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Saturday, July 4 • 8:00pm - 9:30pm
"Anarcho-liberalism" and its discontents

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Over the last decade thousands of young people have become conscious of the injustices in the world and sought to do something to end them. But without organization of the working class and the Left, those who move swiftly to the radical left often retain much of the strategy and analysis of liberalism, while adopting anarchist-like rhetoric. Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin Magazine, described this ideology as encompassing,

“an anti-intellectualism that manifested itself in a rejection of “grand narratives” and structural critiques of capitalism, abhorrence for the traditional forms of left-wing organization, a localist impulse, and an individualistic tendency to conflate lifestyle choices with political action. The worst of both worlds, the “anarcho-liberal” can neither manage the capitalist state nor overcome it, and aspires to do both and neither at the same time.”

This session will explain how it is that so many activists today can go so easily from direct action horizontalism to staff positions in NGO's or community-based organizations. Or how activists who condemn the capitalist system as a source of oppression and injustice can spend much of their political energy on language and lifestyle choices. It will examine the impact of three decades of neoliberal assault and ideology on the working class and the character of the radicalization - and what it will take to move forward.

This talk is cosponsored by Jacobin magazine. 

avatar for Jennifer Roesch

Jennifer Roesch

Frequent contributor to the International Socialist Review. Roesch is also a women’s rights activist in New York City.
avatar for Bhaskar Sunkara

Bhaskar Sunkara

Founding editor of Jacobin Magazine.

Saturday July 4, 2015 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Grant Park B