Red/Green Alternatives– Breaking with Growth and Neo-liberalism
Venue: HK København, Svend Aukens Plads 11, 2300 Copenhagen S
This is the fifth international conference organized by the Transform!Danmark network, continuing its work to help develop left alternatives in the economic and ecological field.
Report from the meeting
As opposed to the conferences in 2013 and 2014, which focused mainly on alternatives to growth, we will continue the path of the 2015 conference to link red and green alternatives, as there is a gap between the two, which we believe needs to be bridged.
This year’s conference will focus both on short-term and strategic aspects of red and green alternatives to growth and neoliberalism, as well as to include the issue of “commons” to be an integral part of the economic and ecological alternatives that we are seeking to develop.
The conference explores the content, perspective and role of eco-socialism and eco-feminism as well as reflections and alternatives in the present crisis of how to deal with it and take concrete steps and action.
Organisers: Transform!Danmark in cooperation with the transform!europe network, and supported by Enhedslisten/the Red‐Green Alliance, Grobund (left educational association), Det Ny Clarté, Solidaritet and others.
Participation fee (to cover for food and drink during the day): 100 DKK (to be paid in cash at the entrance)
9:30: Registration and coffee/tea etc.
10:15-11:00: Richard Smith, USA, economic historian, PhD University of California, Los Angeles.
“Six Theses on Saving the Planet”. A transition to a largely planned, mostly publicly-owned economy based on democratic governance and rough socio-economic equality is the only alternative to market-driven planetary collapse.
11:00-11:45: Shalmali Guttal, India, Executive Director, Focus on the Global South.
“The creative power and resistance potential of the commons”. The climate crisis demands that we radically change the way we produce, consume and live. The Commons offer us a new way to approach nature, wealth, knowledge and human capacity that move us away from individualism, commodification and acquisition, and towards collectivities, relationships and synergies.
paper, Interview with Shalmali Guttal on page 6
11:45-12:00: Coffee break
12:00-13:00: Questions and debate
14:00-16:30: Parallel seminars on 1) Eco-socialist and eco-feminist perspectives; 2) Breaking with current policies and developments.
Seminar 1: Eco-socialist and eco-feminist perspectives
Corinne Morel Darleux, France, National Secretary in charge of Ecosocialism and Regional Councellor, Parti de Gauche, France.
“Ecosocialism : a project to reconcile environment and jobs, citizens and politics“
While austerity still spreads in Europe, the last climate summit Cop21 in Paris has once again failed to meet ambitious objectives, and it becomes more and more obvious that economics, climate and social issues need a brand new approach, combining long-term and complex thinking, articulated to social movements and alternatives.
Ariel Salleh, Australia, Associate Professor, University of Western Sydney, social ecologist’
“Ecofeminism – listening to the deepest eco-socialist voice”
The word “ecofeminism” might be new, but the pulse behind it has always driven women’s efforts to save their livelihood and make their communities safe. Ecological feminists are both street fighters and philosophers.
Seminar 2: Breaking with current policies and developments
Haris Golemis, Greece, Director of Nicos Poulantzas Institute, economist.
“The Radical Left in Government: A Necessary but not Sufficient Condition for Breaking with Neoliberalism”.The hope that the rise of SYRIZA to power, in January 2015, would be a first step towards breaking with neoliberalism in Greece and the EU did not finally come true. Seven months later, a third Memorandum of austerity was imposed on this small country of the European periphery. Following this unhappy development, but also the aggressive expansion of austeritarian politics throughout Europe, there is an urgent need for the European radical Left to rethink its strategy and tactics at both national and European level.
Asbjørn Wahl, Norway, Campaign for the Welfare State, researcher and author.
“The current crises as an opportunity for social transformation”. We are faced with a multiplicity of crises with many of the same root causes. This gives us an opportunity to build broad coalitions of resistance. It is an interest-based struggle, and the balance of power has to be shifted considerably. Alternatives have to be more than wishful thinking, and it is as much about agency as policy. We have to overcome the political and ideological crisis on the left.
On European Labour, www.socialistproject.ca, overheads
Nancy Holmstrom, USA, Rutgers Universtity, Newark, Department of Philosophy.
“Promising signs of radical change in consciousness – to reverse the prioritization of private property over collective”. The dominant individualist conception of rationality and the prioritization of private property over collective must be reversed. There are some promising signs of a radical change in consciousness.
16:30-16:45: Coffee break
17:00-18:00: Concluding debate in plenary between the speakers of the conference and the participants on the main topics of the day