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Capitalist Crisis

Capitalist Crisis

CAPITALISM, CRISIS AND ALTERNATIVES

Book Launch with Ozlem Onaran, Sean Thompson and Susan Pashkoff

Meet and hear some of the authors of the new title from Resistance Books:

Ozlem Onaran, Sean Thompson and Susan Pashkoff

WEDNESDAY 2 MAY, 7:30pm

Community Centre, 62 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AB

(Kings Cross and Russell Square tubes)

 

Four years on from the start of the crisis, there is no recovery in sight. The Cameron-Clegg government may claim thatBritainis on the mend, but for the 99% of us the prospect for years to come is falling real incomes and insecurity. Meanwhile the Eurozone crisis rumbles on, with no strategy except deep austerity for countries like Italy and Spain, let alone Greece and Portugal.

This new book analyses the crisis in different regions and is a contribution to the debates about alternatives. In addition to a general analysis of the crisis including how it affects women, contributions coverBritain, the European Union, there are also contributions on the eco-socialist alternatives to capitalism.

 

CAPITALISM – CRISIS AND ALTERNATIVES 280 pages, £9 (inc p&p)

Available from Resistance Books, PO Box 62732, London, SW2 9GQ

 

Contents:

WHERE IS THE CRISIS GOING? Michel Husson

THE CRISIS IN BRITAIN, Andy Kilmister

AUSTERITY AND THE LIES THAT IMPOVERISH, Susan Pashkoff

A GREEN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, Sean Thompson

MARXISM AND THE CRISIS, John Rees

A FISCAL CRISIS OR A CRISIS OF DISTRIBUTION? Ozlem Onaran

THE DEBT IN THE NORTH: SOME ALTERNATIVE PATHS, Eric Toussaint

WOMEN’S CRISES, Sandra Ezquerra

EASTERN EUROPEFACED WITH THE CRISIS OF THE SYSTEM, Catherine Samary

CHINA’S RISE AMIDST THE CRISIS, Jean Sanuk

LATIN AMERICA’S CRISIS, Claudio Katz

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: THE DEBT CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, Eric Toussaint

 

**END**

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

 

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Peter Gowan

PETER GOWAN MEMORIAL CONFERENCE

A one-day conference to discuss the contribution and ideas of Peter Gowan (1946-2009), author of The Global Gamble, founding editor of Labour Focus on Eastern Europe, long-standing editor of New Left Review, and Professor of International Relations at London Metropolitan University.

Saturday, 12 June 2010, 10.00 to 5.30

School of Oriental and African Studies, Room G2

Agenda

10.00 – 12.30
Introduction: Tariq Ali

Session 1: Eastern Europe
Speakers: Gus Fagan, Marko Bojcun, Catherine Samary

12.30 – 1.30 lunch

1.30 – 3.00
Session 2: Imperialism and American Grand Strategy
Speakers: Gilbert Achcar, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Susan Watkins

3.00 – 3.30  coffee break

3.30 – 5.00
Session 3: The Dollar-Wall St Regime
Speakers: Robin Blackburn, Robert Wade, Alex Callinicos

5.00 – 5.30
Mike Newman: Peter Gowan as an Educator
Awarding of the Peter Gowan Prize

The Conference is sponsored by Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe and Historical Materialism.

http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=0965-156x&linktype=44

gus.fagan@ntlworld.com

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Capitalism

ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITALISM: SELF-MANAGEMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Within the framework of the CNT-AIT centenary (1910-2010), a series of conferences brought together under the name of “Alternatives to Capitalism: Self-management in the Spotlight” will take place in Barcelona (Spain). These conferences will be held throughout April 2010. The contents will be organized in three blocks of lectures: theoretical, historical and a broader one, based in more current experiences. 

The theoretical block draws up a program of lectures on how the capitalist system works, focusing on the present moment of economic and social crisis. Anarcho-syndicalist proposals facing the crisis will also be debated. This theoretical perspective is completed with several papers which shall offer a wide vision of economic and social literature on the subject of socialism and libertarian-communism models. 

The historical block tries to put forward two strong models that may serve as an alternative to the capitalist system. On the one hand, that of the anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), for which lectures will be included to explain how it worked in the different regions where it was implemented (Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Aragon, Castile, Andalusia). On the other hand, explanations will be offered on the Yugoslav co-management model (1950-1990) with the purpose of assessing this experience both in the light of a possible model for the development of impoverished countries and from the limits imposed on socialism by the five-year plan, the market and the One Party State, along with a strictly libertarian vision of the whole process. 

With the present block we intend to gain an insight on different organizational experiences that fight against capitalism nowadays from a self management point of view. In this sense, the contribution of the CNT-AIT (labour and socioeconomic aspects) is included, as well as those of other specific anarchist organizations (socio-political aspect), of some models of cooperatives with a radical perspective (labour and socioeconomic management aspect) or of cultural and study centres (cultural aspect).

Finally there’s a place for initiatives linked to local and municipal fields, such as those of squat social centres and apartments, municipalism or local assemblies (local-political aspect). Finally, from a wider geographical, and in some cases, thematic point of view, live experiences from other places in the world will be debated, such as social movements in Latin America, Chiapas, Brazil (Landless Workers Movement, MST), Argentina (enterprises recovered by their workers), Venezuela and Greece.  

More info: http://www.autogestion2010.info/ 

Organizing:

CeNTenary (Barcelone) Comission  

Collaborating:

Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo – FAL (http://www.cnt.es/fal)

Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences – ICEA (http://iceautogestion.org)

Fundació  d’Estudis Llibertaris i Anarcosindicalistes –FELLA (http://www.nodo50.org/fella
 
 

PROGRAM 

Friday 9th April. Capitalist system: exploitation, conflict and destruction

-4 p.m. Introduction to the conferences. CNT Barcelona

-4.15 p.m. Where do we stand in the crisis? Miren Etxezarreta. Economist, lecturer at Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) for 35 years and member of the critic economic seminar TAIFA

-5.30 p.m. Capitalism today: crisis or downfall? Some thoughts. Toni Castells. Economist.

-6.45 p.m. Anarcho-syndicalist proposals in the face of the economic crisis. Gaspar Fuster. Economics teacher in Secondary Education and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).

-8 p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Saturday 10th April – Morning. Studies on self-management and models on socialism and libertarian communism (I).

-10 a.m. Socialism and libertarian communism in economic thought until 1939. Lluís Rodríguez Algans. Economist and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).

-11.15 a.m. Self-management, an up-to date debate: participative planning or re-conceptualization of the market. Endika Alabort Amundarain. Economics lecturer at Basque Country University (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).

-12.30 p.m. Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences: study and technical support for widespread self-management. Members of the ICEA.

-1.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Saturday 10th April – Evening. Studies on self-management and models on socialism and libertarian communism (II).

-4 p.m. The economics of freedom: creating abundant lives for all (in English). Jon Bekken. Member of the editorial collective of Anarcho-syndicalist Review, former general secretary and treasurer of Industrial Workers of the World.

-5.15 p.m. Inclusive Democracy as a political project for a new libertarian synthesis: rationale, proposed social structure and transition (in English). Takis Fotopoulos. Political philosopher and ex-senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of North London (UK) where he taught Political Economy for over twenty years. He has been the editor of the theoretical journal Democracy & Nature, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracysince 1992 and founder of the Inclusive Democracy movement.

-6.30 p.m. Anarchist Planning for Twenty-first Century Economies: A Proposal (in English). Robin Hahnel. Professor Emeritus at American University where he taught Political Economy for thirty-three years, and is currently Visiting Professor of Economics at Portland State University. He is best known as co-creator along with Michael Albert of an economic model known as “participatory economics” which is widely discussed as an alternative to capitalism (PARECON).

-7.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Friday 16th April. Anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (I)

-4p.m. Historical background and social aspects of the Civil War. Paco Madrid. Historian.

-5.15p.m. Face to face against the state: the 1936 revolution and agrarian collectivism in Catalonia. Marciano Cárdaba. Historian. Researcher in the social, economic and political factors of agrarian collectivization in Catalonia (1936-1939).

-6.30p.m. Collectivist transformations in the industry and services in Catalonia (1936-1939). Toni Castells. Historian.

-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Saturday 17th April – Morning. Anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (II)

-10a.m. “Agrarian collectivities in Aragon (1936-1939). Between revolution and reaction.” Walther L. Bernecker. Professor of the History of Spain, Portugal, and Latin-America at Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany).

-11.15a.m. Coup-d’etat, war and social transformation in Andalusia and Castile (1936-1939). José Luis Gutiérrez Molina. Historian. Researcher in contemporary social history, particularly in Andalusia. 

-12.30p.m. Collectivities in the Valencian Community. Ending with the typical topics. Manuel Vicent. Historian and archivist.

-1.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Saturday 17th April – Evening. Yugoslavia 1950-1990

-4 p.m. Unequal development as a limit to the self-management process. The Yugoslav case. Ramón Franquesa. Lecturer of World Economy at University of Barcelona (UB). Researcher in management of natural, renewable resources and on Social Economy and non-capitalist economic organization processes 

-5.15p.m. The Yugoslav selfmanagement squeezed by the plan, the market and the single party : is the suppression of institutions the solution? (in English). Catherine Samary. Professor and Researcher specialist of the Yugoslav and East European transformations; activist in internationalist networks.

-6.30p.m. Yugoslav Self-Management: An Anarchist perspective (in English). Andrej Grubačić. Historian and anarchist sociologist. Researcher in the subject of anarchism and the history of the Balkans. Member of Industrial Workers of the World.

-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Tuesday 20th April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism.

-4p.m. CNT: syndicalism for social change. Genís Ferrero. Member of the CNT Barcelona.

-5.15p.m. Libertarian organizations: Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI), Iberian Federation of Anarchist Youth (FIJA), Federation of Libertarian Students (FEL).

-6.45p.m. Uruguayan Anarchist Federation. Specific anarchism, anarchist direct action: towards the construction of the Popular Power. Mario Remedios. Secretary of Affairs of FAU. Militant of the Germinal Ateneo in the Villa Colón neighbourhood (Montevideo).  

-8p.m. General debate and conclusions

 
Wednesday 21st April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: cooperativism and municipalism.

-4p.m. Solidarity economy: the embryo of a new economy? Jordi García Jané. Cooperativist, professor and writer on subjects related to solidarity economy and social alternatives in general.

-5.15p.m. Cooperatives: production, finances and consumption. Mol-Matric, Coop57, and Germinal.

-6.45p.m. Libertarian municipality on the way to self-management. Manel Aisa. Historian.

Assembly of the neighbourhood of Sants. Mireia Rosselló.

-8p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Thursday 22nd April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: anarchism, culture and social movements.

-4p.m. House squatting and social centres. Jesús Rodríguez. Activist of the squat movement.

-5.15p.m. Libertarian Ateneo. Popular Encyclopaedic Ateneo and Libertarian Ateneo of Sants. Xavier Oller, historian and members.

-6.45p.m. Libertarian Centre of Studies: Foundation for Libertarian and Anarcho-syndicalist Studies (Barcelona), Libertarian Centre of Studies, Federica Montseny (Badalona), Libertarian Centre of Studies, Francesc Sàbat (Terrassa), Foundation Anselmo Lorenzo (Madrid). Members.

-8p.m. General debate and conclusions 

Saturday 24th April – Morning. Nowadays experiences (I): Social Movements in Latin America, Chiapas y Brazil.

-10 a.m. Social movements in Latin America: you can’t fight progressivism. Raúl Zibechi. Thinker and activist, professor and researcher in social movements, journalist and international analyst for La Jornada (Mexico) and Brecha (Uruguay).

-11.15 a.m. Indigenous rebellion in Chiapas. Committee of Solidarity with the Zapatist rebellion.

-12.30p.m. Landless Workers Movement from Brazil, the struggle for land, Agrarian Reform, and a fairer society. María Carballo.Anthropologist and member of the MST Support Committee of Barcelona since 1996.

-13.45. General debate and conclusions 
 

Satruday 24th April – Evening. Nowadays experiences (II): Argentina, Venezuela and Greece

-4p.m. From crisis to self-management: origins and perspectives of the recovery of firms in Argentina. Luis Buendía. Economist and pre-doctoral researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).

-5.15p.m. Imperialism, social reform and popular power in Venezuela. Luis Baños. Libertarian militant active in organizational, education and popular struggle processes in the rural environment and the city. Historian and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).

-6.30p.m. Tracking down social antagonism and anarchist-antiauthoritarian movements in Greece. Anarchist companions from Greece.

-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions

-8.15p.m. End of the program. CNT Barcelona

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Karl Marx

CONFERENCE IN PARIS ON COMMUNISM, 22-23 JANUARY 2010

Collloque: Puissances du communisme
22-23 janvier 2010
Programme (pour tout renseignement : societelouisemichel@free.fr)
Université Paris 8
2, rue de la Liberté 93526 Saint-Denis
métro : Saint-Denis Université

Vendredi 22

Matin, 09.00
Table ronde n° 1 : Un communisme sans Marx ?

Participants : Isabelle Garo, Rastko Mocnik, Massimiliano Tomba, Pierre Dardot, Stéphane Rozès

Modératrice : Cinzia Arruzza
Le mot de communisme est né avant Marx et il continue aujourd’hui d’être employé, en des sens très divers. Pourtant, peut-on penser le communisme sans le référer d’une façon ou d’une autre à Marx, c’est-à-dire sans le relier à une critique du capitalisme qui en analyse les contradictions profondes et l’abolition nécessaire ? C’est le poids politique de la référence à Marx aujourd’hui, poids problématique, qu’il s’agit de discuter, en s’interrogeant sur la persistance, voire la remontée d’une telle référence après l’effondrement des pays dits socialistes. Le récent anniversaire de la chute du Mur, salué à grands fracas médiatiques, s’est voulu l’enterrement de toute perspective communiste. Pourtant, ce tohu-bohu de circonstance prouve lui aussi le retour de la radicalité politique et pose à nouveau le problème de son rapport contemporain à Marx et à ses approches marquées par une diversité de plus en plus affirmée. Question multiple bien  évidemment ! Ainsi, elle inclut la question de savoir en quoi le communisme a été ou non pensé et défini par Marx dans son oeuvre. Plus largement, le retour de la question communiste n’implique-t-elle pas le retour de ces questions politiques que sont les problèmes de transition et de médiation ? Loin de faire du communisme une visée qui les néglige ou les dénonce, n’est-ce pas le propre de la référence à Marx que de réfléchir à la place des luttes sociales, mais aussi à la nature et à la structure des organisations politiques, des formes politiques d’intervention ? Parler de communisme aujourd’hui oblige à aborder de front la question de la « vraie démocratie », pour citer le jeune Marx, et à rouvrir enfin le dossier central de la propriété. De ce point de vue, la question communiste oblige aussi à reposer la question du socialisme qui lui est parfois opposé après lui avoir été assimilé. Bref, la question ouverte d’un rapport contemporain et vivant à Marx pourrait bien être au cœur de la discussion si celle-ci doit se poursuivre et parvenir à réassocier les dimensions théorique et stratégique. On pourrait alors envisager que le communisme n’est ni un pur concept ni le nom d’une défaite.

Après-midi
Table ronde n° 2 : Un communisme sans histoire ?

Participants : Alex Callinicos, Alberto Toscano, Etienne Balibar, Catherine Samary, André Tosel

Modérateur : Nicolas Vieillescazes

« J’étais, je suis, je serai » écrivait Rosa Luxemburg juste avant son assassinat, en parlant de la révolution et de l’idée du communisme qu’elle faisait remonter, au moins, à la révolte de Spartakus. Ainsi le communisme s’inscrirait comme une idée de portée presque anthropologique, reflétant la part humaine qui pousse à l’égalité et à la liberté. En ce sens, elle serait, pour ainsi dire, insensible à l’histoire, même si sa puissance dépend des périodes. Sans ontredire directement cette approche, avec Marx et la généralisation du salariat, naît un point de vue matérialiste qui ancre dans les contradictions du capitalisme la possibilité effective de la réalisation du rêve. Un communisme en puissance autrement dit, au sens de la physique, dont les conditions historiques de réalisation prennent un aspect concret, mais dont la mise en énergie dépend des évènements, du tour que prend une conjonction particulière de rapports de force économiques, idéologiques, sociaux et politiques et des évènements qui en découlent. Approches opposées, disjointes ou complémentaires ?

Samedi 23

Matin, 09.00
Table ronde n° 3 : A la recherche du sujet perdu

Participants : Thomas Coutrot, Christian Laval, Elsa Dorlin, Samuel Johsua

Modérateur : François Cusset

Autrefois incarné par une classe ouvrière consciente d’elle-même et de son rôle historique, le sujet de la révolution communiste semble avoir aujourd’hui disparu sous les assauts conjugués d’une mutation du capital ayant totalement intégré la sphère culturelle à la sphère marchande, de forces politiques et idéologiques qui se sont employées à discréditer toute idée d’alternative politique et ont promu le mythe d’une classe moyenne universelle, ou, conséquemment, d’un relativisme généralisé qui a renvoyé aux oubliettes de l’histoire l’idée même de révolution. Comment donc, aujourd’hui, reformuler la question du sujet d’un possible renversement du capitalisme ? Pour Toni Negri, le communisme est appelé à naître spontanément d’un bouleversement des rapports de production qui permettrait à la « multitude » du general intellect de se « libérer » ; et il ne manque pas d’auteurs qui considèrent que la question est mal posée, soit qu’il faille chercher une issue dans les luttes micropolitiques en s’inspirant des travaux de Michel Foucault ou de Félix Guattari et Gilles Deleuze, soit qu’elle ne puisse se trouver que dans un « peuple » non assignable à quelque coordonnée sociologique que ce soit. Dans ce contexte, alors que les inégalités sont pourtant plus criantes qu’elles ne l’ont jamais été et que sembleraient pouvoir se dessiner les conditions d’une solidarité politique minimale, la question même d’un sujet communiste révolutionnaire a-t-elle encore un sens ? Le problème, finalement, n’est peut-être pas tant celui du sujet perdu que celui, plus général, de la construction d’une alternative crédible au capitalisme.

Après-midi
Table ronde n° 4 : Des communistes sans communisme ?

Participants : Jacques Rancière, Slavoj Zizek, Daniel Bensaid, Michel Surya, Gaspar Tamas

Modérateur : à signaler

Selon une célèbre phrase de Lénine, il n’est de mouvement révolutionnaire sans théorie révolutionnaire. La théorie est à la fois ce qui permet de s’orienter dans un réel tumultueux, de conférer une «identité » au collectif révolutionnaire, et de doter ce dernier d’un programme, c’est-à-dire d’un objectif à atteindre via une période de transition. Pendant plus d’un siècle, le marxisme a fourni l’ossature de cette théorie, même si d’autres courants y ont bien entendu également contribué. Parmi les éléments dont les mouvements anti-systémiques (y compris les parties révolutionnaires) se trouvent dépossédés avec la clôture du cycle historique initié en Octobre 1917, et la fin de l’expérience du communisme « réel », on compte cette dimension « doctrinale » de l’activité révolutionnaire. Il existe actuellement des personnes et des collectifs qui se déclarent «communistes » mais, comme théorie (relativement) cohérente et unifiée, le communisme semble introuvable. Faut-il se réjouir de ce fait, l’absence de doctrine hégémonique permettant aux micro-pratiques et micro-théories correspondantes de proliférer (hypothèse des « mille marxismes ») ? Faut-il au contraire le déplorer, et s’atteler à la reconstruction de long terme d’une théorie révolutionnaire ?

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1989-2009: The East European Revolutions in Perspective

Conference announcement and call for papers and panel proposals

“1989-2009: the East European revolutions in perspective”

Organised by “Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern  Europe”

Location and date: University of London Union, 17-18 October 2009

Keynote speakers: Boris Kagarlitsky, Caroline Humphrey, Gáspár Miklós Tamas, Peter Gowan, Alex Callinicos, Catherine Samary, Bernd Gehrke

Abstracts and panel proposals, by end June 2009, to: gareth.dale@brunel.ac.uk

For further info: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/pdf/conferences/cdeb_09.pdf

 

 

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