The Global Dialogue for Systemic Change invites you to two seminars on December 10 and 15. These will be in-depth seminars, they will take a form between the political discussion and the webinar. These meetings and the interventions that will take place will be reserved for a list of about a hundred people, including you, who have been selected for their knowledge of the topics discussed. However, they will be made public at a later date and will be broadcast online and therefore they will be accessible to all.
These two seminars are going to be based on a reading list that we invite you to complete and enrich. So please, do not hesitate to send us links to texts, documents and articles that you have produced or that you feel are relevant to the topics analysed. We will share them on our site, here.
Below you will find in detail more information, our analysis of the global situation, and our first steps to answer the two main questions: “Where are we today? » and “What do we need to do?”.
We hope to see many of you on December 10 and 15.
See you soon,
The Global Dialogue team.
10th December 2020
18:00 – 21:00 (CET)
15th December 2020
18:00 – 21:00 (CET)
Join us here
Translation in English, French, Spanish and Protuguese.
The COVID-19 epidemic has had profound impacts on all of humanity. Beyond the massive health impact (more than 55 million infected and more than 1.3 million dead around the planet, with very different morbidity and mortality rates among different sectors of the population), it has caused the most severe global economic deterioration since the Great Recession, destroying jobs and deteriorating the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people. It has accelerated the processes of concentration of wealth and laid bare the profound inequalities that prevail in the current world system. It has made it possible to verify the extraordinary fragility of the transnational productive chains of neoliberal globalization, and the severe consequences of the lack of basic sovereignty, particularly in the areas of food and health services. The limits of the productive logic of endless growth, and the consequent environmental devastation, find a new confirmation in this zoonotic plague produced by the accelerated destruction of wild animal habitats.
The pandemic has exacerbated the impacts of the patriarchal division of labour, leading in many cases to a triple work shift for women: work outside the home, housework and education of children who cannot attend school. The relationships between production and reproduction are brought to the fore. The need for a society that understands care as its central focus can no longer be ignored.
These traumatic experiences have opened/opened broad debates about the current conditions of the world system across a wide political and intellectual spectrum. The unsustainability of the current levels of concentration of wealth and exclusion of the majority has been brought to the surface, as well as its consequences for both the economy and the very possibilities of democracy. Recognition of the weaknesses of the state sector under conditions of regressive tax regimes and austerity policies has expanded, highlighting, in particular, the need for public health systems accessible to all. Even among conservative sectors and defenders of neoliberalism, it is admitted that the market is not the answer to all problems.
Beyond the diagnoses, there is a widespread void in the imagination and political practise, a profound crisis of politics and representation on all continents. The left is deeply divided. The failed experiences of socialism from the last century and of the extractivist progressivism in South America constitute a heavy inheritance with which anti-capitalist horizons and struggles are burdened today. Little it helps to overcome this the limited willingness to critically and self-critically take on board these experiences, in particular their authoritarian tendencies, widespread corruption, sectarianism and the lack of alternative proposals to the model of neoliberal globalization and the international division of labour and nature.
In parallel, we have seen the accentuation of trends that had been operating prior to the pandemic, particularly extreme weather events such as forest fires in the Amazon, Australia, Siberia and the western United States, hurricanes in the North Atlantic, typhoons in Southeast Asia and severe droughts in several African regions. These climatic phenomena have produced widespread environmental havoc, affecting millions of people.
We are in the presence of strong authoritarian tendencies, tendencies that not only characterize governments but are widely installed in many societies. The non-recognizing of the results of the presidential elections by Donald Trump and his party, and the support for this position by tens of millions of Americans, illustrate these tendencies.
The geopolitical confrontation between the United States and China is intensifying – a new Cold War?
But, equally, we are in the presence of new waves of popular resistance in different parts of the world, as we can see in the recent broad struggles/mobilizations in Poland, Thailand, Algeria and Nigeria. The massive protests in the United States in the face of systematic racist police repression exemplified by the murder of George Floyd, multi-ethnic mobilizations, with participants of all ages and spread throughout the country, have been pointed out as the largest in the history of that country. These have been accompanied by solidarity actions in many other parts of the world, showing that this global advance of racism, xenophobia and authoritarianism does not operate without vigorous resistance.
In Latin America, after the failure/case of the experiences of progressive governments, a systematic regional shift towards the hegemony of an authoritarian social and political right represented by the Bolsonaro government in Brazil seemed to be operating. On the other hand, the massive social protests that have taken place in the last year in Colombia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, the successful popular rejection of the legislative coup d’état in Peru, the extraordinary power of Chile’s anti-authoritarian Revolt and the overwhelming support for the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, as well as the massive rejection of the advance of the racist and authoritarian right in Bolivia’s presidential elections, allow us to confirm the existence of a continent in vigorous resistance to the global advance of conservative authoritarianism.
It is in this complex and convulsed global context we convene this seminar, which is designed to generate political debate around two basic questions that will be addressed in two successive sessions. In the first session, we will address the question: Where are we? That is, the characterization of the current situation of the world system, its geopolitical, social and cultural dynamics, that is, its hegemonic tendencies emphasizing the changes induced by the pandemic. In the second session, where are we going, we will explore issues, experiences, subjects, programs and movements that represent alternative horizons to the hegemonic tendencies today. What to do?
Each session of the seminar will begin with brief presentations that will not seek to address in detailed terms the corresponding theme or experience, but rather, from the experience or theme presented, identify critical issues and questions that are proposed for discussion among seminar participants. Three main axes will guide/articulate these presentations and these questions. First, the intersectionality between different themes, subjects and movements present in the issues addressed. Secondly, what do internationalist experiences/views contribute to the understanding and strengthening of these processes? Thirdly, do these experiences point towards systemic alternatives to civilization in crisis? These are considered to be key axes for strengthening struggles and transcending their fragmentation.
The initial speakers will formulate provocative questions that will serve as a basis for discussion among all the participants in the seminar.
As will be seen in this program, from a global perspective, the emphasis will be on the current experience of Latin America and the United States. Other regions of the world will be addressed in subsequent seminars.
“Where are we today”. Three 15-minute introductions raising more questions than actually presenting a report, with the following proposed names: Edgardo Lander (pandemic and geopolitics), Phyllis Bennis (post-election United States) and Ana Cristina (situation in Latin America). Then we would have a free debate among the seminar participants, ensuring a good systematization.
“What do we do?”. We will discuss important processes that signal critical issues for subjects, programs and alliances, such as recent struggles in Chile, Poland, the Black Lives Mater in the USA and the Amazonian Assembly.