What is the Future of Socialism? - 4th Annual European Conference (London)
Held on February 18, 2018 from 18:00-20:00 in RHB 137a at Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Pam Nogales.
Boris Kagarlitsky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements)
Alex Demirovic (University of Frankfurt; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
Mark Osbourn (Alliance for Workers Liberty)
Hillel Ticktin (University of Glasgow; Founding Editor, Critique)
Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Platypus)
The recent polarisation of politics, in the UK manifested around Corbyn and Brexit, has led some commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. This undetermined moment has been welcomed variously as a potential opening for emancipatory politics, political engagement and a renewed imagination of 'socialism'. For others, it has been received with belligerence, as a turn toward a new, populist right. This panel discussion aims to clarify the range of Left perspectives on the question of the future of socialism today.
- Are we in a moment of stability or instability? How so? Can we talk, as CNN notes, of an upset equilibrium in the world? (CNN: “The Trump effect could be all the more pronounced because the political
equilibrium of much of the world has been upset, straining institutions and assumptions in international relations that have endured for decades. To judge how much has changed, and why the prospects of 2017 look so uncertain, it's worth looking back a year.”)
- Is there a “re-politicisation of public life … reviving a culture of political participation and democratic debate”? If so, what kind of politics are emerging in this moment?
- Does the success of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders constitute a resurgence of socialists politics today? What is the character of these socialist politics?
- Do you see a future for socialist politics? In what way would this be a break from the history of previous attempts at socialism, for example the anti-war movement and the New Left? What are the political tasks socialists must face today?
- Do we still need the dictatorship of the proletariat? Why or why not?