Openings and Closures on the European Left
Toronto — 1 November 2015.
After decades of uninterrupted neoliberal austerity across Europe, in recent years a new left alternative has begun to take shape. Whereas generations had turned to Latin America and other parts of the global capitalist periphery for signs of hope for a viable socialist alternative, today working people have once again turned to confront the capitalist classes in their own countries, and to challenge the vision of a neoliberal Europe with a reinvigorated left politics that seeks to build social movements by working both within and outside the state.
Three of the most prominent examples have been Syriza's meteoric rise in Greece – the only radical left government to do so despite the nearly decade-long global crisis of capitalism – in January; the continuing electoral gains of Portugal's Left Bloc since its formation in 1999; and most recently the victory of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party leadership elections, which was accompanied by a doubling in the membership of that party to reach the largest size in its history.
This new challenge to neoliberal austerity raises important questions about the roles of social movements and political parties in crafting a renewed left politics, and the possibilities for using the state as a means for social transformation in the 21st century.
Moderated by Leo Panitch. Presentations by:
- Michael Spourdalakis is Professor of Political Sociology and the Director at the Laboratory of Political Communication and Media Information at the University of Athens. He is currently co-director of the Canadian Studies Center at the University of Athens and is the editor of The Socialist Register in Greece.
- Caterina Principe is a social movement activist from Portugal. She is a member of Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc) political party in Portugal and Die Linke in Germany.
- Hilary Wainwright is co-editor of Red Pepper and Research Director of the New Politics Project of the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam. Her most recent books include Public Service Reform: But Not As We Know It! and Reclaim the State: Experiments in Popular Democracy.
This event was co-sponsored by Centre for Social Justice and Socialist Project.
Toronto — 29 October 2015.
Mass migration, civil war, banditry, imperial military adventures – all these are current responses to the climate crisis. These and other impending dislocations from climate change intersect with the already-existing crises of poverty and violence in “catastrophic convergence” that demands immediate action and longer-term social change. What is the relation between the reformist project of short-term emissions redactions and a longer-term struggle to create a sustainable political economy?
Christian Parenti, journalist and professor at New York University, discusses these and other questions in a public lecture that draws from his current research into economic and environmental history and upon his book Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence which involved years of travel and reportage in conflict zone and climate frontlines around the world.
Christian Parenti has a PhD in sociology from the London School of Economics and is a professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. His latest book, Tropic of Chaos, explores how climate change is already causing violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism.
This event was co-sponsored by Centre for Social Justice, Socialist Project, Chair in Comparative Political Economy at York, Rising Tide Toronto.
|LS #||Date||Title|| |
||22 November 2015
||Building Power in Our Communities
|The Fight for Racial and Economic Justice with Kali Akuno, a founder of Cooperation Jackson and a key member of the late Chokwe Lumumba's successful election campaign for the mayoralty of Jackson, Mississippi, discusses integrating strategies in the fight for racial and economic justice, including popular assemblies and neighborhood defence committees. Recorded in Toronto, 30 October 2015.|
||15 November 2015
||From Greece to Portugal to Corbyn's Labour Party
|After decades of uninterrupted neoliberal austerity across Europe, in recent years a new left alternative has begun to take shape. Today working people have once again turned to confront the capitalist classes in their own countries, and to challenge the vision of a neoliberal Europe with a reinvigorated left politics that seeks to build social movements by working both within and outside the state. Three of the most prominent examples have been Syriza's meteoric rise in Greece; the continuing electoral gains of Portugal's Left Bloc since its formation in 1999; and most recently the victory of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party leadership elections.|
||8 November 2015
||Climate Crisis and Climate Realism
|Mass migration, civil war, banditry, imperial military adventures – all these are current responses to the climate crisis. These and other impending dislocations from climate change intersect with the already-existing crises of poverty and violence in “catastrophic convergence” that demands immediate action and longer-term social change. Christian Parenti, journalist and professor at New York University, discusses these and other questions that draws from his current research into economic and environmental history.|
||1 November 2015
||Palestine: A Political Travelogue
|Palestine has long been central to colonial and anti-colonial imaginaries – of the Ottoman and British empires, and Zionist and Arab nationalisms, before becoming a key site of inspiration for left and anti-colonial internationalism and recent scholarship on decolonial resistance. The International Conference of Critical Geography in Ramallah, Palestine, in July 2015, extended this trajectory of anti-colonial internationalism by enriching our historical and political understandings of Palestine.|
||25 October 2015
||The Culture of Conquest and the Doctrine of Discovery
|A roundtable discussion with Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and York University scholars focusing on her latest book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. Recorded in Toronto, 6 October 2015.|
||24 October 2015
||Working For Each Other, Working For Ourselves
|Earlier this month, the Industrial Workers of the World's Toronto General Membership Branch hosted “Working For Each Other, Working For Ourselves: A Revolutionary Public Service Worker-Organizer Summit,” an event which brought together grassroots workplace organizers from around North America. Recorded in Toronto, 3 October 2015.|
||18 October 2015
||Russia in the Global Crisis
|Geopolitical Dilemmas, Strategic Responses. Moderated by Judy Deutsch and presentations by: Boris Kagarlitsky and Sergei M. Plekhanov. Recorded in Toronto, 1 October 2015.|
||11 October 2015
||Linda McQuaig is Right: Keep the TarSands in the Ground!
|At the beginning of the federal election campaign, Toronto Centre NDP candidate and respected author Linda McQuaig stated a simple fact: "a lot of people recognize that a lot of the oil sands oil may need to stay in the ground if we're going to meet our climate change targets." This sparked a corporate media backlash, accusing her of being ideologically-driven, anti-Alberta and anti-jobs.|
||13 September 2015
||The Great Unraveling: with Chris Hedges
|Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy Movement. In his newest book, Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance.|
||23 August 2015
||Public Transit Struggles in London and Toronto
|P3s, Transit Workers and Alternatives. Moderated by Herman Rosenfeld. Presentations by Kamilla Pietrzyk, Brenda Thompson and Janine Booth. Recorded in Toronto, 9 August 2015.|
||16 August 2015
||The Battle Against Austerity: Lessons From Greece
|Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler discuss alternate views on recent developments in the fight against austerity waged by Syriza and the Greek people. Moderated by Susan Spronk. Recorded in Ottawa, 10 August 2015.|
||26 July 2015
||Right to the City/Right to Landscape
|From an Elitist to a More Just Urban Landscape in California's East Bay Area. Presentation by Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, Syracuse University. Recorded in Toronto, 9 July 2015.|
||12 July 2015
||Capitalism vs. Ecology
|It is no longer plausible to propose incremental solutions to the ecological crises of our time. The numbers are clear: to avoid a trillion metric tons of cumulative carbon emissions by 2039, it is necessary to stabilize immediately Greenhouse Gas emissions. Presentations by Niloofar Golkar, Greg Albo and Jodi Dean.|
||28 June 2015
||Nuclear Precipice: Ukraine, Russia, and patterns of U.S. Hegemony
|What is the background of the ethnic conflict in Ukraine? Can the Ukraine situation lead to a Russia/U.S. confrontation involving nuclear weapons? According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world is again at a precipice with threats of nuclear war. Recorded in Toronto, 12 June 2015.|
||14 June 2015
||The Scottish Left after the Referendum and The UK Elections
|The eyes of the world were on Scotland last September when it held a referendum on independence. This month, the whole political establishment in the UK has been shaken up by the election of 56 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Westminster Parliament. Recorded in Ottawa, 3 June 2015.|
||7 June 2015
||Syriza, Podemos, Left Bloc, and the Left: A European Revolutionary Politics?
|The 2105 Left Forum opening plenary focused on anti-austerity politics, alliances, and national and international political potentials and challenges emerging in Europe and impacting the world; revolutionary dimensions of these developments - in the context of a mass-based political, economic, cultural, ecological, race, gender, and class struggle-illuminating politics - of electoral, left, and social movement organizing. Recorded in New York, 29 May 2015.|
||31 May 2015
||Carbon Markets and Neoliberal Capitalism
|What is wrong with Ontario's new climate change policy? Why should we oppose it? Presentations by Greg Albo, Paul Kellogg and Romain Felli. Recorded in Toronto, 24 May 2015.|
||17 May 2015
||Workers' Struggles Against the Corporate Offensive
|A Panel discussion of Continental Crucible with Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, Jim Sinclair and Richard Roman. Recorded in Vancouver, 28 April 2015.|
||10 May 2015
||Class Struggle in North America
|A Discussion with Ben Isitt, Bill Carroll, Carlos Flores and co-author of Continental Crucible, Richard Roman. Recorded in Victoria, 13 April 2015.|
||9 May 2015
|A very blue music-video about global warming and climate crisis, carboniferous capitalism, and possibilities for an alternative future.|
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