Koledar dogodkov

May
1
Wed
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.

Round table – Toward a European Left Strategy of Building a Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana
May 1 @ 18:00 – 20:00
Round table - Toward a European Left Strategy of Building a Socialist Alternative @ Stara mesta elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18, Ljubljana

The European Union is often celebrated in the liberal commonsense discourse as a pacifistic project that finally brought peace, prosperity and brotherhood to modern Europe after centuries of wars between European nations or states. Furthermore, the EU is celebrated as a democratic project: immediately after the Second World War, at the very onset of European integration, the main ideological momentum of ‘democracy’ was antifascism; however, after the defeat of real socialism, the main ideological focus of the EU turned against ‘totalitarianism’ in an attempt to equate socialism with fascism.

The notion of the EU as an anti-totalitarian organisation reveals the purpose of contemporary European integration. In its opposition to both fascism and socialism, it betrays its liberal, more precisely, neoliberal bias spearheaded mainly against any kind of socialist or even Keynesian reforms. Mechanisms of preventing socialist ‘totalitarianism’ are constituent parts of the EU treaties (such as the Maastricht Treaty, the Lisbon Treaty), projects (the single currency project and the common market), pacts (such as the Growth and Stability Pact, the Six Pack) and the institutional framework notorious for its democratic deficit.

The crisis exposed the antisocialist and therefore antisocial bias of this kind of ‘union’. The common market policies are disabling the member states to compete in the common market in any other way than by suppressing the working classes. The single currency outsourced the monetary policies of the member states to the European Central Bank, which is not willing to play the role of lender in last resort whose main goal is to lower inflation, and thus pushes the member states into the cold hands of private financial markets. Its treaties and pacts are imposing a ‘straightjacket’ on member states. They are imposing fiscal rules on the one hand, while on the other they don’t provide fiscal transfers to guarantee convergence between the member states. And last but not least, the technocratic and authoritarian character of supranational institutions, which don’t even correspond to bourgeois democratic standards, are disabling the people and progressive forces to even slightly change these mechanisms. The dictatorship of the capitalist élites is perfected in this institutional framework.

The results of this kind of integration are of course no less than devastating. In the Union that pushed its member states into ruthless competition the wages of its working classes are being suppressed, its welfare state decomposed and once sacred social rights denied. Furthermore, the Union’s periphery, which was unable to catch up with far more advanced industrial production of the core, experienced drastic erosion of the productive base and finally fell into a debt trap. The expected miracle of the free market policies turned into a nightmare. States are diverging rather than converging, the tensions between the core and periphery are escalating, and the working classes are thrown into brutal exploitation and misery. The only profiteer in this story is – naturally – the European bourgeoisie.

Therefore, the EU is no less than a project of European capitalist élites aimed at imposing neoliberalism masked as ‘European integration’. To us, the anticapitalist left, this poses the following riddle: if the bias of the really existing European integration is neoliberal, how can we respond? Is it possible to change the institutional framework to function in favour of the working classes? Is a ‘good euro’ possible and if so, under which circumstances? And if it is impossible, how risky would it be to exit the euro zone and the EU? And finally: is a socialist Europe possible?

Dec
12
Thu
Marko Kržan – Uspehi in neuspehi jugoslovanskega samoupravljanja @ Sindikalna dvorana Elektra Ljubljana (vhod Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18)
Dec 12 @ 18:00 – 20:00
Marko Kržan - Uspehi in neuspehi jugoslovanskega samoupravljanja @ Sindikalna dvorana Elektra Ljubljana (vhod Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana, Slomškova 18)

Teza tega predavanja je, da je bila samoupravna socialistična ureditev v Jugoslaviji družbeno in ekonomsko uspešna, ker ji je uspelo:
1. Odpraviti kapitalistično izkoriščanje in radikalno zmanjšati druge vrste izkoriščanja in neenakosti.
2. Zmanjšati razvojne razlike med republikami in pokrajinami.
3. Zmanjšati razvojni zaostanek glede na razvite države.
4. Zagotoviti politično neodvisnost države in njenih narodov ter krepiti neodvisnost nekdanjih kolonij (gibanje neuvrščenih).

Na žalost so se ti trendi konec 60. let obrnili. Ne sicer vsi v enaki meri in hkrati, vsekakor pa je bilo konec 80. let stanje tako:
1. Socialistična ureditev je obstajala le še na papirju, dozoreli so pogoji za obnovo kapitalizma.
2. Razlike med republikami in pokrajinami so bile spet take, kot so bile leta 1939/1945.
3. Država že nekaj časa ni več dohitevala razvitih evropskih držav, tako da je bila relativno gledano približno tam, kjer je bila leta 1939/1945.
4. Država je bila na robu razpada in v odvisnosti od mednarodnih finančnih institucij ter razvitih držav-upnic.
Na predavanju bomo analizirali to dogajanje.

Marko Kržan je sociolog, doktorand na oddelku za sociologijo Filozofske fakultete v Ljubljani, sicer pa prevajalec, publicist in urednik. Je tudi častni član Delavsko-punkerske univerze in član Iniciative za demokratični socializem. Raziskovalno se ukvarja z marksistično teorijo vrednosti in razredov.

Feb
10
Mon
Študijski seminar – Sovjetska zveza in njeni kritiki @ ZSSS, Ljubljana
Feb 10 @ 17:00 – 19:00
Študijski seminar - Sovjetska zveza in njeni kritiki @ ZSSS, Ljubljana

Nosilca in izvajalca: Sašo Furlan in Tibor Rutar
Prijave in informacije: tibor.rutar@gmail.com
Termin: vsak ponedeljek 17.00 -19.00 (od 18. novembra naprej)
Lokacija: Knjižnica Mirovnega inštituta (Metelkova 6)

Na prvem, uvodnem srečanju bo predaval dr. Lev Centrih.

Na bralnem seminarju se bomo posvetili teoretski refleksiji enega najbolj razvpitih poskusov izgradnje kapitalizmu alternativnega družbeno-ekonomskega sistema v 20. stoletju – realno obstoječega socializma v Sovjetski zvezi. Te tematike se ne lotevamo le iz gole zgodovinske radovednosti, saj menimo, da nam ustrezna refleksija tega projekta lahko marsikaj pove tudi o sami naravi sodobnega kapitalizma ter o možnostih in pogojih njegove odprave. Dejstvo, da je nemara najbolj megalomanski poskus izgradnje socializma v zgodovini človeštva klavrno spodletel in za seboj pustil nič več kot restavracijo kapitalizma, kaže na neizmerno trdoživost, vztrajnost in dinamičnost družbeno-ekonomskega sistema, v katerem živimo. Hkrati pa priča o tem, da je izgradnja socialistične družbe, ki bi trajno nadomestila kapitalizem, vse prej kakor lahka naloga. Ustrezna analiza vzrokov za neuspeh preteklih poskusov izgradnje socializma je zato nujen predpogoj uspešnosti vsakršne socialistične prakse, ki danes ponovno poskuša odpraviti kapitalizem.

Seminar ne bo osredotočen na empirične študije zgodovinskega razvoja Sovjetske zveze, temveč na teoretske tekste marksističnih avtorjev, ki tako ali drugače poskušajo artikulirati bistvene strukturne poteze ter tendence in zakone, ki so določali in regulirali družbeno-ekonomski sistem v Sovjetski zvezi. Podrobneje bomo obravnavali tri marksistične teorije o družbeno-ekonomskem sistemu v Sovjetski zvezi: teorijo »degenerirane delavske države«, ki jo je postavil Lev Trocki in kasneje preciziral Ernest Mandel; teorijo »državnega kapitalizma«, ki sta jo razvila Raja Dunajevska in C. L. R. James; in teorijo »spodbijane reprodukcije« (contested reproduction), ki jo je na podlagi spisov Jevgenija Preobraženskega razvil Michael Lebowitz. Pri kritičnem soočenju omenjenih teorij ne bomo mogli obiti temeljnih tekstov samega Marxa, saj se vse te teorije posredno ali neposredno naslanjajo na njegovo teorijo vrednosti. Ravno pravilno razumevanje Marxove teorije vrednosti je namreč odločilni kriterij za presojanje o ustreznosti marksističnih teorij strukturnih potez družbeno-ekonomskega sistema v Sovjetski zvezi.

Edini pogoj za udeležbo je prebrana literatura. Ob prvem obisku prosimo, da mentorjema sporočite svoj e-naslov, ki bo dodan na seznam prejemnikov literature, ki jo boste obiskovalci seminarja prejemali sproti v e-formatu.

Literatura:

  • Chattopadhyay, Paresh. The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience. Westport (CN): Praeger, 1994.
  • Cliff, Tony. State Capitalism in Russia. London: Bookmarks, 1988 [1955].
  • CLR, James, Raya Dunayevskaya in Grace Lee. State Capitalism and World Revolution. Oakland: PM Press, 2013 [1950].
  • Dunayevskaya, Raya. The Nature of Russian Economy. 1946-47. Dostopno prek: http://www.marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/works/1946/statecap.htm.
  • Lebowitz, Michael. The Contradictions of »Real Socialism«. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.
  • Mandel, Ernest. The Inconsistencies of State Capitalism. 1969. Dostopno prek: http://www.marxists.org/archive/mandel/1969/08/statecapitalism.htm.
  • Marx, Karl. »Kritika gothskega programa«. Prev. Maks Veselko. Karl Marx in Friedrich Engels, Izbrana dela. 4. zv. Ur. Boris Ziherl. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1968 [1875]. 479–509.
  • Marx, Karl. Kapital : kritika politične ekonomije. 3, Celotni proces kapitalistične produkcije. Prev. Ivan Lavrač. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1973 [1894].
  • Marx, Karl. Kritika politične ekonomije 1857/58 [Grundrisse]. Ur. Rado Riha; prev. Božidar Debenjak, Valentin Kalan, Tomaž Mastnak, Jelica ŠumičRiha, Rado Riha, Primož Simoniti, Peter Wieser. Ljubljana: Delavska enotnost, 1985.
  • Marx, Karl. H kritiki politične ekonomije : 1858-1861. Ur. Tomaž Mastnak; prev. Igor Kramberger, Tomaž Mastnak in Rado Riha. Ljubljana: Marksistični center CK ZKS, 1989.
  • Marx, Karl. Kapital : kritika politične ekonomije. 1, Produkcijski proces kapitala. Ur. Jernej Habjan, Marko Kržan in Ciril Oberstar; prev. Mojca Dobnikar. Ljubljana, Sophia, 2012 [1867].
  • Mattick, Paul. Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy. Boston: Extending Horizons Books/Porter Sargent Publisher, 1969.
  • Rubin, Isaak I. Essays on Marx’s Theory of Value. New Delhi: HarperCollins India, 1999 [1928].
  • Stalin, Joseph. Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR. 1951. Dostopno prek: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1951/economic-problems/.
  • Sweezy, Paul M. Post-Revolutionary Society. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1980.
  • Trotsky, Leon. The Revolution Betrayed. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2004 [1936].
  • Van der Linden, Marcel. Western Marxism and the Soviet Union. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2007.