Opening Plenary, Friday, May 20, 2016:
Capitalism and Militarism - At Humanity's Peril: Organizing Our Power with Tariq Ali, Medea Benjamin, and Chris Hedges
Left Forum 2016
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
"The regime of capitalism today is characterized by massive and increasing inequality: wealth and power accumulates at one pole while misery, austerity, and ecological degradation explodes at the other. It is no wonder that militarism in the U.S. and abroad is exploding. We see it in the U.S., in the way local police forces are armed with surplus military weapons; in the use of public funds to procure mercenary corporate security forces and enlisted people to fight in yet another war in the name of democracy; in the deployment of fear generating security state surveillance practices and the inflammatory rhetoric of terrorism, to try to terrify a domestic population into acquiescence.
How can we conceive the militarization of society not only narrowly in terms of police, armed forces, military weapons, and robotic warcraft, but also in terms of economic and social policies and changes in everyday life? What does austerity in Europe, for example, have to do with the militarization of borders, the emergence of right wing populism, xenophobia, and the imperatives of finance capital? How can we understand police brutality, mass incarceration, and institutionalized political violence at home and abroad as forms and effects of militarization and systems of hyper-profiteering?
Most important, where are the breaks in the machine emerging? What peace movements are developing and how are they tackling empire? What kinds of leverage, both in and beyond the military industrial complex, do workers and others have to disrupt the onslaught of militarization? Where is this leverage being used to build alternatives?"
- via leftforum.org
Left Forum 2016 Coverage
Provided by: Deep Dish TV
Producer: Brian Drolet
Cinematography: Ron Myrvik
Live Stream: Matt Hopard
Editors: Ron Myrvik and Rebecca Centeno