Capitalism and Militarism - Friday Evening Plenary - leftforum

Friday Night Plenary

Laura Flanders hosts a panel of Tariq Ali of the New Left Review, Medea Benjamin of CODEPink and Global Exchange, and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.

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?
With support from:
May 20, 2016 at 8pm - 10pm
John Jay College
524 W 59th St
New York, NY 10019
United States
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