[Marxism] re: A critique of the 2005 Left Forum

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Tue May 10 11:20:51 MDT 2005


"During the same closing plenary, Benjamin, of Global Exchange, asked how

many people present were under 30 years old. A tenth of the audience raised 
their hands.

It was even worse at the opening plenary, where Michael Albert of Z-Net 
observed that the average age was probably 54. “In the ’60s, we used to 
applaud when someone over 50 attended an event like this,” he said later. 
“Now it’s just the opposite.” "

Well, what do they expect? They practically never invite young people to speak on anything. 

I've been editing the only radical left youth journal that exists in this whole country for 
18 months, and none of the writers or list members have ever indicated they were invited to 
give their thoughts on activism, theory, or history at these forums, based on what they'd 
written for Left Hook or anywhere else. 

I'll be the first to say the vast majority of those academics grouped around SR and York and 
CUNY do lots of great intellectual work. But it's a little depressing when every time
you hear about one of these conferences, it's more or less the same cast of characters
saying more or less the same things. 

They must've spent a pretty penny taking out an ad in the nation for things like Brecht Forum or
Left Forum or Media Forum - why isn't any of that spent on getting together some sort of youth 
panel or sponsoring an essay contest for high school and college-age people?

Unless young people are engaged outside of tiny graduate school offices in 2 or 3 
universities, the situation won't change.





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