Koledar dogodkov

Panel discussion – A Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
Apr 30 @ 13:00 – 14:30
Panel discussion - A Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

From Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park, from Athens to Madrid, millions have mobilised and are mobilising against the dictatorship of capital, whatever its local expression might be. Although such massive protests and upheavals would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, with the onset of the great recession in 2008, it seems millions are saying, once again and in a united voice: ‘We have nothing to lose but our chains!’ History that was halted and buried by the epigones of the ruling class has escalated and made visible what will always determine the capitalist system of production: a class-divided society driven by werewolf’s hunger for surplus-labour.

Inspiring as these events are, they have yet to seriously challenge the accumulation of capital. In achieving such long-term goals, questions of a more steady organisation beyond occasional protests inevitably have to be addressed. It is crucial to conceptualise policies as well as organisational forms that will not only pose demands, but will also have the strength to achieve them. Michael Lebowitz put it succinctly when, criticising the old saying ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there’, he stressed that the contrary is actually the case: if we don’t know where we are going, no road will take us there.

It is precisely at this point that imagining and developing a socialist alternative is of crucial importance. This involves both practical and theoretical work, as it is equally important to envision such society or the goal we are trying to achieve, while at the same time working on the practical, organisational issues, that is, measures through which the goal can be achieved. One of the most urgent tasks at hand is to improve the living conditions of the working class and to effectively combat the austerity measures that are devastating it. This panel will tackle both these issues in envisioning the society in which full human development will finally be possible and in which mankind will achieve the ascent from kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.

Round table – Building a New Left in the Balkans @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
May 1 @ 11:00 – 13:00
Round table - Building a New Left in the Balkans @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

‘There is probably no other region in Europe where the past and present of the left are so severely out of sync with one another as they are in former Yugoslavia’, Boris Kanzleiter and Đorde Tomić write in a discussion of the state of the post-Yugoslav Left in the Balkans.

Indeed, one can recall a very sorry state of the post-Yugoslav political landscape from the 1990s and well into the new century. Unlike certain countries where the traditional post-WWII model of the mass Communist party managed to survive political oblivion and retain at least some presence on the local or even state level, there is no trace of the once comprehensive League of Communists of Yugoslavia, except in the form of the continuity of the reformed political élites, who played their compador roles well regardless of their social democrat, liberal or conservative guise.

On the other hand, nothing even remotely resembling a new leftist party such as Die Linke arose from the awakening civil society. The outspoken voices of new ideas in the 1980s quickly settled on the social capital of their founding fathers and never politicised the issue of transition in any substantial, let alone leftist manner.

Even on this barren landscape, however, new movements have emerged with admirable resilience. The institutional discontinuity in which these newcomers are forced to operate might even be an opportunity in the crisis. While the thirdwayist social democracy is a sign of a colossal defeat of the European post-war Left, we must admit that parties truly leaning toward the left are also exposed to the dangers of cooptation, alienation and disenchantment. Movements uninhibited by the constraints of parliamentary democracy are therefore a necessity, both as a fail-safe device and as a pool of new approaches and energy.

The aim of our panel discussion is to evaluate political developments in the Balkans in recent years from this perspective. We will try to probe reasons for the political vacuum of the transitional era, describe the political formation of student- and worker-activists of recent years, reflect on past attempts of party building and identify its dogmatic as well as left-liberal deviations. Ultimately, our goal is to analyse the potential for building a new Left in the Balkans, a Left that will raise the stakes from strictly reactive to proactive political activity without losing its potential the moment the next landslide election occurs.

Marko Kostanić – Organisationsfrage in ravni abstrakcije
Jan 9 @ 18:00 – 20:00

Zakaj se zdi, da se levica, ki domnevno verjame v učinkovitost načrtovanja, vede, kot da spontana samoorganizacija politike in intelektualna debata od spodaj v sodobnem svetu določata zlati standard družbene epistemologije? – Philip Mirovski

Zgodovino levice v dvajsetem stoletju sta temeljno zaznamovali dve vprašanji, ki še vedno služita kot nesporni razločevalni orientacijski točki – ‘Kako brati Kapital?’ in ‘Kaj storiti?’. Iz eksplicitnih in implicitnih odgovorov držav, partij, gibanj in posameznih marksistov bi lahko napisali obsežno zgodovino socialističnih projektov. Namen predavanja je pokazati, da so odgovori na ta vprašanja odločilno epistemološko in politično povezani. Vendar kot nasilno ločevanje ‘teoretske’ in ‘politične’ sfere ne dela usluge ne eni ne drugi, nas niti doktrinarno združevanje ne rešuje ‘dialektičnih’ skrbi. Pri poskusu produktivnejše obravnave problema se bom naslonil na analitične intervencije Michaela Heinricha in Michaela Lebowitza ter na njune pristope k branju Kapitala. Nato bom na kratko orisal zgodovinsko pot in dinamiko, ki sta levico pripeljali do današnje pozicije. V tretjem delu predavanja bom, glede na postavljeni epistemološki okvir in spoznanje o odvisnosti od prehojene zgodovinske poti, pokazal na protislovja, s katerimi se srečujejo današnja prizadevanja po izgradnji socialističnega projekta. K njim bom pristopil preko dveh problemskih sklopov – funkcije in oblike kapitalistične države ter družbene reprodukcije (politične) delovne sile.

Marko Kostanić (1984) je soustanovitelj in član Centra za radničke studije iz Zagreba.

Organisationsfrage i razine apstrakcije

Why does the Left, which supposedly believes in the efficacy of planning, seem to act as though spontaneous self-organization of politics and intellectual debate from below constitutes the gold standard of social epistemology in the modern world? – Philip Mirowski

Dva su pitanja fundamentalno obilježila historiju ljevice u dvadesetom stoljeću, a i dalje služe kao neprijeporni distinktivni orijentiri – ‘Kako čitati Kapital?’ i ‘Što da se radi?’. Kroz eksplicitne i implicitne odgovore država, partija, pokreta i individualnih marksista dala bi se napisati obuhvatna historija socijalističkih projekata. Namjera izlaganja je ukazati da su odgovori na ova pitanja presudno epistemološki i politički povezani. Ali, kao što nasilno razdvajanje ‘teorijske’ i ‘političke’ sfere ne čini uslugu ni jedno ni drugoj, tako nas ni doktrinarno spajanje ne rješava ‘dijalektičkih’ briga. U pokušaju produktivnijeg tretmana problema oslonit ću se na analitičke intervencije Michaela Heinricha i Michaela Lebowitza i njihove pristupe čitanju Marxova Kapitala. Zatim ću ukratko ocrtati historijsku putanju i dinamiku koji su doveli ljevicu do današnje pozicije. U trećem dijelu izlaganja ću s obzirom na postavljeni epistemološki okvir i prepoznatu ovisnost o prijeđenom historijskom putu naznačiti kontradikcije s kojima se susreću današnja nastojanja izgradnje socijalističkih projekata. Pristupit ću im kroz dva problemska kompleksa – funkcija i forma kapitalističke države i društvena reprodukcija (političke) radne snage.

Marko Kostanić (1984.) je suosnivač i član Centra za radničke studije iz Zagreba.