The past decade of deepening crisis has dramatically remade the political terrain across the world. In country after country, support is collapsing for traditional ideas and institutions, opening the door for new forms of radical mass politics. "Socialism" is in the air once again. In this newly polarized environment, basic questions of analysis and strategy on the left are no longer merely theoretical, and now carry immediate practical consequences.
This discussion will revolve around one such key question: how should the left engage with the state in an age of globalization and far-right nationalist movements? While the left might broadly endorse international solidarity, the practical application of this principle is open to debate. Should reclaiming national control over the economy be a focus of left demands? Or should the left pursue a new kind of globalization moving toward a world without borders? The answer ultimately points toward the meaning of socialism today.
Hosted by the Center For Progressive Strategy and Research
Benjamin Balthaser is Associate Professor of Multi-Ethnic U.S. literature at Indiana University, South Bend. He is the author of _Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War_ from University of Michigan press, and is currently working on a book on the Jewish left, anti-imperialism, and Zionism. Other critical and creative work of his has appeared in journals such as American Quarterly, Boston Review, Jacobin, In These Times, Public Seminar, Minnesota Review, and elsewhere.
Seong-Ah Cho is the Global Justice Organizer for the Justice Is Global campaign. Seong was instrumental in winning legislative support from Congresspeople Jan Schakowsky and Danny K. Davis for Justice is Global by planning and executing a 1000 person public meeting and has been a key architect of Justice is Global’s political strategy. She was formerly the Environmental Justice Organizer at The People’s Lobby and the Director of Strategic Communications and Design at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago.
Jake Werner is Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences and a Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago. He is a historian of modern China with interests in the twentieth-century global history of capitalism, labor, gender, and everyday life, and is currently at work on a book manuscript, Everyday Crisis and the Rise of the Masses: Life in Shanghai, 1925–1972.