SEMINAR FOR EVERYONE: What is a radical left-wing political platform, what are the reasons for it?
27. 09. 2015 14:00
Even though in the context of gradual but incisive break-down of imperialist policies in the Middle East it is clear that a global capitalist system is not able to respond to problems it itself generates, and uses for its perseverance, a historically reliable sign of its decadent withering away, the idea of radical change that ought to articulate radical left-wing politics still seems to lack aits clear, internationally recognizable and acceptable political profile or articulation
The he drop in the standard of living as well as of overall civilization standards, social concerns and responsibilities that bring masses of population to unbearable brink of everyday life in intolerable surroundings, still however manage to be reproduced and to offer political space to those who know why the world needs to change in order to survive and why the capitalist system, even though it has brought its own centers to the brink of extinction in the course of the 20th century, has endured as globally dominant, as the system in the reproduction to which the majority of the world population knowingly or unknowingly invest their intellectual and working capacities.
Extremely selfish and cynical (but also quite expected) behavior and moves of European political elites towards migrants and migrations, ultimate complicity and duplicity of Belgrade and Serbian authorities, which, under the imperatives of capital, wherever it may come from, as in the case of Belgrade Waterfront, are willing to sacrifice all principles of expertise and all accountable national or local policies (thus functioning as a clumsy avant-garde to the imminent Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which will enable private capital to openly assume the role of a lawgiver), tragic-comical confrontation among governments of Serbia, Croatia and Hungary for politically prestigious and more profitable place in the lobby of Philistine Europe...... are just the most topical items on the list of global-local problems which obviously require decisive, long-term and systemic answers - radical by default compared to the guiding principles and paradigms of all political fractions of the ruling neoliberal ideology.
Preparation and moderation of the seminar: Nebojša Milikić
What is a radical left-wing platform and for what reasons it is radical; how can it be implemented in today's Serbia? To explain the nature of the left-wing platform, I take recourse to history of revolutionary practice; to assess in what way it can be implemented, I will first take a look at the cards that are at our disposal i.e. the models of action that are assumed by organizations, groups and individuals which accept this designation.
Tamara Đorđević (1979, Svetozarevo) is an art and culture theoretician and critic. She lives in Sremska Mitrovica and teaches Theory and History of Visual Arts and Media at the Faculty of Theatre and Film in Bijeljina.
In my presentation, I will try to extrapolate the thesis that for conceptualizing a left-wing strategy in Serbia today, it is important to begin by engaging in self-criticism of existing left-wing organizations. In order to explain why I think that self-criticism is necessary, I will highlight certain deficiencies which have been present on the left-wing scene for a number of years now, which often hamper its growth. The causes of such a state of affairs I will tentatively and methodologically divide into two groups: subjective (barren practice, blind campaigning, incapability of politically relevant action, failure in approaching spontaneously emerging social movements, avant-gardism) as well as objective (material reproduction of left-wing organizations and actors, transference of structural inequalities of capitalism onto the movement, impossibility of democratization). This presentation will serve as another attempt to contribute to the left-wing self-criticism in order to defend the main thesis about the correct strategy of left-wing politics today: namely, its basic political question should not be how to come nearer to the people, but how to include the people on equal terms in the entire enterprise.
Andrea Jovanović is a philosophy graduate at the Philosophical Faculty in Belgrade and a member of Kolektiv Gerusija. Her theoretical interests cover the fields of critical political economy, Marxist feminism and Marxist labor theories. Her political interests lie in conceptualization of and participation in the struggle for egalitarian society of free individuals. She occasionally publishes newspaper articles.
15.45 BREAK (do 16.00)
The tactics of appropriation and co-optation: the idea of the radical left in the context of bourgeois politics
Can politics of unreserved support to comprador capitalism and parliamentary manipulation be transformed overnight into the politics of articulation of class struggle of workers who had been denied their rights and the politics of democratic resistance to imperatives of imperialist centers? One of topical subjects of analysis of various radical left-wing initiatives could be the use of the terms such as, „the rise against the privileged class," „the end of exploitation of workers," „the opposition to Serbia's membership in NATO" or „the creation of the Balkan confederation" in the long-awaited political manifesto of the vice president of the Democratic Party, issued on September 14. This analysis would take into account the contradictions in the manifesto itself as well as in tactical motives of appropriating the elements of radical left-wing politics and ideas.
Vladimir Marković is a sociologist. Since 2003 he has been employed at the administration of the University of Belgrade and since 2011 he has been working as an editor of the publishing house and bookstore Baraba. He used to be a member of the editorial board of the journal Break. He has been politically engaged in several initiatives that reaffirmed the revolutionary workers' movement.
Do left-wing activists need a political party to implement left-wing politics?
In my presentation, I will try to analyze the place of radical left-wing parties in Europe today and their practice and political role in the capitalist system. I will also engage in an analysis of the situation in Serbia and the possibility of articulating the left-wing alternative, trying to give an answer to the question of whether left-wing activists need a political party to achieve their proclaimed goals or not.
Zoran Petakov is 39 years old. He was born, raised, and educated in Novi Sad. He graduated from the Philosophy Faculty in Novi Sad with a degree in history. He is proud of his Partisan ancestors. He grew up at the sports field of the „Vojvodina" club, in the streets of Novi Sad and at punk concerts. Living in SFRY, he has learned to appreciate multiculturalism and the working class.
His political convictions are left-wing and he is militantly anti-Fascist and atheist. In „democratic" Serbia, he was convicted to three months imprisonment for allegedly offending bishop Irinej, having exercised his freedom of opinion. After a public scandal broke out, instead of incarceration, he was sentenced to three months of house arrest. For almost two decades he has been an activist of various left-wing movements and organizations. He has participated in almost all left-wing initiatives and mobilization attempts in the 21st century. His fields of interest are history of workers' movement in Yugoslavia, historical revisionism and anti-Fascism.
17.30 - 18h Closing discussion
The seminar is a part of the Cultural Center Rex Debate Program carried out with the support of the Open Society Foundation.