Starting Date: 04-17-2009
Ending Date: 04-19-2009
New York, New York 10038
United StatesEach spring in New York City, Left Forum gathers intellectuals and activists from around the world to address the burning issues of our times. The theme for 2009 is TURNING POINTS.
Even before the financial meltdown and its spreading destruction to other sectors of the US economy and globally we have had a sense of a capitalism in deep trouble, unable not only to meet the needs of people (no new development) but unable to even reproduce its exploitative norms nor able to effectively force its once robust ideological hegemony on people. American capitalism has been deeply discredited in its failed wars, failed economy, and failure to meet the basic needs of people and the planet.
The 2009 Left Forum poses the question, could we be at a historic juncture in the evolution of American power and politics? There is a palpable sense that the end of the Bush Presidency might just be such moment. There are signs of deep and lasting changes might be possible, and even underway, in the political firmament. The economy is teetering on what could be the deepest downturn since the Great Depression. Politically, the Obama campaign has raised the spirits of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party; but in doing so, it has also exposed the Party to a defection by this very wing if Obama settles for business as usual.
On the international front, the American empire is stretched thinner, and appears more vulnerable, than any time since the Vietnam War. At an even more basic level, the continuing ecological crisis has reached a tipping point, or a point of no return. Taken together, these developments have created a sense of crisis. But they also present the Left with an opportunity – perhaps a historic opportunity – to push for change in a progressive direction. We seem, in every sense, to be at a turning point.
How can we address and challenge such a set of catastrophes? The primary issue of what is to be done is as critical it is classic. After we have identified the nature of the current conjuncture: how can the Left intervene effectively?
Left Forum provides a unique space for the generation of ideas crucial to theorizing and building a resurgent Left. This year the Forum will include participants from all corners of North America, as well as Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. It will truly be a rare opportunity for a global left dialogue. We hope you will be with us (the conference date will be posted soon)
Geographical Scope: National