Saturday, 23 January 2010

PUBLIC MEETING: Is Capitalism on a Path to Collapse?


Is Capitalism on a Path to Collapse? 

A quintet of contradictions are besetting global capitalism: the profitability crisis, resource crisis, ecological crisis, imperial crisis and legitimacy crisis. As a result of these interconnected crises, could capitalism collapse within a historically short time span? What will replace it? Join us at the Socialist Centre to debate these questions.

8pm Friday 5 February 2010

Socialist Centre, 86 Princes St, Onehunga, Auckland

Organised by Socialist Worker. 

  • GRANT MORGAN, International secretary of Socialist Worker.
  • JOHN ROBINSON, global trends researcher, author of The Limits to Growth and Excess Capital.
  • ROB GEORGE, eco-activist & union organiser.
Each speaker will talk for a maximum of 30 minutes, followed by open discussion and questions from the floor.

The speakers have submitted these summaries of what they'll be talking about on the night:

GRANT MORGAN:  A perfect storm is beginning to engulf global capitalism for the first time since its birth 500 years ago. The main elements are existential crises of profitability, ecology, resources, imperialism and legitimacy. This quintet of contradictions looks set to trigger world system collapse within a historically short time span. Increasingly the strategic problem confronting socialists will be how to lead society out of the chaos, conflict and carnage of looming collapse. That will become a life-and-death struggle as we face global warming, resource scarcity and imperial strife. Using the principles of asymmetric warfare, our starting point should be a broad left offensive for immediate rollbacks of neoliberalism.

JOHN ROBINSON:  It has long been known that a global catastrophe is coming as overpopulation and ecological destruction reach a crisis point. We head into a perfect storm in 2030, because all of these things are operating on the same time frame.  Capitalism is an unstable hybrid, centrally controlled by the military-industrial complex.  Its ongoing crisis is described in John’s 1989 Excess Capital.  The next stage will be a deepening of fascism, a demand for strong leadership in a collapsing world.  There is an alternative, lazy socialism, but there is no blueprint for action as ‘green’ organisations snuggle up to the status quo.

ROB GEORGE:  The growth logic of capitalism suggests quite strongly that the present capitalist project, even with a greener face, will meet ecological limits. This growth logic points toward a potential ecotastrophy. Under such a scenario, those people who are presently in a tenuous position will suffer most. Their particular stories will be part of the narrative of capitalism’s growth logic acting on the human population. Human agency and struggle will partially determine how bleak or optimistic this narrative is. Ecotastrophy need not be inevitable - it can be a matter of choice.

At the conclusion of the meeting there will be a social with snacks and drinks provided.

For more information, contact:

Vaughan Gunson
National chair of Socialist Worker
021-0415 082

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