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Patrick Bond with Numsa and BRICS climate critique at Historical Materialism conference, London, 5-6 November


The History and Current State of the South African Working Class Struggle - The Case for NUMSA
Chair and discussant: Patrick Bond
Andrew Chirwa (NUMSA President)
Norma Craven (office head of the NUMSA Movement for Socialism Task Team)
Patrick Craven (member of the NUMSA Movement for Socialism Task Team)
Christopher Malikane (Chair, NUMSA Movement for Socialism task team) TBC

Climate crisis and counterausterity
Chair: Andreas Malm
Patrick Bond The BRICS join climate-crisis capitalism amidst competition in emissions laxity
James Anderson and Eoin Flaherty Climate Crisis: Beyond Growth/No Growth to Eco-Socialism
Heikki Patomaki Reflexive Self-Regulation on a Planetary Scale: From Privatisation of the Atmosphere to Global Taxes and Common Good

The Old is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born: States, Strategies, Socialisms

Twelfth Annual Historical Materialism Conference
As austerity tightens its grip around the throats of the peoples of Europe, but also rears its ugly head in Brazil and elsewhere, we are forced to recognize that it is not the mere byproduct of the economic crisis but a political project in its own right, one whose aim is to deepen and consolidate the most uncompromising forms of neoliberal capitalism.

It cannot be said that this project has hitherto been met with passivity, even if social movements of resistance have been mostly far from strong enough to halt its advance. Yet something is perhaps beginning to change, namely the emergence of counter-austerity projects that have pitched themselves at a political - even electoral or governmental - level.

With all their weaknesses, hesitations and contradictions, the chinks of light in Southern Europe, amongst others, should compel Marxists to pose a whole series of 'old' strategic and theoretical problems in new garbs and new configurations, but perhaps also to retire some of our dear fetishes and shibboleths, and to experiment with forms and strategies adequate to our present.

Among the themes that have returned to the agenda are: the relationship of movements and parties of the radical Left to states and governments; the need for a political response to how class power is enmeshed with forms of domination that have gender, race, imperialism or sexuality as their axes; possible socialist futures and the transitional mediations implied by them; the guiding dichotomies of left thought: reform and revolution, revolution and revolt, state and movement, parties classes and masses; the link between the limits to capital and the limits of politics.

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