democratic Lawyers,
International Commission for Labor Rights

Cosponsored by Lebanese American University New York Academic Center, International Women's Strike, and the NYC Democratic Socialists of America's Socialist Feminist Working Group.


Saturday April 13, 2019 5:00pm - 7:30pm EDT
Auditorium
 
Sunday, April 14
 

10:00am EDT

Registration
Registration

Speakers

Sunday April 14, 2019 10:00am - 10:30am EDT

10:30am EDT

Queer and Trans (Counter)Cultural Marxism: A Red Wedge/Leftovers Collaboration
This panel brings together Red Wedge, the only English language Marxist journal with a mission of  engaging cultural production as a whole, and the Leftovers communist discussion group. Approaching its eighth anniversary, Red Wedge Magazine makes it a point, as goes our slogan, to “rekindle the revolutionary imagination”, towards what we refer to as a Popular Avant-Garde. We reject populist and social conservative arguments within and beyond the Left that “experimental” cultural production is beyond the ken of the working classes, indeed we emphasize the role that this type of cultural production has played in revolutionary social movements since 1789.  Taken as a whole, the speakers at this panel aim to resuscitate what is deemed merely a leftover, an obscurantist folk practice, a popular song, a cultural sensibility. This is to say, to examine the means in which working class life is lived beyond the narrowly conceived point of production.  Queer and countercultural “weird” types constitute a growing fraction within the American working classes, and indeed, within the International Left.  Struggles and debates within cultural theory and praxis constitute a vital part of any socialism in our time.

"Cultural Marxism? Damned Right: Queer Panic, Anti-Semitism and the Origin of Rock Music"
—Jordy Cummings

‘What Is Transsexual Realism?’ An Embedded Inquiry Into A Nascent Counter-Counter-Culture"
—Jules Joanne Gleeson

"Dialectics of the Stars"
—Omnia Sol

"Foreshadowing the Queer & Trans Concrete Universal of Communism in Aesthetic Practice"
—Anja Weiser Flower

Moderated by Adam Turl

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Leftovers Live

Leftovers Live

Leftovers is a non-sectarian Marxist online discussion group, focusing on unitary theories of capitalist domination, Queer Communism, and other materialist analyses of gender and race. We've provided a forum for wide-ranging discussions of queer materialism, transmarxism, vying approaches... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
310

10:30am EDT

Experiments for a Green Strategy
To Freeze the Thames: Natural Geo-Engineering and Biodiversity
—Troy Vettese

What Can Origins of Metabolism Teach Us about Capitalism?
—Miran Božičević

Artworker Animal: The Rise of Animal Art and the Decommodification of Labor
—Leigh C. LaBerge



Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
320

10:30am EDT

Imperialism and Interventionism
Anti-Communism and ‘Taliban Governance’ in Pakistan Afghanistan
—Bilal Zenab Ahmed
 
 

Are there differences in colonial wars of antiquity and contemporary military interventions?
—Tanzil Chowdhury
From the suppression of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, to the Kandyan Wars in what is now Sri Lanka, or the Xhosa wars of the 18th and 19th century, miltiary interventions during the British Empire were typically either of conquest or to quell opposition to imperial power (Wagner 2006). However, the creation of the UN ushered in the 'Westphalian break' (Berman 1999); the alleged triumph of sovereign eequality and the end of formal colonisation and warring European empires. As such, military interventions by the British state for example, have since been justified through legitimating discourses of either the UN Charter based justifications, humanitarian interventions (now the R2P doctrine) or 'democratization' (Walter 2017). What binds both colonia-era  and so called post-colonial military deployments in the context of the UK, is its War Powers Prerorgative (WPP). This paper attempts to examine whether the centrality of the WPP illustrates a structural continuty, or whether either its reform or the changing legitimating discourses demonstrate discontinuity between both types of deployments. The paper will also briefly draw upon how the legitimating discourses have been configured and popularised by US military interventions. Though there maybe ruptures in the legitimating discourses of both colonial and post-colonial military deployments, it is argued, through contemporary approaches to imperialism (Luxemburg 1968; Harvey 2003; Klein 2007), that there are continuities in how war powers advance new forms of imperial power.


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
319

10:30am EDT

The Question That Never Goes Away: Imperialism, Revolution, and the Agrarian Question in East Asia
How China's Communist Party approached taxation, particularly grain extraction, from the late 1930s-early 1940s
—Tiffany Yang

The role of cinema in colonialism-induced ecological change during Japanese rule in Taiwan, 1889-1905
—Harlan Chambers

The Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong, and the challenge of collective labour through the figure of the "small producer"
—Benjamin Kindler




Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
328

10:30am EDT

Critical Perspectives on Law from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
Law and capitalism are co-constitutive. Commodities, property, and the wage relation are all legally constructed. The relations and conditions of production are also elaborated through law, as Marx described in Chapter 10 of Capital. The critique of capitalism and the articulation of socialism are both improved by recognizing that law is a social relation.

Twenty-first century Marxism evinces a renewed interest in the mutuality between law and political economy, such as the constitutionalization of austerity budgeting in EU countries and the embedding of neoliberal rationality in international law; the production and management of surplus populations through the criminalization of poverty; the constitution of subjectivity and reproduction of hierarchy through the legal construction of race, gender, and sexuality; and more.

"Lenin and the Materialist Critique of Law"
—Camila Vergara

"Criminal Courts as Sites of Struggle: Notes Toward a Foucauldian Investigation of Contested Criminalization"
—Sam Menefee-Libey

"Critical Legal Encounters with Marx"
—Rob Hunter

Moderated by David Kaib

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Rob Hunter

Rob Hunter

Member of the editorial collective at Legal Form. Interested in Marxian critiques of law and state; Neue Marx-Lektüre and related currents, especially as they relate to state theory; constitutional theory; and critical legal theory... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
341

10:30am EDT

Women’s Oppression and Care Work
The relation between political and economic crises and mass female labour migration through history
—Marta Baradic

On the international women's movement in Germany
—Edna Bonhomme

Providing a Marxist-feminist theoretical framework for the understanding of dating practices
—Anamarija Šiša

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Edna Bonhomme

Edna Bonhomme

Historian of science, Feminist Marxist, Union member with Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft , and Writer.


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
335

10:30am EDT

Critical Perspectives on the Venezuelan Crisis
As the political, economic, and humanitarian crises in Venezuela continue to unfold amid a protracted power struggle between the Maduro regime and the Juan Guaidó-led opposition, how do we contextualize the current moment and what possibly lies ahead?


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
305

10:30am EDT

Forging New Radical Traditions in Europe
- Kate Seidel
Waiting for the Post-post-Soviet: Old and New Challenges to Building a Left in Russia Today
The title of this conference reflects a newfound optimism on the US left: socialism is back on the political horizon after almost three decades of capitalist triumphalism following the end of the Cold War and the opening of former Soviet countries to international capital. However, our optimism is yet to arrive in that other set of countries riding out the “end of history.”
This talk identifies legacies of Stalinism, late-Soviet paternalism, and post-Soviet marketization that have made it hard for leftists there to organize the movements that could articulate a socialist vision—for example, weak workers’ organizations and social movements, extreme inequality, and imperialist maneuvers that help Russia displace its contradictions onto neighbors like Georgia and Ukraine.
The privatization of Soviet state-owned resources was a one-way street, i. e. the economic results of the primitive accumulation of the 1990s are protected by Putin’s government and will not be beneficently reversed from above. And despite its nationalist posturing, this oligarchic fossil fuel empire can’t keep its citizens safe from itself forever. Which means that the only way out is forward, by building a new tradition that doesn’t cut corners when it comes to solidarity between oppressed groups, opposes Russian nationalism and imperialism, and is able to overcome the false dichotomy between the enlightened and affluent few and the poor and passive masses.

- Daniel Finn
Ireland’s Radical Tradition? The IRA and Left Politics in Modern Ireland
The two Irish states enjoy a reputation for conservative hegemony without parallel in Western Europe. In the Republic of Ireland, no left-wing party has ever come first in an election or led a government, while in Northern Ireland, class politics and identity have been overshadowed by a long-running ethno-national conflict. Social democracy has been a weaker force than in any neighboring country, and the tiny Irish communist movement always remained completely marginal.
However, successive attempts have been made to blend the politics of radical republicanism, represented by the IRA and its political wing, Sinn Féin, with the militant left. The most successful projects to the left of social democracy in Ireland have all derived from this hoped-for synthesis. These left-republican projects have had to confront questions at the heart of Marxist political theory—especially in the global South—concerning the relationship between class and nation, socialism and national independence, armed struggle and electoral politics. This talk will critically evaluate the left-republican heritage, with a particular focus on its most recent iteration, Sinn Féin under the leadership of Gerry Adams.

- Kathleen Brown
After Aufstehen: Prospects for the German Left
In recent years the German post-war political consensus has come under immense strain, destabilized by decades of neoliberal reforms and growing political polarization. The historic governing parties of the CDU and SPD have seen their vote shares collapse, while the far-right Alternative for Germany became the third-largest party in the Bundestag in 2017. In the streets, this polarization has taken the form of increased right-wing violence and neo-Nazi confidence on one side, to growing left-wing struggles such as refugee solidarity, climate justice, women's strikes, and fair housing on the other. Yet even as this polarization continues, the Left Party (DIE LINKE) has not experienced significant electoral growth.
This talk will examine this contradiction and consider different trajectories for DIE LINKE. Primarily, it will examine DIE LINKE co-chair Sarah Wagenknecht's response to AfD's electoral success. This includes her position against open borders alongside her decision to launch the cross-party initiative Aufstehen ("Get Up") against DIE LINKE members' wishes. Far from galvanizing popular anger, Aufstehen was a flop, leading to intense party infighting and weakening DIE LINKE. This paper looks at the challenges and opportunities facing the German left and how "utopian" demands, like that of open borders, shape our longer-term political project.

Speakers
DF

Daniel Finn

New Left Review
avatar for Kathleen Brown

Kathleen Brown

Kathleen Brown is a socialist living in Berlin, Germany. Her academic research centers on recovering women writers and writers of color in the Spanish Civil War. She is involved in the International Women's Strike and is interested in the connection between femonationalism, pronatalism... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
333

10:30am EDT

Rank-and-File University Workers Take the Lead
A brief history of the group, description of current organizing, assessment of strategy and tactics, reflections on a path forward.


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
314

10:30am EDT

Is There a Democratic Road to Socialism? A Debate
The recent growth of the socialist movement in the U.S. has revived interest in a key strategic debate: Is there a democratic road to socialism, or is an insurrectionary model the only realistic path to anti-capitalist rupture?

Far from being an abstract theoretical discussion over the distant future, how radicals answer this question shapes their practices today regarding electoral work, mass action, and party-building. In a debate format, Eric Blanc and Charlie Post will, respectively, make the case for and against a democratic road to socialism.

Moderated by Natalia Tylim

Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Eric Blanc

Eric Blanc

Author of the book Red State Revolt: The Teachers’ Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics (Verso 2019), Eric Blanc is a journalist and a former high school teacher. He has appeared on Democracy Now and has written for The Nation and The Guardian. During the Los Angeles, Wes... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
313

10:30am EDT

The People’s Republic of Walmart: How the World’s Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism
Since the demise of the USSR, the mantle of the largest planned economies in the world has been taken up by the likes of Walmart, Amazon and other multinational corporations
For the left and the right, major multinational companies are held up as the ultimate expressions of free-market capitalism. Their remarkable success appears to vindicate the old idea that modern society is too complex to be subjected to a plan. And yet, as Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski argue, much of the economy of the West is centrally planned at present. Not only is planning on vast scales possible, we already have it and it works. The real question is whether planning can be democratic. Can it be transformed to work for us?

An engaging, polemical romp through economic theory, computational complexity, and the history of planning, The People’s Republic of Walmart revives the conversation about how society can extend democratic decision-making to all economic matters. With the advances in information technology in recent decades and the emergence of globe-straddling collective enterprises, democratic planning in the interest of all humanity is more important and closer to attainment than ever before.

Find the book online.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Jacobin

Jacobin

Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches over 30,000 subscribers, in addition to a web audience of 1,000,000 a month.


Sunday April 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm EDT
317

1:00pm EDT

Energy for the People: The Green New Deal and the Technical/Political Potentials of Grid Transformation
The US electric grid is often described as “the largest machine in the world.” Under a Green New Deal, how could this machine be brought under public ownership and social control - and rapidly re-engineered to eliminate carbon emissions? These multiple and overlapping transformations – critical if the climate justice movement is to accomplish its central goals – present unique and complex challenges.

This panel will examine the recent history of US energy systems, from Clinton-era deregulation to the fossil extraction boom under Obama and Trump. It will examine the massive investment gap in renewable energy under the current, market-based framework for drawing down emissions. And it will unearth the histories of racism, colonialism, and oppression that are baked into our current energy systems.

Major questions remain about what a transformative approach to energy should be: what can a democratic, racially just, and ecologically sound energy system look like? What sort of grid architecture will allow the full integration of solar and wind energy? Where can popular campaigns target vulnerable nodes of capitalist ownership and control? How can labor articulate policies that will create large numbers of secure union jobs for workers to carry out this transformation?

We will draw on recent campaigns around energy democracy, Just Transition, and GND, to stimulate productive discussion: how can energy systems be transformed by popular struggles in the era of climate change?


Moderators
JB

Jamie Bemis

Science for the People
avatar for Zach Zill

Zach Zill

Science for the People

Speakers
AD

Ashley Dawson

CUNY, author of "Extreme Cities" (Verso Books)
IS

Irene Shen

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy
JK

Josh Karpoff

Electrical engineer, Science for the People
LS

Lia Soorenian

Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialists, Science for the People

Sponsors

Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
313

1:00pm EDT

China and the US: Inter-Imperial Rivalry and Solidarity from Below
The intensifying rivalry between the US and China fills the daily news. The US remains the world’s predominant political and economic power, but it now views China’s growing economic influence as a potential geopolitical challenger, leading it adopt Barak Obama’s Pivot to Asia and Donald Trump’s trade war and threats of a new Cold War. This panel will discuss the nature and roots of the rivalry and the importance of building international solidarity between the workers movements of both countries.

Moderators
avatar for Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is a socialist writer and activist in Burlington, Vermont. He has written in numerous publications including Truthout, The International Socialist Review, Socialist Worker, ZNet, Jacobin, New Politics and many other online and print publications. He is currently working... Read More →

Speakers

Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
334

1:00pm EDT

Crises and Hegemonic Transitions: From Gramsci's Quaderni to the Contemporary World Economy
Crises and Hegemonic Transitions reworks the concept of hegemony at the international level and analyses its relation to world market crises. Returning to the critical edition of Gramsci’s Quaderni and maintaining that the author’s work is permeated by Marx’s Capital and the law of value, Fusaro argues that imperialist states strive to constructing hegemonic relations in order to secure capital accumulation using domination and leadership, coercion and consensus, and that economic crises have only the potential to provoke crises of hegemony. Tracing the vicissitudes of US hegemony from the interwar period to the present and assessing the Great Depression’s and the Great Recession’s impact, Fusaro provides a novel way to interpret past and present developments within the world economy.

Find the book online.

Speakers

Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
328

1:00pm EDT

How America Became Capitalist: Imperial Expansion and the Conquest of the West
Has America always been capitalist? Today, the US sees itself as the heartland of the international capitalist system, its society and politics intertwined deeply with its economic system. James Parisot's new book, How America Became Capitalist: Imperial Expansion and the Conquest of the West, out from Pluto Press, looks at the history of North America from the founding of the colonies to debunk the myth that America is 'naturally' capitalist.

From the first white-settler colonies, capitalist economic elements were apparent, but far from dominant, and did not drive the early colonial advance into the West. Society, too, was far from homogeneous - as the role of the state fluctuated. Racial identities took time to imprint, and slavery, whilst at the heart of American imperialism, took both capitalist and less-capitalist forms. Additionally, gender categories and relations were highly complex, as standards of ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ shifted over time to accommodate capitalism, and as there were always some people challenging this binary.

By looking at this fascinating and complex picture, the book and this panel weave a groundbreaking historical materialist perspective on the history of American expansion. Join us for the discussion and book launch.




Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
303

1:00pm EDT

Political and Social Crisis in Germany and Beyond: A Discussion of Oliver Nachtwey's "Germany's Hidden Crisis"
What are the origins and causes of the current political crisis and the rise of right-wing populism in Germany and around the globe? How has neoliberal policy fueled this breakdown? Oliver Nachtwey and Ajay Singh Chaudhary discuss the collapse of the post-war social order in Germany and beyond.

Upward social mobility represented a core promise of life under the “old” West German welfare state, in which millions of skilled workers upgraded their Volkswagens to Audis, bought their first homes, and sent their children to university. Not so in today’s Federal Republic, where the gears of the so-called “elevator society” have long since ground to a halt. In the absence of the social mobility of yesterday, widespread social exhaustion and anxiety have emerged across mainstream society. Oliver Nachtwey analyses the reasons for this social rupture in postwar German society and investigates the conflict potential emerging as a result. He concludes that although the country has managed to muddle through thus far, simmering tensions beneath the surface nevertheless threaten to undermine the German system’s stability in the years to come.

Oliver Nachtwey is Associate Professor of Social Structure Analysis at the University of Basel, and a fellow at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. His research interests include labour and industrial sociology, political sociology, the comparative study of capitalism, and social movements.

Ajay Singh Chaudhary is the executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and a core faculty member specializing in social and political theory. He has written for the The Guardian, n+1, Los Angeles Review of Books, Quartz, Social Text, Dialectical Anthropology, The Hedgehog Review, Filmmaker Magazine, and 3quarksdaily.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors

Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
305

1:00pm EDT

1:00pm EDT

Workers’ Inquiries and Organizing in the US Today
Participants will present ongoing (as well as reflections on) inquiries in the US. It draws together a set of speakers examining different points of class composition to argue about how work and struggle is changing in the US today. This panel forms part of a broader collection of papers on workers’ inquiry and class composition.


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
320

1:00pm EDT

Institutions and Left Strategy
In the past 50 years, the right has outgamed the left, engineering a broad-scale takeover of media and public institutions. To rebuild left power, we need institutions that represent our interests, but what should our institutions look like? This panel considers the challenge of building institutional power for the left, proposing new tactics, strategies, and forms of organization.

Bad News: Liberal Journalism from Walter Lippmann to MSNBC and the Need for Class-Struggle
—Michael Hirsch

The think tank as a strategy for building power in contemporary struggles against capitalism and colonization
—Shannon Walsh

Institutional Splitting: On the Risks and Possibilities of Organizing Inside and Against Existing Institutional Structures
—Steve Lyons



Moderators
Speakers
SL

Steve Lyons

Not An Alternative / University of Pittsburgh
avatar for Michael Hirsch

Michael Hirsch

editorial board, New Politiics
long time labor activist, former steelworker, sociologist, labor staffer. NYC-based labor and politics writer


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
327

1:00pm EDT

The Socialist Case for Open Borders
The abolition of borders is a basic socialist principle, but the Left has shied from claiming it as a modern policy for strategic reasons — the fear that large increases in migration flow will provoke a nativist backlash. While it might have worked in previous eras to support immigrant rights while also agreeing to strict limits on immigrant flows, the political economy of contemporary capitalism makes this combination impossible today. On the other hand, a call for open borders based on appeals to morality and liberal values will not attract workers motivated by economic concerns. This essay shows the possibility of a strategy calling for open borders and immigrant rights based on workers’ material interests, not just moral pleas.


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
314

1:00pm EDT

The Struggle to Abolish Private Health Insurance, and to Establish Medicare for All
The demand for Medicare for All has captured the political limelight. Since 2016 no other transformative demand has garnered nearly the same amount of attention and enthusiasm from American workers, nor the same amount of scrutiny and criticism from the business press, establishment politicos and the ire of the business community.

Today, legislation introduced in both the Senate and House are set to socialize health insurance under a single public provider. Despite the momentum and excitement surrounding single-payer the road ahead is fraught with challenges. How can the Medicare for All movement defeat such an entrenched opposition in the State and civil-society? What is the role of the labor movement in pushing forward this demand? What will the establishment of Medicare for All mean for the future of working class politics?


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
317

1:00pm EDT

America’s Opioid Epidemic: Profiting From Pain
In the United States, 145 people die every day from opioid overdose. Drug overdose is the #1 cause of preventable death among people younger than 55 and average life expectancy has fallen for the last three years due to diseases of despair--alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide--in the longest sustained decline since World War I. In 2017, drug overdoses hit an all-time high, killing 72,237 Americans.

Under capitalism, every crisis is seen as an opportunity for profit. In 2015 alone, U.S. physicians wrote 300 million pain prescriptions worth $24 billion dollars: enough to keep every American medicated around the clock for three weeks. To fully understand this crisis, we must acknowledge its causes as multifold and rooted not only in the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, but also in the neoliberal restructuring of society which promotes wealth inequalities, deindustrialization, the continuing War on Drugs, and the dominance of a profit-based healthcare system.


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
335

1:00pm EDT

Revisiting Marxist Economics
Unequal Turnover Times: Another Cause of Deviations of Prices of Production from Values
—Fred Mosely

Using the sphere of reproduction to rethink Marx's category of surplus-value
—Jared Sacks

Returning to Suzanne de Brunhoff’s Marxist monetary theory, to conceptualize the relationship between production and social reproduction
—Rebecca Carson


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
333

1:00pm EDT

Socialism and the International Fight for Reparations
Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Edna Bonhomme

Edna Bonhomme

Historian of science, Feminist Marxist, Union member with Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft , and Writer.


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
310

1:00pm EDT

Imperialism and the Nation-State
Having No Country and Constituting the Nation: Towards the Coherence of Popular Politics
—Michael Bray

Imperialism Today: Super-Exploitation and Marxist Theory
—Walter Daum

Critique of the strand of the Left that argue in favor of strengthening state sovereignty, in the face of ‘neoliberalism’ and/or globalization
—Chris Gilligan



Speakers
avatar for Chris Gilligan

Chris Gilligan

Chris Gilligan is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). He is the author of Northern Ireland and the Crisis of Anti-racism (Manchester University Press, 2017) and editor of a number of collections, including: The Public and the Politics... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
341

3:00pm EDT

Aesthetics of Resistance/Defense
Leftists have long lamented the depoliticization of art in our so-called “post-critical” era. However, Trump’s election has renewed attention to the complicity of the arts with the legitimating discourses and infrastructures of neoliberal class rule, sparking protests at museums and galleries. How have artists responded to this repoliticized context within their work? This panel assembles three artists whose material practices seek to resist the infrastructures of neoliberal hegemony in crisis while defending spaces of aesthetic autonomy against instrumental reason.


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
320

3:00pm EDT

Abundant Futures for Whom: Possibilities for (and Despite) a Scarred Earth
The implications of Green New Deal politics for left organizing:

Socialist feminist perspectives bring important insights to our understanding of what abundance means and what kinds of work, done by who, it requires
—Alyssa Battistoni

How "energy abolition" offers a way to reframe energy politics along with the contours of necessary, viable and desirable forms of livable worlds and abundant futures.
—Jesse Goldstein

The broad, bi-partisan political opposition to meaningful climate solutions and what this means for left organizing and socialist strategy today
—Kate Aronoff

Two different kinds of democracy—democratic ambivalence about energy intensity, and radical democratic control of design—should guide the left's efforts to reconstruct the US built environment
—Daniel Aldana Cohen


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
303

3:00pm EDT

New Ways of Thinking: Knowledge and the Fight for Socialism
Rethinking Economic Planning
—Campbell Jones

A radical new approach to the socialist study group
—Willie Johnson

Marxist Responses to Christianity Today
—AK Thompson

Speakers

Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
327

3:00pm EDT

What's at Stake in the Fight for Abortion Access
Join four activists for a panel discussion on the current grassroots fight for reproductive healthcare and how the strategies are changing based on the political landscape.

Abortion access is critical to bodily autonomy and women's liberation, and that access has been chipped away at since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973. Since 2010 alone, over 400 new restrictions on abortions have been passed across the country, and 87% of US counties lack abortion providers. Lawmakers in 14 states have introduced legislation this year prohibiting abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, a sizable increase from the eight states that proposed similar measures at this point last year.

One tactic for protecting abortion rights is to build an unapologetic, militant pro-abortion movement by defending our clinics from anti-abortion protestors. Outpatient clinics account for 95% of all abortions provided in the United States each year. Their physical isolation makes clinics an easy target for anti-abortion extremism. Anti-abortion violence and harassment outside of clinics have not only become routine; they are escalating in severity: 34% of clinics reported severe violence in 2016, up from 20% in 2014. As right-wing attacks on clinics are on the rise again, we aim to reclaim the space in front of clinics, end the shame and stigma around abortion, and build a grassroots movement for abortion access.

Another tactic is to fight to expand access to at-home medication abortions and push for opportunities for feminist leverage created by our lowest birth rate on record, the result of women's spontaneous "birth strike" in response to the difficult conditions for having children.

A tangential fight is taking place to make medication abortion available in student health centers. Phoebe Abramowitz discusses the campaign that started at UC Berkeley which led to legislation in CA that could expand to law and a national movement.

About the speakers:

Jenny Brown of National Women's Liberation is the author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work (PM Press) and Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now (Verso) forthcoming November 2019. She was a leader in the grassroots campaign to win morning-after pill contraception over-the-counter in the United States, and a plaintiff in the winning lawsuit.

Kate Castle is a member of NYC For Abortion Rights and Senior Research Assistant at the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization started in 1968 that works to study, educate, and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Lillian Cicerchia is a member of NYC For Abortion Rights.

Phoebe Abramowitz is an organizer at UC Berkeley.


Moderators
Speakers
avatar for Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown

Organizer, National Women's Liberation
Jenny Brown is an organizer with National Women's Liberation and author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women's Work just out in March from PM Press. She is co-author of this article and this article for Jacobin. She co-authored the Redstockings book, Women's Liberation and National Healthcare: Confronting the Myth of America, and is a former editor at Labor Notes... Read More →

Sponsors

Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
335

3:00pm EDT

Case Studies in the Origins of Capitalism
As Marxist economist Anwar Shaikh puts it, ‘capitalism's sheath mutates constantly, but its core remains the same’. To understand the distinct core logic of capitalism is crucial to grasp the political terrain on which socialists are struggling today. One of the most powerful ways to identify the specific ‘laws of motion’ of the capitalist mode of production is through a comparative study of its historical emergence in different settings. Such a comparative analysis is precisely the aim of the book Case Studies in Capitalism which will be launched at this panel. This book uses a ‘political Marxist’ (or Capital-centric) theoretical framework and mobilizes the work of a dozen authors to explore transitions to capitalism in nine countries on four different continents. From its very beginning capitalism has involved specific modes of class exploitation that are internally related to distinct forms of racial and gendered oppression. This panel will use the historical insights presented in different contributions of the book so as to inform contemporary political and strategic issues that anti-capitalist, anti-racist and feminist activists are facing today in North America and elsewhere. Emphasis will be put on the role of the state in the emergence of capitalism and the character of the contemporary capitalist state, as well as on the co-constitution of capitalism and racial and gendered oppression.


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
314

3:00pm EDT

CUPE 3903 on Strike: Reflections from the Longest Post-Secondary Strike in Canadian History
On March 5th, 2018, thousands of teaching assistants, contract faculty, and graduate assistants walked off the job and started what would become the longest post-secondary strike in Canadian history. For 143 days, members of CUPE 3903 faced down the York University administration, only to be unjustly legislated back to work by a newly elected right-wing provincial government. This panel will explore the neoliberal context within which the strike took place, models of organizing that proved in/effective, and lessons for future strikes and the labour movement more generally.

Speakers
SK

Sharmeen Khan

York University
NG

Niloofar Golkar

York University
SM

Susannah Mulvale

York University
DP

Darren Patrick

York University


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
319

3:00pm EDT

The Menace of the Workers: Self-Organization and Recomposition in the US, Mexico, and South Africa Today
Class struggle is slowly back on the agenda around the world. In the US, wildcat teachers strikes, worker resistance to the government shutdown, strike threats, and everyday forms of resistance are widely reported but little explored. With unions in a tailspin and social movements harnessed to advocacy and electoral politics, class struggle is coming back into focus. These speakers will use workers’ inquiries in the US and S. Africa to explore how workers are deploying their strategic leverage and its outcomes.


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
328

3:00pm EDT

The Role of Socialists in Building the Labor Movement and the Labor Movement in Building Socialism
This panel discussion will focus on current and prospective organizing efforts in several key NYC industries: education, healthcare, and telecommunications. Panelists will include rank-and-file socialist activists who will discuss why their union's struggles are important important for building class struggle and the role that class struggle plays in turning more rank-and-file activists to socialism.

Featuring:
  •  Zyad Hammad, CWA
  • Sarah Dowd, NYSNA
  • Jia Lee, UFT/MORE Caucus

Moderated by Chris Brooks


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
310

3:00pm EDT

Leninism, Social Democracy, and the State
"Socialists and elections: what way forward for the US left?" - Juan Ferre

"Toward a constructive antagonism: trade unions, social movements, political parties, and transforming the state" - Stephen Maher and Jordan House

"100 Years After the German Revolution: Luxemburg, Kautsky and Lenin" - Wladek Flakin

Speakers
avatar for Nathaniel Flakin

Nathaniel Flakin

Wladek is a freelance journalist and historian from Berlin. He is on the editorial board of Left Voice (U.S.) and Klasse Gegen Klasse (Germany). Wladek has written a biography of Martin Monath, a Trotskyist resistance fighter in France during World War II, which appeared last year... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
341

3:00pm EDT

The Revolutionary Left and Broad Parties
The revolutionary left has participated in broad parties in many parts of the world in an attempt to build an alternative to capitalist and social democratic parties that have adopted neoliberalism. This panel will look at examples of such efforts in Quebec, Greece and Brazil but also refer to other efforts throughout the world. It will assess the experiences and draw lessons for present and future projects.


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
333

3:00pm EDT

Why the Socialist Movement Needs Our Own Party
"How can democratic socialists and revolutionary socialists work together to achieve our common aims?" - Todd Chretien

"How should socialists use Bernie's campaign to grow?" - Meagan Day

"The Socialist Manifesto" - Bhaskar Sunkara

"Elections and social struggles" - Kshama Sawant


Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Jacobin

Jacobin

Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches over 30,000 subscribers, in addition to a web audience of 1,000,000 a month.


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
317

3:00pm EDT

Queering Social Reproduction
Queering Social Reproduction
Social feminism has been revitalised in recent years by a revived interest in ‘social reproduction’, which an increasing number of Marxist theorists have used both to explain changes continuing to take place in our era of capitalism, and strategise effective responses led by worker action. A sizable and flourishing body of research is addressing how workplaces are integrated with households, and how reproductive labour generates both workforces suitable for capitalist exploitation, and potential sites of resistance to Capital. Led by Marxist Feminists, this theoretical trend has reapplied Marxist frameworks to gain an explanatory grasp of societies as they exist across time. More recently a trend of 'Queer Social Reproduction Theory' has been posited (Griffiths 2018), as scholars have sought to demonstrate 'the failure of “family” values to solve the intensification of racial capitalism and the resulting radicalization of the demands emerging from these sectors of society as potentially universal transitional demands.' Queer Social Reproduction wants not only to include queer experiences of life-making, but also direct us towards recognising (and provoking) the revolutionary potential of breaking points in heterosexuality’s continuous self-fabrication. Through centering the difficulties which capitalism experiences ensuring a normatively ordered, docile workforce exists across time, QSRT hopes to illuminate potential points of solidarity for all anti-capitalists.
This panel will take up the challenge of consciously articulating Queer SRT: we will explore both what historical examples from queer history can provide for contemporary SRT, and consider what insights a Queer Social Reproduction Theory provides to political strategising today.


Leftovers is a non-sectarian Marxist online discussion group, focusing on unitary theories of capitalist domination, Queer Communism, and other materialist analyses of gender and race. We've provided a forum for wide-ranging discussions of queer materialism, transmarxism, vying approaches to Marxist historiography, Social Reproduction Theories, and other debates of relevance to contemporary anti-capitalists. ‘Socialism In Our Time’ will be our second appearance at an HM Conference (after our debut at London 2018), and we've sought to involve people who might otherwise not attend the event.

Moderators
Speakers
Sponsors
avatar for Leftovers Live

Leftovers Live

Leftovers is a non-sectarian Marxist online discussion group, focusing on unitary theories of capitalist domination, Queer Communism, and other materialist analyses of gender and race. We've provided a forum for wide-ranging discussions of queer materialism, transmarxism, vying approaches... Read More →


Sunday April 14, 2019 3:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
313