Posted 6 months ago on May 21, 2013, 4:11 p.m. EST by dola
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Marxist-Humanist Initiative invites you to join the discussion:
Why Do Popular Movements Vanish? And Do They Have To?
A two-part exploration of the recent history of failed revolts, & the questions they raise for the future.
Discussions will take place on two Wednesdays: May 22 & June 26 at 7:00 p.m.
The meetings will be in person in NYC; people elsewhere can participate via telephone conference.
Why do popular movements fail and die? Is the problem as simple as their not having the “right ideas” or the “right form of organization,” as many people, among them both vanguardists and anarchists. say? We don’t think so. As Hegel said, all beginnings are defective; the problem is not that radical movements don’t immediately succeed, but that the lack of immediate success causes them to vanish instead of reorganize. This stopping dead results from lack of a concept and process for collective review, re-thinking, and re-direction, i.e., the lack of objective grounds from which new beginnings in thought and activity can arise.
We will look at the facts and implications of some high points and vanishings of mass movements in the 1960s (such as the near-revolution in France in 1968), the 1980s (the multi-million strong anti-nuke movement), and 2000s (the anti-war and Occupy movements). And we will face the questions raised by their trajectories. Eschewing romantic defeatism and programmatic solutions, we will try to learn some lessons for the future.
Speakers will include veterans of 50 years of movement struggles—those of us who want to work out what the 20th century philosopher Raya Dunayevskaya termed “new beginnings that determine the end.”
In person: Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, 4th floor (btwn 35 & 36th Streets), Manhattan, Room 403
By telephone: write us for the conference call number: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some suggested preparatory readings are here: