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[Chicago] Why Today’s Attack on Democracy Matters

Taking Stock of the Present Moment: Where Do We Go from Here?

The present moment brings us to a crossroads: we have experienced a remarkable series of anti-racist protests as well as a resurgence of interest in socialism in recent years, which is now under serious attack by a growing neo-fascist Right—and a decaying neoliberalism that is incapable of stopping it. These discussions will take stock of the present moment by exploring perspectives for developing a revolutionary humanist alternative to capitalism.


Zoom Meeting:

Passcode: 780230

All readings are available for free


Session 1: Monday, February 28 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

Why Today’s Attack on Democracy Matters

Rightwing authoritarians and fascists are actively seeking to destroy what is left of the limited political democracy that exists in some parts of the world; are the freedom movements prepared for this, and what will it take to win the battle for democracy?

Leading off the discussion: Peter Hudis, author, Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

Suggested readings: 1) Raya Dunayevskaya, Marxism and Freedom, chapter 12, “The Age of Revolutions” (pp. 27-43); 2) Kevin Anderson, “The Jan. 6, 2021 Insurrection: Historical and Global Contexts”; 3) Rosa Luxemburg “The Struggle Against Relics.”


Session 2: Monday, March 21 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

Care Giving and the Human Condition

In response to how the pandemic has brought the landscape of gendered crises to the surface, we examine the current realities of what is regarded as caregiving work, paid and unpaid­—by considering its immense impact on childcare, healthcare, domestic labor, education, and relationships within families and other networks and alliances.

Leading off the discussion: Rehmah Sufi

Suggested readings: Dunayevskaya, Women’s Liberation and the Dialectics of Revolution, chapter 21, “On Family and Love Relationships in the New Society” (pp. 183-88)


Session 3: Monday, April 11 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

What We Can Learn from Today’s Mass Movement in Chile

The 2019 Uprising against Chile’s neoliberal regime has led to the writing of a new democratic Constitution and the election of leftwing activist Gabriel Boric as President. What lessons can we learn from the Chilean movement’s effort to replace neoliberalism with democratic socialism?

Leading off the discussion: Bill Young

Suggested readings: 1) Bill Young, “Chile: Behind the Left’s Victory”; 2) Jeffery Webber, “Notes on the Chilean Elections”; 3) Pierina Ferretti, “The People Are Here to Stay.”


Session 4: Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

Rethinking Organization in Light of the Dialectic of Race, Class, and Gender

What forms, practices and concepts of organization are best suited for an intersectional Marxism that takes issues of race and gender as seriously as class, given the failure of hierarchical and vanguardist approaches to organization that have often characterized the Left?

Suggested readings: Dunayevakaya, “Presentation on the Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy”; Frantz Fanon, excerpt from The Wretched of the Earth; 3) Peter Hudis, “What Fanon Learned from the Algerian Revolution.”


Session 5: Monday, May 23 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

Time Matters: The “Great Resignation” and the Alternative to Alienated Labor

Tens of millions around the world are responding to the inequities brought to the surface by the pandemic by quitting or changing their jobs on a virtually unprecedented scale. Why is this happening, and in what way does it call on us to develop a deeper critique of capital than predominated in the socialist or communist movements of the past?

Leading off the discussion: Hector Salazar

Suggested reading: Dunayevskaya, Marxism and Freedom, from chapter 3, “What Kind of Labor?”; 2) Martin Häaglund, excerpt from This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom.


Session 6: Monday, June 13 at 6:30 pm [Central Time]

What Does Solidarity Look Like?

How do we support longtime struggles, as well as those that have emerged recently in meaningful ways? What are the principles on which our concern and solidarity must be founded? We will take up the question of how support for Palestinian, Afghan, Iranian, Gambian, and Uzbek people struggling against oppression can be guided by those most impacted as well as connect to the mutual challenge of overcoming capitalism.

Suggested reading: TBA



Sponsored by the International Marxist-Humanist Organization