At Left Forum 2013: “The Theory of One-Dimensional Society, the Specter of Climate Collapse, and Prospects for Social Transformation”

left forum

I will be chairing a panel during the first session of Left Forum 2013 next Saturday morning (10-11:50am) at Pace University in New York City with my comrades Sky Cohen, Jani Benjamins, and Quincy Saul.  The topic of discussion is “The Theory of One-Dimensional Society, the Specter of Climate Collapse, and Prospects for Social Transformation.”

Appropriately, the overall theme for this year’s Left Forum is “Mobilizing for Economical/Ecological Transformation.”

Please share and considering coming through, if you would like.

Abstract: Following the presentation of theories of reification advanced by György Lukács in his History and Class Consciousness (1923), and continuing his colleagues’ investigations into the “culture industry” of late capitalism (Dialectic of Enlightenment, 1944), German critical theorist Herbert Marcuse famously came to declare advanced-industrial society as being one-dimensional (One-Dimensional Man, 1964): a world marked by the absence of opposition to prevailing trends, with the stipulated integration of the Marxian proletariat into capitalism and generalized social conformity. This panel will examine the contemporary relevance of Marcuse’s analysis of one-dimensionality, particularly as regards the ever-worsening climatic and environmental crises, driven as they are by the exigencies of the capitalist machine and, crucially, its seemingly widespread acceptance among the U.S. populace at large (the U.S. being the single largest contributor to this problem historically). Dialectically, though, this panel will also attempt to explore the chances for a sustained “ecological general strike,” as is being currently formulated by the I.W.W., prosecuted by the masses residing within the world-system’s imperialist core, in accordance with their responsibilities, as theorized by tendencies like autonomous Marxism. Panelists will also seek to examine the contributions permaculture can provide in the struggle for a decentralized, anti-authoritarian resolution to the climate crisis.

Please also see the full list of panels for the weekend here.


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