Midwest Radical Conference

cdavidson at igc.apc.org cdavidson at igc.apc.org
Sat Aug 19 12:26:59 MDT 1995


Please Post & Re-Post Widely

An Invitation to The 6th Annual Midwest Radical Scholars & Activists
Conference

The Rise of the Right:  What Does It Mean? What Can We Do About It?

Speakers, Workshops, Plenaries
Book and Literature Fair, Video Previews
Culture, Caucuses & Political Receptions

October 27-29, 1995
Loyola University, Chicago

Contact: Carl Davidson
Networking for Democracy,
3411 W Diversey, Suite 1, Chicago IL 60647
Tel: 312-384-8827  Fax: 312-384-3904
E-Mail: cdavidson at igc.org

Help by registering in advance.  Checks to NFD: $50 Sustainer, $25
Regular, $15 Students

Loyola Co-Initiators: Dept.  of Sociology & Anthropology, Dept. of
Philosophy

Full Text of the Call For Papers & Panels for the 6th MRSAC Deadline:
September 15

Since January 1995 the political landscape in our country has shifted
dramatically to the right.  Starting with the "100 Day" onslaught launched
by the new GOP congressional majority in January, we have witnessed a
determined, relentless effort to restrict or repeal every piece of
progressive legislation passed since the 1930s.  Then in April, with the
bombing of federal offices in Oklahoma City, an even greater danger has
emerged.  Now we are confronted with a revolutionary right organized into
well-armed militias that seems even bolder despite outrage over the
slaughter in Oklahoma.

Something is happening in America but no one quite knows what it is, where
it came from, or where we're heading.  One thing is certain.  This is just
the beginning of a new wave of conflict rooted in workplaces, communities,
schools and courtrooms building up to the Presidential contest in 1996,
the outcome of which now has greater significance than usual.

How can the left and progressive movement respond to these events?
Unfortunately, there are no clear answers with any kind of consensus among
us.  Here are a few of the quandaries we face:

_Should we aim our main fire at Clinton and his neoliberal Democratic
Leadership Conference and hasten the breakup of the Democratic Party?  Or
is it time to moderate our criticism, and get out the vote for Clinton in
order to beat back the anti-government attacks of the far right?

_Should we fight for jobs by protecting American industry and American
workers from competition with global corporations and third world labor?
Or do we fight to open markets and raise standards worldwide?  Do we stand
for open borders and defend immigrant rights?  Or do we want firmer
regulation of borders and punishment for employers of illegals?

_Should we defend affirmative action programs and extend their reach?  Or
is it our job to reexamine civil rights and social welfare legislation for
cases of abuse, corruption and unfairness to middle-income whites?

_Should we defend youth people against "criminalization" and police
brutality? Or is it our job to design community policing programs and
anti-gang cleanup sweeps?  Do we best help our youth by improving public
schools?  Or do we want "privatization," charters and vouchers?

 _Should we defend feminist and gay activists against the "feminazi"
labeling of the right?  Or has "identity politics" gone too far in
demonizing white males?

_Should we defend civil liberties against Clinton's antiterrorism
measures?  Or do we make exceptions to the Bill of Rights to suppress
those promoting a greater evil?

_Should we, when fascism and genocide erupt in places like Haiti or the
Balkans, advocate strict non-intervention?  Or do we call for an
"affirmative action" policy by the U.S. military on the side of the
progressive forces?

Just posing these questions should underscore the urgency for our
gathering this fall.  Everyone one of them reflects a real division on the
left and fuel for the fire of the right. It's why we've sharpened the
focus of all of our sessions this year to reflect our main theme: The Rise
of the Right: What Does It Mean?  What Can We Do About It?  We may not
resolve our differences, but we can all agree on the need to talk, to seek
common ground and fresh ideas, and to try to define a course of united
action.

We recognize this is a change from the potpourri type meeting we've had
over the past five years.  But the times demand that we get away from
doing business as usual.  You are urged to participate and to submit
papers and panel proposals. We are open to all trends on the left and
among progressive social movements who are themselves committed to open
discussion.

We hope you join us in October and help build the conference by sending in
your registration fee early. $50 for sustaining registrations, $25
regular, $15 for students and low-income.  Make checks to Networking for
Democracy, 3411 W Diversey, Chicago IL 60647, Tel: 312-384-8827. Fax:
312-384-3904. E-mail: cdavidson at igc.org.  Donations are tax deductible.

Initiated by Open University of the Left and Networking for Democracy:
Co-Initiators at Loyola: Department of Sociology-Anthropology and
Department of Philosophy



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