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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category 2015

Presented by the Platypus Affiliated Society at the University of Chicago, 5 February 2015

 

Whether it is the gruesome murder of school children in Peshawar or the brutal killing of editors of Charlie Hebdo, it is clear that our world is in the grip of militant Islam. But what is even more shocking is the response of the Left to these incidents. Mired in confusion, the contemporary Left has failed to comprehend the gravity of the current situation and continues to make confounding gestures towards the force of political Islam, liberal values, such as the freedom of speech, and above all, its own orientation toward the current political crisis. This teach-in will address the rise of political Islam as a consequence of the demise of the Left internationally.

Tuesday, February 3, 7pm, Cardinal Room, Student Center East, University of Illinois at Chicago
It seems that there are still only two radical ideologies: Anarchism and Marxism. They emerged out of the same crucible — the Industrial Revolution, the unsuccessful revolutions of 1848 and 1871, a weak liberalism, the centralization of state power, the rise of the workers movement, and the promise of socialism. They are the revolutionary heritage, and all significant radical upsurges of the last 150 years have returned to mine their meaning for the current situation. In this respect, our moment seems no different.

Freitag 6, Februar 2015, 18:30 Uhr
Campus Bockenheim Studierendenhaus, Festsaal

Mit:

Beschreibung: 2014 jährten sich die Revolutionen von 1989 im ehemaligen Ostblock, der sogenannte „Herbst der Völker“, zum 25. Mal. Für die heutige Generation junger Erwachsener sind die Sowjetunion, der Ostblock und der Kalte Krieg zu bloßen Begriffen aus den Geschichtsbüchern geworden. Im Allgemeinen wird 1989 als der entscheidende Abschluss des Kalten Kriegs zwischen Kapitalismus und Kommunismus betrachtet, aus der ersterer als Sieger hervorging, womit das Ende des politischen Marxismus besiegelt wurde. Planwirtschaft und Kollektivierung der Produktionsmittel wurden als Grund des Versagens der Sowjetunion und ihrer Satellitenstaaten ausgemacht und aufgrund ihrer totalitären Regierungen wurde die Möglichkeit der Herrschaft der Arbeiterklasse überhaupt infrage gestellt. Außerdem scheint die Fähigkeit der Linken, sich eine
Überwindung des Kapitalismus und eine klassenlose Gesellschaft vorzustellen, durch den Untergang des Kommunismus im Osten zutiefst beschädigt worden zu sein.

Da diese Geschehnisse nun scheinbar Geschichte geworden sind, kann und muss die Auswirkung von 1989 wieder überdacht werden. Die Platypus Affiliated Society möchte dieses 25. „Jubiläum“ nutzen, um herauszufinden, in welcher Art und Weise die Umbrüche von 1989 die Gegenwart beeinflussen. Wir fragen: Welche Bedeutung hatte das Jahr 1989 in seinem historischen Kontext und wie wirkt es sich auf die heutige Linke und ihre Politik aus?

Held February 3, 2015 at the University of California Santa Cruz. Moderated by Daniel Rudin.

Panelists:

Mike Rotkin - Lecturer in Community Studies at the UCSC
Allison Cabrera - SEIU, National Labor College
Steve Early - Labor Notes

Description:

Recently, campus-based unions have been organizing under the concept of "social movement unionism", and so we seek to ask the question - what does "social movement unionism" actually mean? The panel seeks to discuss this as a concept for campus-based organizing and situate the theory and practice of social movement unionism in relation to both the broader labor movement as well as to politics.

Panel Questions:

  1. Does the “movement” aspect of “social movement unionism” stand for the same thing as politics? If not what is the difference between movements and politics? How do you view the sectional demands of students relating to the demands of other sections of society - and how do they do so in a way that is better or worse than any other workplaces? 
  2. What kind of issues can be addressed through university unions?  Do you see university unions in any way as a “vanguard” or a strategy to revitalize left politics? As a way to restart the labor movement?
  3. How should public university unions relate to the local and national Democratic Parties?  Is a relationship necessary to preserve collective bargaining rights for state unions?  What can be said about the current frustration with fee increases?
  4. Is there something ‘politically formative' about the experience of striking, occupying, etc. that is necessary for building Left politics?  For rebuilding the labor movement?
  5. The International UAW administration prides itself on its partnership with the Big 3 and have used this as the primary message for organizing the foreign owned auto plants.  Are labor-management partnerships an organizing tool or liquidation of the labor movement?  What kind of relationship should university unions have with the administration?  What role should university unions play in directing the ‘work’ of the university?  Is this compatible with transforming the ‘work’ of the university, or with overcoming capitalism?