According to many on the left, a crisis is an opportunity for those with radical politics. Six years after the start of the financial crisis and its management through austerity measures the left is still unable to mount a serious response or produce a viable alternative vision for society. This session will explore the relative weakness of the radical left at this current time – looking at the strengths and weaknesses of both the “leninist” party and network forms, as well as those of both parliamentarian and anti-parliamentarian strategies. We will also consider how the radical left propagates institutional oppressions such as racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia within its own organisations, and what can be done to address this.

This inquiry we will attempt to use our diverse collective knowledge, experiences, stories and ideas to construct a genealogy to map our a history. Each inquiry is orientated around a “lens”. A lens, like what we would imagine a lens to be, is a perspective we can look through that enables us to see the world with a particular emphasis, from a different angle so to expose the parts of the world we may miss and passby.

We want to better understand the present, why are things the way they are, what events and moments have occurred that have had significant effects on the course of struggle – an intersectional class struggle – that illustrate deeper understandings of the shifts and needs of a capital accumulation, how these events relate or not to each other, if they define a break with the past, suggesting that what is now is different to what was before – how does this then effect what we do?

We envisage this to be autodidactic, self-educational sessions to produce collaborative and collective narratives and understandings of the political terrain we are operating upon.

Some things that might be touched upon: What can we see happening now that is an image of the future? Ours and “theirs”? What are the limits exist to forming a movement that attempts to face the totality of capitalism? What does it mean for the way we have currently struggled, to struggle more effectively? What demands can be raised to articulate these new struggles?

Each inquiry will have a facilitator and invited contributors to help lead off the discussions. We want your ideas and participation to do the rest.

Some suggested reading:

What is the movement? (The Free Association)

Sects & Unity – Plan C Glossary

Movement (Giorgio Agamben)

From Resistance to Rebellion (Sivanandan, 1981)

Black Riot – Raven Rakia

Organisation of the Organisationless (Rodrigo Nunes)

WTF is to be done? (Leeds Plan C)