Held October 4, 2018 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
John Abbott, Senior lecturer of history at UIC
John Bachtell, Chairman of the Communist Party USA
Fred Mecklenburg, News and Letters
David Faes, Platypus / Campaign for a Socialist Party
The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?
Panel held on March 31st, 2012 at the Fourth Annual Platypus International Convention, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- What's wrong with the G8/NATO? On what grounds should the G8/NATO be politicized? To what extent is social domination reducible to or expressed by the G8/NATO?
- If the G8/NATO perpetuates a global status quo, what would a world without these institutions look like? Would global bodies function in an emancipated world? If so, how?
- How do you assess the necessity and efficacy of activist resistance to the G8/NATO? How would a local repeat of the Battle of Seattle advance the cause of emancipation?
- What is the relationship between the Occupy movement and the G8/NATO protests? If Occupy adopts the alter-globalization model of regular summit confrontations, does this shift indicate progress or regress compared to last fall's strategy of constant occupation?