The State and Strategies for Socialism

Zones of Liberation: 2nd Session

On developing and defending areas of opposition and building a broad and lasting anti-capitalist socialist movement

A panel with Paul Christopher Gray, Rafael Khachaturian and Stephen Maher

Moderated by Caroline Sykora

At this late and moribund stage of capitalist development nothing is sacred to profit-making as the capitalists deforest the Amazon and exploit the deepest marine life of the Marianas Trench. Meanwhile, the working classes the world over are engaged of necessity in an array of movements in opposition to these life-destroying practices. Nonetheless, workers deliver through their labors—which they must sell in order to survive, losing control over the use of their labor power in this act of selling—the means by which capital is digitally speeding us towards a metabolic endgame. Each decade going forward will lead to the demise of ever more species from the microbial to fully sentient beings like ourselves, all the result of the insatiable proliferation of the capitalists pursuit for ever-greater profit and continuous expanding accumulation of their money capital even if to do so requires the end of life on this planet as we know it.

In response to this, The Marxist Education Project is continuing the Zones of Liberation series this November 9th. The Socialist Project of Canada has been publishing a series on Socialist Strategy and the State over the past year. All of the published pieces are essential for those active in the anti-capitalist movement to be reading and discussing. Stephen Maher and Rafael Khachaturian’s essay Socialist Strategy and the Democratic Capitalist State examines the the state in its liberal-democratic form, arguing that we should move beyond both vanguardist and social democratic models toward a view of the state as a contradictory site of class and social struggles.  Paul Christoher Gray’s article on Socialist Project is taken from his recently published From the Streets to the State: Changing the World by Taking Power, where he takes on the limitations of dual power and extra-parliamentarism and the flaws inherent in the electoralist approaches and where there can be some reconciliation of the best aspects of these tendencies.

Paul Christopher Gray is a professor in Brock University’s Department of Labor Studies in St. Catharines, Ontario. The link to Paul’s work is here: https://socialistproject.ca/2019/06/transforming-capitalist-power-from-streets-to-state/

Rafael Khachaturian is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

Stephen Maher is a social critic, PhD candidate at York University in Toronto and Socialist Register Assistant Editor.

The link to Rafael and Stephen’s work is here: https://socialistproject.ca/2019/05/socialist-strategy-and-capitalist-democratic-state/

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The October Revolution of 1917

The October Revolution of 1917
A seven-week overview featuring China Miéville’s October
Mondays, October 9 through November 20, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
The Revolutions Study Group

Few historical events have been as widely misrepresented as the Russian Revolution of November, 1917 (called the “October Revolution”, according to the old Russian calendar). Especially since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, defenders of the capitalist order, including respectable academic scholars, have attempted to portray it as a coup d’état by a small minority of revolutionary zealots, bent on imposing an authoritarian regime. These falsehoods have the aim of discrediting not only this revolution and its leaders, but the idea of revolution in general. The Revolutions Study Group—which has recently taken an in-depth look at the events that brought Lenin and the Bolsheviks to power—is marking the centennial of the October Revolution by offering an eight-week course for anyone interested in finding out what actually happened at this defining moment of the twentieth century, and beyond.

We will read Verso Books’ recently published October, by China Miéville, along with other short readings, where appropriate.

The Revolutions Study Group (originally at the Brecht Forum) has been meeting since 2008. Individual participants have come and gone. However the group has held together, studying in depth a wide range of history including the French Revolution, the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Mau-Mau Revolt in Kenya, the Haitian Revolution, the European Revolutions of 1848, the May movement in France of 1968 and the Hot Autumn of Italy in 1969, the Spanish Civil War, the Mexican Revolution, the Socialist (2nd) International, and Russian Social Democracy prior to World War I. The group has just this past June completed a year-long examination of the German Revolutionary period of 1918-1924.

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