Join Open University of the Left on Saturday September 16 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (at Damen) Chicago, free parking, wheelchair accessible, (Red Line: Fullerton)
Dr. William Pelz presents: “People’s History: a Lens to understand the Past…and the Future.”
This debunks some commonly held myths about the history of the last century by looking through the lens of people’s history. Did the average German cheer for war in 1914? Was Hitler ever freely elected by a majority of Germans? Did most American workers support Donald Trump?
William Pelz is the Director of the Institute of Working Class History in Chicago and a Professor of History at Elgin Community College. His recent books include: A People’s History of Modern Europe (Pluto Press, 2016), Wilhelm Liebknecht and German Social Democracy (Haymarket Books, 2016), Karl Marx: A World to Win (Pearson, 2012 and Against Capitalism: The European Left on the March (Peter Lang Publishing, 2007).
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday August 19 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (at Damen) Chicago, free parking, Wheelchair accessible, (Red Line: Fullerton).
Jerry Harris presents Trump: An American Fascist?
Is Donald Trump a Fascist? Even more important are questions about the social, political, and economic forces around Trump. Are they Fascist as well? And why has the crisis in neoliberal hegemony produced a hard-right turn in US politics? Has there been the construction of a new fascist hegemonic bloc that goes beyond typical right-wing capitalism? And what should the left do? Form a broad united front that defends civil liberties and bourgeois democracy, or go beyond to push for revolutionary changes? Furthermore, how does Trump and the social forces that support him compare to classic forms of fascism? These questions will be analyzed and discussed based on a paper
recently co-authored by Jerry Harris, Carl Davidson, Bill Fletcher Jr. and Paul Harris.
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday July 15 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (at Damen) Chicago, free parking, Wheelchair accessible, (Red Line: Fullerton)
Dr. Anthony DiMaggio presents Does Capitalism Have a Future?
In the U.S., political-economic institutions are defined by an emerging crisis. Stagnant to weak economic growth characterizes the modern economy. Wall Street’s rise to power has meant the financialization and destabilization of the economy, along with the attendance of mass distrust of corporate America. Ecological crisis threatens corporate capitalism more than any other force. Mass distrust also extends to business dominated political institutions. And yet, despite the rising distrust of societal institutions, numerous hurdles have prevented the articulation and development of viable alternatives to the status quo. In this presentation, Dr. Anthony DiMaggio will examine sources of the growing crisis of confidence toward US institutions, and explore why a serious discussion of revolutionary politics has failed to materialize. He will discuss the major forces impeding social transformation, including the decline of public education and organized labor, which have been responsible for the deterioration of leftist politics and left public intellectualism.
June 2nd through June 4th saw the annual reconvening of the Left Forum. This years event was titled “The Resistance: Strategy, Tactics, Struggles, Solidarity, and Utopia.” The event was held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York in New York City. This event is the largest annual gathering in North America of the US and internationalist left. Between four and five thousand persons were in attendance. The attendees represented a broad perspective of experiences including but not limited to academics, activists and intellectuals.
Open University of the Left filmed eight sessions, presented on YouTube, below.
Peggy Terry and the Original Rainbow Coalition, Jakobi Williams, Indiana University, Hy Thurman, Young Patriots Organization, Melody James, Actor, Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture, Global Women’s Strike, James Tracy, City College of San Francisco
Gramsci’s Importance for the Left Today, Laura Flanders, Chair, The Laura Flanders Show, Chris Hedges, Truthdig, On Contact RT, Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work; Left Forum, Kate Crehan, College of Staten Island, Graduate Center, CUNY
From Slave to Temp Shop: Employment Agencies, Surplus Labor, and the History of Investment Capitalism, John Jay College, Chair, David Van Arsdale, SUNY, Clayton Rosati, Bowling Green State University
Understanding Our Resistance, Nellie Bailey, Chair, Black Agenda Report, Anthony Montiero, Black Agenda Report, Glen Ford, Executive Editor Black Agenda Report
Rethinking Revolution, Greg Albo, Chair, York University, Leo Panitch, Socialist Register, August Nimtz, University of Minnesota, David Schwartzman, Howard University, Pierre Beaudet, University of Ottawa
J is for JUNK ECONOMICS: and it’s Worst Sin is… Three Answers, Michael Perelman, Chair, California State University, Chino, Michael Hudson, President, Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends, Bertell Ollman, NYU
The Continuing Relevance of Marx’s Capital after 150 Years, Immanuel Ness, Chair, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Abhinav Sinha, Mazdoor Bigul, Michael Hudson, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Juliet Ucelli, Marxist Education Project, Ben Becker, Party for Socialism and Liberation
The Long Depression – a critique of a book by Michael Roberts, Michael Roberts, Chair, not affiliated, Jose Tapia, Drexel University, Paul Mattick, not affiliated
Join the low traffic OUL email announcement list (yahoo group) at:
This past weekend, June 2nd through June 4th saw the annual reconvening of the Left Forum. This years event was titled “The Resistance: Strategy, Tactics, Struggles, Solidarity, and Utopia.” As it has been for the past four years, the event was held again at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York in New York City. This event is billed and rightfully so, as the largest annual gathering in North America of the US and internationalist left. As in past years, somewhere between probably four and five thousand persons were in attendance. As always the attendees represented a broad perspective of experiences including but not limited to academics, activists and intellectuals.
Already posted on our YouTube channel for your consideration you will find seven separate session events plus an opening program from this years Left Forum.
These sessions cover a broad range of topics. Of particular historic interest for many Chicagoans is a program titled “Bob Lee, Peggy Terry, and the Original Rainbow Coalition” which covers organizing efforts conducted in the late sixties through the early seventies in Chicago in Uptown, that lead to the creation of a unique multi-racial organization that was (the Original Rainbow Coalition). While it did not last, it included at the time the Black Panthers Party, the Young Lords and the Young Patriots. The militant newspaper Rising Up Angry was also a product of this radical political ferment. As has been said many times before, you can always learn things from the past.
Join Open University of the Left on Saturday May 13 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago, (at Damen) free parking, Wheelchair accessible, (Red Line: Fullerton)
For much of the 20th century East Chicago, Indiana was known as Steeltown. It was a bustling city on the southern shores of Lake Michigan that boasted of being the most industrial city in the world. Now, after 40-years of globalization with the flight of capital the legacy of East Chicago’s industrial economy has left behind massive amounts of toxic and contaminated land, water, air, populations and politics. The Toxic Tour is a story of East Chicago’s existing circumstances.
Thomas Frank is an Artist/Activist working for environmental and climate justice in the Calumet region. He is committed to addressing the environmental legacy of a hundred-plus years of industrial activities on the southern shores of Lake Michigan and fighting for community focused development and a “Just Transition” to a low-carbon economy. He has served on as well as directed numerous environmental advocacy organizations including 350 Indiana, Southeast Chicago Coalition to Ban Petcoke and the Wolf Lake Initiative to name just a few.