Left Forum is May 30th through June 1st

2014_conference_announcement
LEFT FORUM 2014
WHERE: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York
WHEN: May 30th through June 1st, 2014

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The Left Forum—the largest annual conference of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, and the interested public in the U.S—will convene on the first weekend off June in New York City.

This year’s theme: Reform and/or Revolution: Imagining a World with Transformative Justice

Pressing questions loom for justice seeking social forces.

What is to be done today when a reform brings us one step forward, while leaving other important struggles worse off in the process?

Come to analyze, debate, build, ally, and strategize at Left Forum, 2014. www.leftforum.org

What type of movements will it take to overcome such challenges?
As the system fails so many so badly, activists for democracy, sustainability, equality, and the abolition of oppression and exploitation increasingly grasp their shared demand for basic social justice. Fifty years of anti-communism, anti-radicalism, hesitant social criticism, and activists’ mutual suspicions are fading into irrelevance.

What type of institutions, systems and societal conditions are possible when transformed conditions of justice no longer take the forms of, “the aggrieved speaking to the grievance alleviators”?

More than ever, people know that a new and different world is urgently needed. How do we get there from here: reforms, revolution, or strategic combinations of both?

Economic, political and cultural inequalities deepen inside every country. Class divisions sharpen. Social injustice brings us all to breaking points.

The world remains mired in the 7th year of capitalist crisis. The celebrated “recovery” benefits only the few who generated the crisis, while endless economic declines beset its victims, the vast majority.

Big business and the rich maximize social controls to protect and preserve their dominance. Everywhere they and their politicians impose austerities while reserving public resources to bail out banks and other failed mega-corporations. Capitalism’s “new normal” for most people features poor job and income prospects, unsustainable debts, ecological decline, and right-wingers aiming to deflect social discontent against their usual scapegoats.

Human and natural resources wasted and abused expose this system’s immense social costs. Even as the environmental crisis reaches epic proportions the forces of capital either sit idly by or actively oppose serious measures to address it. We can surely do better than this system. The 1% have managed the crisis for their benefit. The question is whether we can now solve the crisis and build a system that serves instead the 99%.

This question is on the minds of millions now, more than at any time in half a century. How do these issues raise the question of the relation of reform to revolution?

The Left Forum 2014 offers a place for us to explore and debate our common needs for reforms, a revolution, or both.

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