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Social Movments



Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements

Issue 7/1 (November 2015), deadline May 1 2015

Theme editors: Jiří Navrátil, Elizabeth Humphrys, Kevin Lin, Anna Szolucha

The November 2015 issue of the open-access, online, copyleft academic/activist journal Interface: a Journal for and about Social Movements ( invites contributions on the theme of Movements in Post/Socialisms as well as general submissions.

The 20th century saw the establishment of, and experimentation within, socialist states across the globe. These efforts were variously lauded, critiqued, condemned and their ‘socialist’ nature disputed. This call for papers asks about the movements that have come in the wake of the collapse and transformation of these diverse regimes.

A quarter of century ago, a massive wave of political protest shook state socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and Asia. In many countries these events paved the way for far-reaching societal transformation, embedding Western-style capitalist economies and representative democracy. In some locations the existing regimes succeeded in taming the efforts around economic and political liberalisation, in other locations they did not. Social movements were central in these processes and followed different paths, including: they led the transformative events and became part of new elites/regimes/states; they pulled back to the realm of civil society after they initiated regime change; they resisted the efforts for regime change; and they were repressed and demobilised when the regime succeeded in maintaining the status quo.

Not only did movements participate in and resist ‘eventful protests’ in 1989, but they were also influenced by these events in the following decades. Again, different trajectories were observed in different locations. Eastern Europe became dominated by anti-utopian ideologies, which effectively paralysed any attempt for transgressive critiques of the newly established political economic order. Furthermore, the spread of ‘development aid’ for ‘underdeveloped’ post-communist civil societies — provided by United States, European Union and private foundations — contributed to the NGO-isation of civil society organisations and the import and emulation of new forms and agendas of activism. This ‘new’ or ‘proper’ civil society activism started to gain political relevance at the expense of grass-root, radical and other dissident movements.

On the other hand, the rapid economic and political transition of a number of Eastern countries provoked mobilisation — from the episodic global justice and anti-war movements, to mass social solidarity mobilisations that had lasting effects on elites’ strategies for economic and political transformation.

For Asian socialism, the ruling ‘communist’ regimes in Vietnam and China have presided over a transition to capitalist economies while also resisting social movements for political democratisation. Yet the capitalist transition has thrown up social and political contradictions, such as social inequality, abuse of political power, labour exploitation, land dispossession and environmental degradation — all of which have seen the rise of diverse activism and movements. Fearful of autonomous organising, these regimes have kept a tight grip over civil society and independent organisation. Consequently, social movements have to operate under repressive conditions and adopt clandestine and informal organising methods and strategies. Nonetheless, in Vietnam and China, for example, we have seen some of the highest global concentration of autonomous labour organising and strikes in recent years.

Apart from regions where the 1989 events directly took place, their effects spread well beyond. The fall of the Eastern bloc both directly and indirectly affected the political landscape of Western Europe, with old left movements beginning to orient themselves along different ideological principles. Consequences can also be seen in Latin America, with sites of state socialism, such as Cuba, faced with the transformation of the former Eastern bloc as well as internal movements to transform the national political economy — including the repression of those movements. In Venezuela, the new century has seen Hugo Chávez implement a process of socialist reform in the wake of mass social and political movements that brought him to power, a route he called the ‘Bolivarian process’. Related but distinct processes took place in other countries — Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia. Many have called this the socialism of the 21st century, following and diverging from the socialism of the 20th century in the Eastern Bloc and Asia. However, others have criticised such regimes as authoritarian or ‘neo-extractivist’.

For this special themed section of Interface 7/1 we are interested in articles by researchers and activists on the movements and events of 1989, their impacts and trajectories and other questions of post/socialisms. We are seeking standard refereed articles as well as material in other formats, such as: action notes on organising methods; activist biographies; book reviews; conversational roundtables; analyses of movement events; and more. Submissions should be written in such a way as to be of interest or use also to readers outside Eastern Europe or Asia.


Contributions might address such topics as:

– Post/anti/new socialist movements

– New trade unions and labour movements in Asia

– Activism in post/socialist settings

– Memories and visions of socialism/communism in contemporary collective action

– Importing and exporting social movements and activism

– Effects of the fall of state socialisms in Eastern Europe and Asia on other locations

– What is socialism in the 21st century?

– The persistence of social movements during the regime change from state socialism to capitalism

– Movements as regime-builders / movements as regime-breakers

– Comparing Cold War social movements between East and West

– Other questions relevant to the special issue theme


As in every issue, we are also very happy to receive contributions that reflect on other questions for social movement research and practice that fit within the journal’s mission statement (

Submissions should contribute to the journal’s mission as a tool to help our movements learn from each other’s struggles, by developing analyses from specific movement processes and experiences that can be translated into a form useful for other movements.

In this context, we welcome contributions by movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. Our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements — in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. We thus seek work in a range of different formats, such as conventional (refereed) articles, review essays, facilitated discussions and interviews, action notes, teaching notes, key documents and analysis, book reviews — and beyond. Both activist and academic peers review research contributions, and other material is sympathetically edited by peers. The editorial process generally is geared towards assisting authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.

We can accept material in Afrikaans, Arabic, Catalan, Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Zulu. Please see our editorial contacts page ( for details of who to submit to.

Deadline and contact details

The deadline for initial submissions to this issue, to be published November 1, 2015, is May 1, 2015. For details of how to submit to Interface, please see the “Guidelines for contributors” on our website. All manuscripts, whether on the special theme or other topics, should be sent to the appropriate regional editor, listed on our contacts page. Submission templates are available online via the guidelines page and should be used to ensure correct formatting.



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Karl Marx


Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 April (Easter) in Melbourne, Australia
Details at:

The conference features over 70 sessions on a huge range of topics – from radical history to women’s and LGBTI liberation, imperialism and the Middle East, socialist theory, the global economic crisis and workers’ struggles today.

Speakers include:
Malalai Joya. Outspoken Afghan critic of the American war and occupation. 
John Pilger. Multi award winning left-wing film maker 
Leia Pettey. New York unionist and socialist involved in Occupy Wall Street 
Gary Foley. Legendary Aboriginal activist
Chie Matsumoto. Tokyo based journalist, trade unionist and political activist 
David Meienreis. Activist in the German left party Die Linke 
John Tully. Author of The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber

Plus radical music and poetry


‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski:

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski:

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Education Crisis


Organised by the Centre for the Study of Socialist Theory and Movements, University of Glasgow


Saturday 15th October 2011 10am–4.00pm


Professor Christine Cooper : ‘Banks, Debts and fictitious capital ‘

Professor Willy Maley : ‘Balancing the Books Behind Closed Doors: The New Managerialism’

Professor Hillel Ticktin : ‘Capitalism in crisis’


Professor Greg Philo: ‘Privatise the national debt’

Dr Des Freedman: ‘Assault on  Universities? Government plans for 21st C. higher education’

Dr Terry Brotherstone: Title t.b.a.

Venue: The Cinema

School of Culture & Creative Arts

Glasgow University

9 University Avenue

Glasgow G12 8QQ

All welcome. Registration Free

Please note: if you are interested in supporting The Campaign for a Public University, you should send your details to

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Rosa Luxemburg

Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory (CFP on Rosa Luxemburg)

Call for Papers on Rosa Luxemburg

2012 Special Issue: Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg Call for Articles


Born in Tsarist Poland in 1871, she emigrated to Germany and became one of the most inspirational figures of the Second International. Luxemburg arrived in Berlin in the spring of 1898 in time join the Revisionist debates, which made her famous as a Marxist theoretician. Time and again Luxemburg proved herself as a gifted orator, inspiring workers to join the socialist movement, as well as she a talented theoretician, attempting to expand Marx’s work and make it relevant to  early 20th century movement. However, Rosa Luxemburg was and remains a controversial figure. To mark the 140th anniversary of Rosa  Luxemburg’s birth, Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory will be  producing a special issue on and around Luxemburg’s works and her legacy.

The special issue would like to examine some of her most well known works (such as the Russian Revolution, Mass Strike, National Question, and Organisational Question, Accumulation of Capital) and address their relevance to today.

What is Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy?

Is her work still relevant today?

During a time of economic crisis, does Luxemburg’s work, Accumulation of Capital have anything to offer the 21st century?

Why does Luxemburg continue to inspire?


Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory welcomes contributions covering any aspect of Marxist political economy, philosophy and history.

Articles should not normally exceed 7-8,000 words in length.  

Articles  must include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a maximum of 6  key words.  Please note that Critique does not use the Harvard system  and expects footnotes to appear at the bottom of the page. For further instructions and advice for authors please visit:

For further details about Critique visit: The final deadline for articles is  December 1, 2011. Please send articles via email to the special issue  editor:  Dr. Lea Haro, and to:


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The Man in Black


NEW: Lucien van der Walt, “Counterpower, participatory democracy, revolutionary defence: debating ‘Black Flame,’ revolutionary anarchism and historical Marxism”

Lucien van der Walt, 2011, “Counterpower, Participatory Democracy, Revolutionary Defence: debating ‘Black Flame,’ revolutionary anarchism and historical Marxism,” ‘International Socialism: a quarterly journal of socialist theory’, no. 130 (2011), pp. 193-207, online at:

This article is, in part, a response to criticisms of the broad anarchist tradition in ‘International Socialism’ (ISJ), an International Socialist Tendency (IST) journal. However, it is also an examination of issues like the use of sources in Marxist/ anarchist debates, the historical/ current impact of anarchism/ syndicalism, anarchism and the question of defending revolutions, revolutions and pluralism, anarchism and political struggles and bodies, the Spanish anarchists’ debates on taking power, anarchism’s relationship to democracy, the historical role of Marxism, the role of Bolshevism in the fate of the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Stalin, and the tasks of the 21st century left.

EXTENDED version:
Lucien van der Walt, 7 April 2011, “Detailed reply to ‘International Socialism’: debating power and revolution in anarchism, ‘Black Flame’ and historical Marxism,” 62 pp., online at

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Socialism and Hope


Issue 76: March–April (2011)

ISR 76:


Revolt in the Middle East 
Another World is Possible

Middle East in Revolution

The actuality of revolution

Ahmed Shawki and Mostafa Omar 
Chronicle of a revolution 
A running account of the movement that brought down Hosni Mubarak

Matt Swagler 
Tunisia: A dictator falls, but what comes next?

Phil Gasper • Critical Thinking 
Can revolution happen here? 
Mass protests are taking place around the world. Will anything similar happen in the U.S.?


Deepa Kumar 
Political Islam: A Marxist analysis 
Part one of a two-part series

Ken Loach 
Between commodity and communication: Has film fulfilled its potential? 
The director of Land and Freedom speaks at the London Film Festival

Noam Chomsky 
Human intelligence and the environment 
How what is rational in capitalist terms is irrational in environmental terms

Stuart Easterling 
Mexico’s revolution, 1910-1920 
The concluding part of a three-part series on the Mexican Revolution

Bolivia today: A debate 
Jeffery Webber’s article, “Bolivia’s reconstituted neoliberalism” (International Socialist Review, September–October 2010), draws a dissenting response from Federico Fuentes, and a rejoinder from Webber


Hadas Thier 
Gaza’s nightmare: the truth about Israel 
A review of two new books about Israel’s war on the Palestinian people

PLUS: Helen Redmond reviews Sabstian Junger’s War, Jim Ramey review’s Nir Rosen’s Aftermath; Chris Williams reviews The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth; Jason Farbman reviews two new books on the struggle in Latin America; Dao X. Tran reviews a memoir of a Vietnamese Trotskyist

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World Crisis


From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia

With Jeff Webber

Tuesday 12 April, 6.30pm
Evo Morales rode to power on a wave of popular mobilisations against the neoliberal policies enforced by his predecessors. Yet many of his economic policies bare striking resemblance to the status quo he was meant to displace.
Based in part on dozens of interviews with leading Bolivian activists, Webber examines the contradictions of Morales’ first term in office.
Jeffery R. Webber teaches at the University of Regina in Canada. He has taught at several institutions in Canada, Europe, and Latin America, where he conducts field research. Webber is a member on the editorial boards of Historical Materialism, Latin American Perspectives, and New Socialist.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: 020 7637 1848

Islamophobia and the Role of the Intellectual
With Hamid Dabashi & a speaker from Unite Against Fascism (UAF)
Monday 9 May, 6.30pm
Dabashi’s book ‘Brown Skin, White Masks’ picks up where Frantz Fanon left off. He extends Fanon’s insights as they apply to today’s world. Dabashi shows how intellectuals who migrate to the West are often used by the imperial powers to misrepresent their home countries. Just as many Iraqi exiles were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, Dabashi demonstrates that this is a common phenomenon, and examines why and how so many immigrant intellectuals help to sustain imperialism.
Hamid Dabashi is professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York and the author of 18 books and countless articles. His books include ‘Theology of Discontent’ (1993), ‘Iran: A People Interrupted’ (2007), ‘Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire’ (2008) and ‘Brown Skins, White Masks’ (2011)
Hamid Dabashi is on a short speaking tour of Europe. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear him, and ask questions, in the relaxed atmosphere of Bookmarks Bookshop.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: 020 7637 1848

We Sell Our Time No More: Workers’ Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry
With Paul Stewart
Wednesday 11 May, 6.30pm
This is the story of struggles against management regimes in the car industry in Britain from the period after the Second World War until the contemporary regime of lean production.
Told from the viewpoint of the workers, the book chronicles how workers responded to a variety of management and union strategies, from piece rate working, through measured day work, and eventually to lean production beginning in the late 1980s.
Paul Stewart is Professor of the Sociology of Work and Employment at Strathclyde University. He has been researching and writing on the automotive industry for many years and was joint convenor of the Automotive Workers Research Network.
The event is free to attend, but please contact us to reserve your place: 020 7637 1848

Liberate Your Mind
Bookmarks Bookshop
1 Bloomsbury Street
London WC1B 3QE
020 7637 1848

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Socialism and Hope


Dear friends and comrades.

I am inviting you to attend this year’s Socialism conference in Chicago. Socialism 2011 promises to be the largest conference we have organized to date. Please try and attend.

Click on the link below to visit the conference website:

For any further information, please write to me
All the best
Ahmed Shawki:


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

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Socialism and Hope


Vol.6, No.2 (2010)
Table of Contents
SS/ES 6(2)

‘I Class Struggle’: French Exceptionalism and Challenges for Socialist Studies
Elaine Coburn

‘You Are Here’: an interview with Dorothy E. Smith
William K Carroll

Special Section
Rosa Luxemburg’s Political Economy: Contributions to Contemporary Political Theory and Practice
Elaine Coburn

Social Classes in the Process of Capitalist Landnahme: On the Relevance of Secondary Exploitation
Klaus Dörre

Accumulation, Imperialism, and Pre-Capitalist Formations: Luxemburg and Marx on the non-Western World
Peter Hudis

Rosa Luxemburg’s ‘Accumulation of Capital’: New Perspectives on Capitalist Development and American Hegemony
Ingo Schmidt

Rosa Luxemburg’s Reform or Revolution in the Twenty-first Century
Helen C Scott

The current relevance of Rosa Luxemburg’s thought
Estrella Trincado

Research Note: Rosa Luxemburg and the Global Violence of Capitalism
Paul LeBlanc

Review Essays

Honour Songs and Indigenous Resistance
Deborah Simmons

Book Reviews
Various Authors

Socialist Studies:

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Rosa Luxemburg

The Island


History Matters


A ‘Lost Text’ from 1975 rediscovered: David Brown on the ‘Illusions’ of Maurice Brinton and Cornelius Castoriadis

Editorial notes by the Hobgoblin Collective:

Hobgoblin has published (online) for the first time a text, written in 1975 as a letter to the membership of the Solidarity group – also known as ‘Solidarity For Workers Power’. This group was founded in 1960 by Chris Pallis, an eminent neurologist who wrote under the name “Maurice Brinton,” and Ken Weller, a young shop steward working in the motor industry. The group, initially known as Socialism Reaffirmed, published a journal, Agitator, which after six issues was renamed Solidarity. Both Brinton and Weller had previously been members of Gerry Healy’s Socialist Labour League, founded amidst the mass defections from the Communist Party after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. As Richard Abernethy put in an obituary for Chris Pallis in Hobgoblin in 2005:

“Solidarity punctured and deflated some favourite left-wing illusions. It recognised that there was no actually existing socialism, no worker’s states, in the world. Notwithstanding all differences between the Western capitalist bloc, the Eastern bloc ruled by Communist parties, and the Third World, the basic divide between rulers and ruled existed everywhere.”

The Solidarity group, despite never having much more than a hundred members, was influential, not least because Solidarity became the main conduit of the political theories of Cornelius Castoriadis aka Paul Cardan (1922-97), founder of Socialisme ou Barbarie in France.

The resignation statement by Solidarity member, David Brown, was written at a time (1975) when the group was in decline, facing splits and having to deal with the fact that Castoriadis/Cardan had, following the demise of Socialisme ou Barbarie in 1965, moved to the Right. Brown, was influenced by French ex-Bordigist, Jacques Camatte, some of whose writings he translated, by the Russian value-theorist, II Rubin, and by Karl Korsch, author of Marxism and Philosophy. According to Brown, Castoriadis and Solidarity shared with the traditional left a restricted understanding of Marx’s ideas, not recognising the liberatory core of Marx’s Capital, and taking the shortcoming of the traditional left as grounds for breaking with Marx. Brown argues that Castoriadis, Brinton and the Solidarity group misunderstood the cardinal term of the Marx’s critique of political economy – value. Brown writes:

“The attack on the labour theory of value is only a prelude to a more general attack on the materialist conception of history. By reducing the general conception of the mode of production to mean technology and the word ‘determine’ to mean the same as ‘cause’, a simple transformation of marxism into banality follows.” 

Castoriadis had argued that:

“The revolutionary movement… must become the place (the only place in contemporary society, outside the factory) where… individuals learn about collective life, run their own affairs and fulfill and develop themselves, working for a common objective in reciprocal recognition.”

Brown finds this position to be “entirely false,” and argues (following Jacques Camatte) that “all organisations are despotic” because, basing themselves on “critique of other organisations and individuals” they are “already” the conception of competitive capital.

Two of the editors of The Hobgoblin (Richard Abernethy and George Shaw) are former members of the Solidarity group. As Marxist-Humanists, we do not agree with a lot of the positions David Brown expressed in 1975. If the statement that “all organisations are despotic” means that all attempts to overcome atomization and individual isolation are doomed, then we certainly disagree, believing, as we do, in a philosophically-grounded alternative to capitalism – something Castoriadis, as a “positivist,” never even considered. Nor do we agree that “support for oppressed peoples” was part of the degeneration of Marxism (this in spite of Marx’s own statements on Ireland, Poland etc), or saying that people who voted Labour in 1974 “voted for capitalism.”

We are publishing this text not only because of its historical interest as a critique of a (dead) organization of the Left, once significant (and still influential “beyond the grave,” through the works of its theoreticians and the legacy of its activists) , but also because of the general theoretic questions it raises have, in the 21st century Left, not been surpassed.


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Socialism and Hope


New Scholars Session
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Fredericton, Canada 31 May – 03 June 2011

Call for Papers

The most recent crisis of capital poses an immense set of challenges. Neoliberalism is deepening, chronic hunger is widespread and ecological degradation continues apace. Opportunities have nevertheless emerged. Student movements are organizing across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, while creative projects and struggles are proliferating across the world.

To make sense of all of this, the Society of Socialist Studies invites graduate students to submit paper proposals for the New Scholars Session at the 2011 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Submissions are welcome from those who have yet to complete their Masters degree. Perspectives from a wide array of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields are welcome, including history, political science and sociology, among others. Paper topics are encouraged from socialist, feminist, anti-racist and ecological points of view. Paper proposals could be in any of these areas, as well as on topics relating to the Society’s theme, “Continental Shifts, Divisions, and Solidarities.”

The theme marks an attempt to grapple with global shifting and fragmentation of capital and power. Like other changes in the past, “Continental Shifts, Divisions, and Solidarities” is an attempt to challenge to the ways we understand the world(s) around us. This is a time to rethink established epistemologies, theories and underlying philosophies.

Please submit abstracts (maximum of 100 words) by January 31, 2011 to: Matthew Brett, New Scholars chair,   

Contact Matthew for more information, or visit

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