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Socialism 2020

As rebellions against racism roil cities big and small across the country, demands for police abolition proliferate, and systemic injustices are suddenly front and center in the mainstream, it is more critical than ever for radical activists to come together for important political growth and strategic conversations.

On July 4th, Haymarket Books, Jacobin, and the Democratic Socialists of America hosted the virtual Socialism 2020 conference. You can watch all five of the featured live-stream sessions below.

Racial Capitalism and Crisis

Robin D.G. Kelley, Grace Blakeley, and Brian Jones

We open the virtual Socialism 2020 with a panorama of our present political landscape: a global pandemic, racialized health disparities backed by racist police violence, and the likelihood of a major economic crisis. This panel will situate our moment and prepare us for what is to come by explaining the contours of the new world we are entering, and how it has been shaped by the racialized capitalist system we still have with us. The conference will open with a performance of Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Reparations for Slavery and Settler Colonialism

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Bill Fletcher Jr., and Symone Baptiste

The past few years has seen passionate political debate over what the United States government owes to the descendants of slaves as well as demands from Indigenous communities for rights to land that has been and continue to be taken from them by American settler colonialism. This discussion centers the voices of those most impacted by racism and settler colonialism in the conversation about what is owed and how we can repair the harm that has been done.

Toward a Green New Future

Thea Riofrancos and Daniel Aldana Cohen

As the climate crisis escalates, the promise of a Green New Deal has captured the imagination of people across the world. Socialists know that a system based on extraction and exploitation is inherently unsustainable — we want climate justice, not green capitalism. What should be the key socialist demands of the Green New Deal, and how can we mobilize the power of the working class to win them?

Socialist Organizing and the Capitalist State

Jamie Peck and Eric Blanc

The first half of 2020 has covered more political ground than decades before it. From the end of the Bernie Sanders campaign, to the onset of a global pandemic and the catastrophic federal response to it, to the outbreak of a long-simmering rebellion against racism and police brutality, this year marks the beginning of a new period. Socialists must navigate new terrain, new challenges, and rethink old strategies, particularly when it comes to the role of political organization and the capitalist state in the 21st century United States. What have we learned? What strategies should be pursued? And what do we have yet to discover?

From Rebellion to Revolution

Jesse Hagopian, Amelia Blair-Smith, and Khury Petersen-Smith

The racist police murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others have catalyzed a massive nationwide rebellion like nothing experienced in many of our lifetimes. The rebellions of this summer have achieved immediate wins and also faced harsh repression. We know these upsurges are not going away, though, because the causes of oppression and police violence have not gone away. This panel will discuss how we build on the mass anger and mobilizations of the present rebellion to carry out a full-scale, revolutionary transformation of our society.

For recommended reading, check out Haymarket's Socialism 101 Reading List