communist theory forum, february 14th

The Communist Theory Forum, hosted by The Commune, takes place from 2pm on Sunday 14th February at the Lucas Arms, Grays Inn Road, near London’s King’s Cross.

The Communist Theory Forum represents an attempt to establish an engaged research programme to think through the impasses of the left. The forum was established out of a dissatisfaction with most of the academic debates on the left, which rarely transcend scholastic studies. If you think of a journal such as the New Left Review, for all the good academic work contained within there is very little engagement with either the big questions of communist strategy in the 21st century, nor the nuts and bolts of real world praxis today. The debates are very rarely conducted from the point of view of what is needed to reinvigorate communist ideas to assist overturning the economic and political structures of capitalism.

At the same time, the forum aims to provide a space for ‘heretical’ ideas which would otherwise be given short shrift within the censorious and cosseted intellectual climate of much of the organized left. The forum consciously wished to de-hagiographize and de-historicise much of the linking on the left, which luxuriates in the certainties of former times. This means that although not forbidding discussion of the ideas of such canonical figures such as Lenin, Luxemburg and Lukács, focusing on these figures is not encouraged. Rather, we wish to approach such issues as networked society, horizontal organizational structures, subjectivisation procedures, non-totalitarian revolutionary practice, the changing nature of working practice, ideological propagation in the business school, the relevance of new scientific breakthroughs, use of technology, and so on. These all represent angles in which communist theory has lagged far behind where it needs to be.

The first forum will present a mix of ideas in keeping with these aims:

Vijak Haddadi: Socioeconomic complexity and post-capitalist organization – lessons from neoliberal critics

Sean Bonney: What Is a City: Cycles, Structures, Strategy

Nathan Coombs: Gaining effective power and revolutionary non-reduction

All welcome – email for more info.