Zones of Liberation

Global Capital and the Fight to End It

Panel Discussion with Salonee Bhaman, George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, Gabriel Rockhill and others. with workshops on developing and defending areas of opposition to and transition from capital.

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 Marianna 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 closing this summer and revving up to meet the challenges of 2020 with an inaugural event on Global Capital and the Fight to End It. We will begin on August 24 with an afternoon panel with Salonee Bhaman, George Caffentzis, Silvia Federici, Gabriel Rockhill and others, followed by evening workshop discussions.

The focus of the workshop discussions is to identify what needs to be done to support, build, develop and defend the developing arenas of working class and dispossessed peoples resistance, towards nurturing a unified counter-capitalist force that can be sustained locally, nationally, and in solidarity with the struggles of our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

The various workshops will be meeting grounds to identify areas where working classes the world over are organizing resistance and the new left re/formations as collectives, parties, and political spaces are forming. To do this, in the workshops we will explore the array of struggles around such concerns as education, housing, healthcare, jobs, libraries, preservation of natural resources and species, climate, poverty and hunger, return of epidemics like measles, the needs of the aging and physically or emotionally disabled, and the continued divisions and discriminations within our class be it sexism, race, ethic/national/religious origins, gender identity, that only serve to enable increasing exploitation of the class as a whole.

We will also identify the existing and developing meeting spaces for collectives, parties, and political discussion and organizing like the many that are growing in New York City such as Verso Space, Flux Factory, The People’s Forum, MayDay Space, Woodbine, Starr Bar, Bluestockings, The Base, Interference Archive, The Marxist Education Project, Rosa Luxemburg Institute, Brooklyn Institute, Jacobin and Nation reading groups, The Institute for the Radical Imagination, Red Bloom, Democracy at Work, DSA, the self-identified cadre political parties and other locales and organizations.

To counter this stage of a rapacious dying capitalism that requires ever-deeper exploitation of workers and nature, we propose to explore where our class has been staking out, claiming and defending zones of liberation. We look to movements such as our own Occupy movement to the current Yellow Vest movement in France, the long-standing Zapatista opposition in Mexico that has secured liberated zones, the ZAD in France, and our own zones that we are staking out in our daily lives here, and other instances that panelists and attendess/participants will bring attention to.

Salonee Bhaman is a PhD candidate in History at Yale University. Her research focuses on punitive welfare, housing, and austerity politics with particular attention towards questions of race, gender, migration, and care. Her dissertation in progress explores the first years of the AIDS epidemic with regards to the American welfare state—thinking through issues of  care work, immigration policy, and intimate space. She has also done significant work on the struggles of women who are brought to the US for marriage, very often to extra-exploitative and isolated situations with little or no community to turn to for support.

George Caffentzis is a political philosopher and autonomist Marxist. He was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine and a founding member of the Midnight Notes Collective. He is the author of Clipped Coins, Abused Words, and Civil Government: John Locke’s Philosophy of Money, In Letters of Blood and Fire: Work, Machines, and the Crisis of Capitalism and the coeditor of A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities. George’s most recent book is No Blood For Oil! Essays on Energy, Class Struggle and War 1998–2016, published by Autonomedia.

Silvia Federici is a long-time feminist, writer, and teacher living in Brooklyn, NY. Her most recent book is Re-enchanting the World. Feminism and the Politics of the Commons (PM Press 2019). Other works include Caliban and the Witch Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia 2004),  Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (Common Notions/PM Press, 2012), The New York Wages For Housework Committee : History, Theory, Documents. 1972-1977. (Autonomedia, 2017), and Witch-hunting Witches and Women, (PM Press, 2018). Born in Italy, Federici has lectured and taught widely in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the U.S. She has participated in numerous international movements and social struggles, including feminist, education, anti-death penalty, as well as anti-nuclear and anti-globalization movements.

Gabriel Rockhill is a philosopher, cultural critic and political theorist. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and Founding Director of the Critical Theory Workshop. His recent books include La guerre intellectuelle de la CIA (forthcoming), Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (2017), Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (2016) and Radical History & the Politics of Art  (2014). In addition to his scholarly work, he has been actively engaged in extra-academic activities in the art and activist worlds, as well as a regular contributor to public intellectual debate. For more information: https://gabrielrockhill.com. For some time Gabriel has been active with the Yellow Vests movement. You can listen to his take on the Yellow Vest movement on KPFA in an interview and read his coverage on the Counterpunch website.

All fees are sliding scale. No one is denied admission for inability to pay.

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