Current Prospects for a Socialist Movement in the USA

Current Prospects for a Socialist Movement in the United States
An evening presentation and discussion with Victor Wallis
Saturday, December 3, 7:30 PM

This year has witnessed a major surge in popular receptivity to socialism in the United States. As a research journal for activists, now completing its 30th volume, Socialism and Democracy has long anticipated such a juncture. What new dangers and opportunities does it bring, and how can our work with Socialism and Democracy help illuminate them?

Victor Wallis, who has been Socialism and Democracy’s editor for almost 20 years, responds to these questions, drawing partly on the collective work of the journal but also on his own research and activism, which have embraced environmental issues, anti-war, anti-interventionist, and prisoners’ rights struggles, and the recent history of the US Left.

This discussion will be chaired by Johanna Fernández (Baruch College) with commentary from Marcella Bencivenni (Hostos, CUNY) and Hester Eisenstein (Graduate Center, CUNY) – all of whom are Socialism and Democracy editorial board members.

We are co-sponsoring this event with Research Group on Socialism & Democracy

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Ecology, Justice and Revolution in Pope Francis’s ‘Laudato Si’”

A Study Group Convened by Steve Knight
3 more Tuesdays, July 19 thru August 2, 2016, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home has become a rallying cry for environmental and social justice activists since its publication in June 2015. Francis calls upon all segments of civil society to join in creating a healing “integral ecology” that hears both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. In the process, he constructs a scathing critique of neoliberal capitalism that challenges dominant paradigms of technology, bioethics, preservation of the commons, and many other issues. We will undertake a close reading of Laudato Si supplemented by selected readings in liberation theology, the movement from the Global South combining Christian principles and Marxist praxis that is a major influence on Laudato Si.

Steve Knight is a former college English instructor who has been both a co-convenor and student in Marxist Education Project study groups on ecosocialism and Hegel. He has also been active in faith-centered eco-justice advocacy as a GreenFaith Fellow, and as a member of The Beloved Earth Community at Manhattan’s Riverside Church.

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István Mészáros’ The Challenge & Burden of Historical Time

10 Sessions:Wednesdays, February 17 – April 20

21st Century Socialism Study Group

Capital cannot tolerate any limitations to its own mode of social metabolic reproduction. Accordingly, considerations of time are totally inadmissable to it if they call for restraining its uncontrollable imperative for capital expansion. There can be no exemption from that imperative. Not even when the devastating consequences are already glaringly obvious both in the field of production and on the terrain of the ecology. The only modality of time in which capital can be interested is exploitable labor time.
—István Mészáros, from the Introduction to The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time

Over ten weeks, we will read through this important book by Iztvan Mézáros.

From a recent interview with Mézáros
Eleonora de Lucena: What are your expectations about socialism or communism in the future?
Will it happen? Is it simply an unattainable goal? How about the risk of barbarism?
István Mészáros: I wrote in a book [The 21st Century: socialism or barbarism] published also in Brazil that if I had to modify today Rosa Luxemburg’s famous words about “socialism or barbarism” I would have to add: “Barbarism if we are lucky.” Because the extermination of humanity is the unfolding menace. For as long as we fail to solve our grave problems, which extend over all dimensions of our existence and relationship to nature, that danger will remain on our horizon.

The 21st Century Socialism Study Group will begin this term and continue with a range of works that pose essential questions for developing a critique of the capitalist world order and prospects for building a movement towards socialism in our time, now 150 years since Karl Marx published Volume I of Capital and one century since the first socialist revolution took place in Russia near the end of the capitalist bloodbath of World War I.

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