International

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

There has arguably been a consistent left position on American foreign policy since the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when the current international legal and political order crystalized in a particular way. What Michael Walzer has described as the left's "default position," includes the following: a "commitment to neutrality in all international and civil wars," and a consistently critical position of U.S. foreign relations. The decidedly post-imperial positioning of the left is, arguably, an isolationist positioning that leaves open the question of what international solidarity can look like. However, recent events with the Arab Spring and the brutal slaughter in Syria have sparked some debate and a call to self-reflection about what internationalism for the Left can look like in the present global order. We are being asked to reconsider what has been dogma for the left regarding international law and global politics. Our increasingly interconnected world and the political and economic reconfiguration of states have placed the left's default positions in crisis. Specifically, there has been a split of the international left on the question of Syria and the interpretation of U.S. and Russian intervention. Left critique of liberalism has contributed to destabilizing its hegemonic power. However, it seems that liberalism is being replaced with illiberalism. The main problem is how the left should respond in this moment of rising illiberalism globally and the reconfiguration of geo-political spaces and ideologies. This panel proposes a discussion of the questions that are becoming increasingly urgent for the left to reflect upon, especially from inside American power.

Some of the questions the panelists will address include what "we" think an American foreign policy should look like. What space there is for dissent and disagreement in the left on its relationship to other peoples especially during times of conflict. And whether or not the left should reconsider humanitarian intervention?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Something remarkable is happening in the UK, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is, with the support of an energized grassroots base, articulating an economic platform that breaks with neoliberal orthodoxy to outline what an economy that works for the many, not the few, could look like. This new economics is grounded in "alternative models of ownership"—an innovative agenda that builds upwards from community wealth building frameworks for cooperative and municipally owned development at the city level to democratized large scale public ownership at the regional and national level.

This panel will discuss the origins of this platform (including the connections between Cleveland and Preston), the ongoing and accelerating efforts to implement it at the local level while Labour remains out of government (like Corbyn's new "community wealth building unit"), and what lessons the US Left can learn about how a popular economic agenda can be built to challenge the ownership patterns of corporate capitalism at all scales.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In Burma/Myanmar, the mass displacement of the Rohingya minority in late 2017 along with the atrocities, mass graves, and mass rapes followed a protracted period of marginalization of this Muslim minority.

In the face of government intransigence and denial, diplomatic logjams and double standards regarding international human rights norms, how can activists build alliances that challenge the rise of authoritarianism both in Southeast Asia, and in the USA?

How can such movements scale up a response to the rise of Islamophobia around the globe?

The promotion of Islamophobia in Myanmar, using facebook as an effective tool for propaganda and mobilization, has served the Burmese military's preferred "Divide and Conquer" approach to ethnic diversity in Myanmar.

China and other international investors are now constructing massive oil and gas pipelines through the smoking ruins of the Rohingya homeland. Therefore the destabilizing effects of globalization, with its drive to exploit raw materials and new markets, mirror the destructive effects of the British Empire that imposed borders on Burma that have divided communities and help create communities and classes in conflict.

The Rohingya crisis affects the entire Southeast Asian region. To scale up both crisis response and our collective ability to promote long term solutions to statelessness and disenfranchisement, roundtable facilitators will engage attendees in strategic planning, including conversation of tools and technologies, stakeholders and models of mobilization. For the over one million displaced Rohingya, how will it be possible to empower the impacted community, and to build support within the Burmese diaspora itself?

Participants will include Rohingya, Bangladeshis, Muslims and Buddhists.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel will discuss a key element of Marxist-Humanist Initiative’s 2018 Perspectives––the position that “fighting white nationalism in the tradition of Marx entails the perspective of solidarizing with the so-called ‘white working class’ by decisively defeating Trumpism and other far-right forces. Their defeat will help liberate the ‘white working class’ from the grip of reaction and thereby spur the independent emancipatory self-development of working people as a whole.”

Panelists will address Marx’s perspective of furthering the “independent movement of the workers,” his writings and activity in support of Irish independence and the defeat of the southern US slave states, and their relation to today’s struggles. They will also address the 2018 Perspectives’ view that Trump’s election was not due to an uprising of the “white working class” against “economic distress” brought about by neoliberalism, but an expression of a long-standing white-nationalist strain of US politics.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Fifty years later, are we approaching a new May 68? In France, massive if dispersed movements are challenging President Macron's neoliberal reforms. Railway workers are striking to challenge givebacks. Students are blocking universities to protest increased tuition fees and inadequate facilities. And this is just the beginning. Workers are mobilizing to resist the erosion of labor protections in the labor reform law that was initiated by executive decree to avoid parliamentary debate. Hospital workers, teachers, and other groups are demonstrating to defend public sectors jobs and services.
In the United States, the Trump administration is similarly seeking to enact policies that favor the wealthy and big business, while students, youth, teachers, people of color, human rights activists, women, and workers are fighting back.
The panel will explore similarities and differences in government policies and resistance movements in the two countries, as well as analyze the implications and possible future outcomes for political forces, particularly the Left.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This workshop will start with the history and origins of the US Empire from the second world war, until present. It will study all aspects of the world capitalist empire: economics, military, etc. and the ways to resist it.

Also it will discuss the features and characteristics of the contemporary state of the empire by examining the world system of capitalism that imposes its hegemony by waging overt and covert wars in the five continents. Review the history and function and damages that the US Imperialism has caused around the world.

Alternative models to counter capitalism will be discussed: Socialism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarchism, etc.
The study will also predict the future of the empire and its decline.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Abstract:
“For about 200 years something called socialism has been the positive culmination of anti-capitalism.
When people are driven to fight exploitation, when people rebel against racist and religious
oppression, when a global corporate economy drives their wages down and takes away their jobs,
they learn that socialism is the alternative.”

Charles Andrews, ‘Author of The Hollow Colossus’ in ‘There Is No Socialism Without a Communist Party’1
2016 saw the nationwide revival of the word Socialism in Bernie sanders’ campaign for presidency. Sanders qualified it; calling it “Democratic Socialism”, by which he meant that democratic control on capitalism will allow workers to live a life somewhat like a human being with enough income, educational opportunities for their children, affordable medical care and social security. Although he was used and then discarded by the Democratic Party, many of his supporters take socialism more seriously than ever before.

The working class in the US has started to rise up after the neoliberal turn enforced by capital manifest in Thatcher-Reagan era and continued by Bush, Clinton and Obama in their own ways. The mass following of Sanders on the left and Trump on the populist right in the follow up of Occupy movement testifies to the fact that the working class is in the mood of claiming it’s place in the political space so constrained by electoral politics. The recent upsurge of activism around Black Lives Matter and #MeToo points toward a desire to overthrow the yoke of oppression associated with racism and patriarchy in the society. In this talk, panelists would argue that the potential of this great working class can only be fulfilled if we build our social and political movements with revolutionary outlook of the socialist revolutions of 20th century, not by rejecting them. The panelists will highlight the achievements of 20th century revolutions and make a case for the need of socialist revolution in the US so that the working class can solve the problems created by capitalism and lead the world’s working and oppressed peoples towards ecologically sustainable life with social justice for all.
The panelists will also argue that socialism is not a reform of a capitalism but its replacement. Socialism today must be the answer to contemporary forms of capitalist exploitations while it draws on the success, not only on the reversal of the socialist projects in the U.S.S.R. and China.

Panelists:
1. Raj Sahai is an engineer and a socialist, who started his activism during the Anti-Vietnam War struggles in Chicago, IL in 1968- continuing in Berkeley, CA from 1971 onwards. He has published article in India and US, has been member of the Institute for Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland California. He has assisted in translation of the book ‘Khrushchev Lied’ by Grover Furr. His recently published article titled ‘Stalin’s Ghost Haunts Capitalism’ can be viewed thru the following Link: http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/02/stalins-ghost-haunts-capitalism.html

2. Amit Singh is an adjunct faculty and research associate at Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech. He has been involved with labor movements in India. He has also worked with several socialist and anarchist organizations in Minneapolis. Among his several published articles is one below:
“The ownership of Sarovar: A saga of benefitting from sexism, workers’ exploitation, fascism
and economic crises”, published by IIT Kanpur Citizens Forum (2017)
Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14Q7sTYAEd9xFY23-hhqIWSDz0IM-3uX1/view
3. Dipjyoti Das is a post-doctoral associate at Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University. He has been involved with various socialist groups in India, and primarily associated with a communist vernacular news-paper, 'jabar-dakhal' (meaning 'forced possession') in Kolkata, India (link: http://jabardakhal.in/english/).

1. Link: https://mltoday.com/communication-no-socialism-without-communist-party/

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel will examine the relationship between state sanctioned oppression and violence practiced domestically and U.S. government imperialism carried out abroad.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Radical Poets Collective is a group of poets who are also activists and dissidents across a diverse range of disciplines and issues, from immigration to Israel-Palestine, Syria, climate change, Marxism, the Black Lives movement and more. We will read our poems and also invite audience members to read their own poems, and engage in critical discussion of the works and their social contexts.

Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 

More than a year into the Trump/Pence regime, we see a continuation, deepening and worsening of the militarism of previous administrations. A much larger military budget along with an intensely aggressive strategy, including the threat of nuclear war, has been made evident in an increasing role for the armed forces in the government itself, in the air and on the ground – more air strikes via both conventional bombers and drones, from Afghanistan to Somalia. Drone strikes tripled in the first year of the Trump regime as opposed to the last year of the Obama administration. The relaxation of military rules of engagement lead to increased civilian deaths, even while the very definition of who is and who is not a “civilian” remains highly questionable. Our panel will also consider how to utilize various forms of protest and advertising to bring this information known only to a small segment of people in the US, to a wider spectrum of the population.