Ecosocialist School 2014

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The participants in the school are proposed by the organisations invited by the IIRE, with a maximum of 24 participants.


Arrivals: Saturday 22 November

Introduction to the school and to the Fourth International, introduction of participants

First module : Analysis of capitalist society and its multiple crisis and oppressions

Sunday 23

Introduction to Marxism – Alex Merlo

  • Marx's materialism: The Theses on Feuerbach. Self-emancipation.
  • Introduction to historical materialism: The notions of base and superstructure.
  • Introduction to the Marxist critique of political economy: use value, exchange value, surplus value, exploitation.

Monday 24

The working class -

  • The extraction of absolute and relative surplus value
  • What is the working class (today)? Industry workers, service workers, etc. Precarity and flexibility.
  • The productive structure on a world scale, the fragmented workers movement

Tuesday 25

A Marxist-feminist view on gender – Nadia De Mond

  • Origins and different aspects of women’s oppression
  • Patriarchal attitudes and mechanisms that influence our way of looking at the family, reproduction, sexual identities, sexual politics in general.
  • The LGBT movement, homophobia and sexual identity

Wednesday 26

The global economic crisis – Nacho Alvarez

  • The Marxist analysis of crisis: rate of profit (tendencies and countertendencies), long waves.
  • The neoliberal answer to the crisis since the 1980’s
  • The current economic crisis and the different alternatives

Thursday 27

Women and the crisis of the capitalist system – Marijke Colle

  • The situation of women under capitalism
  • The need for an autonomous women's movement
  • Women's struggles today

Friday 28

Free Day

Saturday 29

Free Day

Sunday 30

The role of specific identities – Peter Drucker

  • National oppression and self determination
  • The religious factor in class struggle
  • Intersectionality and the formation of class consciousness

Second module : The ecological crisis and ecosocialism

Monday 1 December

Marx and Engels on ecology

  • The theory of the historical co-evolution of humans and nature
  • The theory of rent
  • Marx’s anticipations, tensions and flaws

Tuesday 2

Ecological history of capitalism and ecosocialist alternative

  • The history of the social/ecological crises
  • The ecosocialist alternative

Wednesday 3

Climate and food crisis – Marijke Colle

  • The climate crisis: mechanisms and tipping points
  • The food crisis: link with climate, land grabbing, food sovereignty
  • the fight for climate and global justice: which struggles, which alliances (workers, peasants, women, indigenous peoples, ecofeminism)

Thursday 4

Socialist democracy – Catherine Samary

  • The problem of bureaucracy after the overthrow of capitalism
  • Democracy and political representation; democracy and the Law; self-organisation of social movements
  • Socialist democracy and political pluralism

Friday 5 Imperialism today - Adam Hanieh

  • The classic theory of imperialism (origins, Lenin’s analysis, first world war)
  • theory of permanent revolution vs stageism and campism.
  • Imperialism under US hegemony (post Second World War) geopolitics today

Saturday 6 Free Day

Third module : Strategic questions and situation in the different world regions

Sunday 7

The crisis in Europe and the strategic debates - François Sabado

  • The current economic crisis in different parts of Europe; center and periphery
  • The debt crisis and the attacks against all social gains from the past;
  • The fight for an anti-austerity government and/or the fight for a worker's government/transitional program

Monday 8 Further deepening of the crisis in the Arab region – Jacques Babel

  • Socioeconomic roots of the Arab spring;
  • Dynamics of the processes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, (Syria?);
  • The fight for dignity and democracy; role of Islamic forces; women’s liberation.

Tuesday 9 Revolutionary strategy in the 21st century – Pierre Rousset

  • Rebuilding class consciousness and rebuilding mass organisations
  • The role of the state: theory and actuality
  • The conquest of power in the 21st century.

Wednesday 10

Dynamics of the left forces in Asia – Pierre Rousset

  • The economies of the emergent countries, the role of China
  • Ongoing conflicts: workers movements, peasant movement, indigenous peoples movement
  • The dynamics of the left, new parties.

Thursday 11

The political dynamics in Latin America - Rodolfo Chávez

  • A “left turn”?
  • Class struggles, social movements and Latin-American “progressisms”
  • “Socialism of the 21st Century”? The new debates on strategy

Friday 12

Colonialism and struggles in Africa, from independence to the current crisis – Paul Martial

  • An economic overview
  • The political genesis of the Continent
  • Overview of the social and political situation

Saturday 13

Internationalism and the Fourth International – Penny Duggan

  • Our concept of a revolutionary party
  • What sort of parties do we want to build?
  • Recent history of the Fourth International and current challenges in the different regions

Sunday 14

Balance sheet, cleaning

Structure of the day

9.00-9.40: Lecture part 1
9.40-9.50: Break
9.50-10.30: Lecture Part 2
10.30-10.40: Break
10.40-11:20: Lecture Part 3
11.20-11.30: Break
11.30-12.00: Questions and answers
12.00-15.00: Lunch and time for individual reading
15.00-16.30: Discussion in language groups
16.30-18.00: Final discussion starting with reports from the group
18.00-20.30: Reading time
20.30: Evening meal