Cracks in the Edifice

Left Forum 2008

Left Forum 2008Each spring in New York City, Left Forum gathers intellectuals and activists from around the world to address the burning issues of our times.  The theme for 2008 is “CRACKS IN THE EDIFICE.”  We will examine the context of an empire in the throes of collapse and discuss the possibilities for social movements to build a better world in its place.

We are living in a time of economic and political meltdown.  Even once-stable governments in the advanced capitalist nations are not immune from decay, while in other parts of the world war and genocide have become the rule.  The disintegration of the social fabric has brought insurgencies, some presenting a progressive alternative to corrupt regimes but others led by religious fundamentalists.

The U.S. President — with the collaboration of both parties in Congress — has pursued an agenda heavy on imperial interests despite the myriad domestic problems we face.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and U.S. military and civilians have been killed in this oil-soaked war, but the urgent needs of the majority of our own civilians remain unfulfilled.

How can we address and challenge such catastrophe when our collective voices often seem weak and our alternatives underdeveloped?  Left Forum provides a unique space for the generation of ideas crucial to theorizing and building a resurgent Left.  This year the Forum will include participants from all corners of North America, as well as Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.  It will truly be a rare opportunity for a global left dialogue.

The primary questions are as critical as they are classic: What is the nature of the current conjuncture, and how can the Left intervene effectively?

The Left Forum 2008 will feature over 100 panels on topics including:

“The Housing Meltdown”
“Dimensions of the Financialization Crisis”
“Decline of the Dollar: Decline or Flexibility of the Empire?”

“Evaluating Chavez from the Left”
Urban Roots of Resistance and the New Left in Latin America”
“The City, Global Migration and Globalized Profit”
“Changing the World by Taking Power?  Challenges Facing the Latin American Left

“The Iran Crisis: Continuing Threat of War, Post-National Intelligence Estimate”
“Lessons of the Iraq Occupation”
Oil and Politics in a Neoliberal World Economy”
“The Backlash against Dissent on Israel — Strategies for Response”

“Tariq Ali on Pakistan
“The Balkans in Crisis: 1990-2008″
“Understanding Turkey Today: Class Dynamics, State Restructuring, and Political Alternatives”
China: Economic Crisis, Environmental Collapse, and Workers’ Struggles in China’s Market Stalinism”
“Neoliberalism, Citizenship, and Land Wars in the ‘New India’
“Popular Struggles for Democracy in Kenya: Lessons from the 2007 Elections”
Southern Africa: Populist Leaders and the Left”

“Why Have the Women’s and Black Movements Stalled?  What Can Be Done to Restart Them?”

“Dangerous Liaison: Feminism and Neo-Liberalism

“No Neoliberalism without 1968?  The Contradictory Legacy of the Cultural Rebellion

“Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Legacy of ’68

Lenin‘s Return?”

“Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century”

“Beyond the Inarticulate — A ‘Conversation’ with Staughton Lynd on Anarchism, Marxism and History from the Bottom Up

“The State of the Anti-War Movement

“Towards a Revolutionary Student Movement: Organization, Vision and Strategy for a Revitalized Left”

“Is a Radical Homosexual Agenda Possible?”

“The Uneasy Alliance of Environmental Justice and Labor Movements

“The Battle for New Orleans: Race, Place, and Radical Politics

“Radical Approaches to Global Warming

Racial Justice and Public Education

US Manufacturing: Restructuring or Disappearing?”

“Reorganizing the Working Class

“Re-constructing Solidarity

“The Arrival of the American Police State

Torture and the Decline of the American Empire”

“The Battle for Immigrant Rights: From Dialogue to Action”

“How Can Studying Workers’ Class Consciousness Helps to Raise It?”

Literature and Politics: A Session in Memory of Annette Rubinstein”

“The Radical Roots of Theology: What Left Movements Can Learn from Religion

Racial and Religious Solidarity: Breaching the Barriers”

—–> Click here to view the 2008 Left Forum program
—–> Click here to view and print the 2008 Left Forum brochure