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Latest update: August 18, 2000

Finding a Comfortable Position in This Changing World

On Friday, August 18, 2000, the Socialist Review sent this call to the Progressive Sociology Net:

For Socialist Review’s upcoming Special Section on Anti-Capitalism, we are assembling a Roundtable discussion. Please e-mail or send in 5 copies of your responses and commentaries of approximately 500-2000 words (along with a 1-2 line bio), as well as other visual forms of creative, radical expression, by 1 September 2000 to the address below. We look forward to your active participation.

Please distribute this Call for Responses to other people and lists that might be interested. Apologies for cross-posting.}

The recent rise in resistance against economic globalization and the police state exemplified in the US by the actions against the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, the rise in anti-sweatshop activism, and anti-prison organizing has raised excitement about the possibility for fighting capitalism. At Socialist Review, we want to seize this opportunity to ask activists and academics, Marxists and postmoderns (yes, we acknowledge that these categories are not mutually exclusive) to tell us what kinds of theorizing and politics are relevant to their practice. More specifically, we want to know what resistance and struggle in the present period looks like. The following questions are offered to spark some critical discussion about these critical issues.

  1. Is ‘capitalism’ an important category in your politics? If so, what exactly do you mean by ‘anti-capitalism’? What is the relationship between capitalism as a mode of production and capitalism as a discursive category? Is it just one category among others---such as race, sexuality, gender, coloniality—or does it have a special centrality in your thinking and practice?

  2. Are the categories of ‘Marxism’, or ‘postmodernism’ useful in your political and intellectual work? If so, what kind of Marxism or postmodernism? If not, what other schools of thought are helpful to you?

  3. How important is having an alternative to capitalism, e.g., socialism, for you? If so, what would you call it? How would you define and describe it?

  4. How is fighting against ‘capitalism’ connected---or disconnected---from struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other systems of oppression?

  5. Does it make sense to envision revolution with a capital ‘R’ as a necessary condition for a just society? Or is radical democracy a better and more useful concept?

  6. What connections, if any, do you see between anti-sweatshop and anti-globalism organizing and an anti-capitalist agenda? Does it matter if activists talk about capitalism?

  7. How important---and helpful---is it to argue for the connections between the prison-industrial complex and capitalism when organizing youth of color against criminalization of young people?

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