CONFERENCE ON CAPITALISM, IMPERIALISM AND REVOLUTIONS
Call for Papers


Introduction

Volume 1 of Marx’s Capital was published in 1867. This year, 2017, marks 150 years since that publication came out. In that volume, Marx’s major preoccupation was the analysis of the capitalist process of production where he elaborated his version of the labor theory value, surplus value and exploitation which would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism. Volumes II and III were published posthumously by Engels.

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism was written by Lenin in 1916 and published in 1917. This year 2017, marks its 100 years since publication. It was in Zurich that Lenin wrote this important theoretical work. He argued that the merging of banks and industrial cartels gave rise to finance capital. According to him, in the last stage of capitalism, the pursuit of greater profits led to the export of capital. Capital export also led to the division of the world between international monopoly firms and amongst European States who colonized large parts of the world in support of their national capitals. These developments constituted what he called “Imperialism”, an advanced stage of capitalism.

This year (2017) also marks the 100th anniversary of the October 1917 Russian Revolution.  The revolution was led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, a Russian revolutionary, a communist organizer, the first head of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and from 1922, the first de facto leader of the Soviet Union. His contributions to Marxist theory are commonly referred to as Leninism. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was the greatest event in modern history. Russia passed from the overthrow of the Tsar, through a short episode of bourgeois rule, to the conquest of

power by the Bolshevik Party and the establishment of the first Workers’ State. That revolution triggered other revolutions and propelled the transformation of relations of production and productive forces. This event told the story that an alternative development agenda is possible.

There is a strong connection between Marx’s thoughts in Capital and Lenin’s discussions in Imperialism and the Russian revolutions. Marx’s capital provided the theoretical insights for the writing of Imperialism by Lenin. Capital and Imperialism further gave impetus for the 1917 Russian revolution. To elaborate further, the theoretical discussion conducted by Marx in Capital provided the understanding of how capitalism reproduces itself on an extended basis through the process of surplus value generation and appropriation. The emergence of finance and bank capital and its concentration and centralization led to global capital expansion. This is the subject matter which Lenin paid attention to in imperialism. While capital expands globally, global exploitation and immerisation takes it.

Capital extracts surplus value through the process of exploitation and thus dehumanizes the working class and other subordinated classes in society. Capitalism thus is the “digger of its own grave” since it generated a reserve army of labour who becomes dissatisfy with its material conditions and organizes as a class to wrests power from the ruling class under capitalism.

These crises in capitalism and the organization of the working class, ignited by class consciousness, create conditions for revolutions. Lenin addressed the objective and

subjective conditions and insisted that there can’t be a revolution where one conditions existed without the other.

 

Since the publications, capitalism has, as predicted by Marx and Lenin, continued to go from one crisis to another. Since Lenin articulation of the thesis of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, capitalism has become rarefied in what is today known as globalization. Yet however, working class revolutions only occurred in a handful of countries. Many of these revolutions have not only suffered subversion and stagnation but have also experienced reversals. Why has this been so?

In the 1970s and 1980s, the teaching of Marxism and related philosophies shared spaces with right wing philosophies and political theories in many African Universities. Today, Marxism which is expected to shape theory and praxis has become a marginal paradigm in academic discourses. This may have affected the quantity and quality of Marxist students, scholars and activists in many African countries and around the world. Why is this so?

The joint 150th anniversary of the publication of Capital and 100th anniversaries of Imperialism and the Russian Revolution, and Karl Marx’s  Birth Day offers us an opportunity to interrogate contemporary developments and reflect on the future of Marxism. It is for this reason that we are organizing the Conference on capitalism, imperialism and revolutions.

 

Objectives of the Conference

Theme of the Conference

We expect that the conference will address the developments of capitalism since the publication of Capital; The impact of capitalism on the economy and society globally and; the revolutionary changes that have taken place in different countries of the world since 1917 under the theme Capitalism, Imperialism and Revolutions 

 

Sub-themes of the Conference

The sub-themes of the conference are as follows:

(a) Theoretical Perspectives on Capitalism

Paper presenters who are interested in this section may reflect on any of the following: political economy of capitalism, the state, labour, culture/media, crime, health, inequalities, gender and feminism, Marxism and the family, race and class, environment, climate change, war etc.

 

(b) Marxism and Global Expansion of Capital

Presenters may address any of the following issues: theories of imperialism and contemporary world economy, neoliberal globalization, underdevelopment and dependency, international economic relations, regionalism, South-South cooperation, BRICS, BREXIT etc.

 

(c) Marxism and Revolution

Author are encouraged to reflect on the following issues: trade union and labour movement struggles, peasant struggles, women struggles, students struggles, civil society and politics of social change, Political Party Organising, social movements politics, the Left and contemporary struggles, democratization and social change, the National Question, working class Internationalism, contemporary socialist developments, prospects of socialist revolution etc.

 

 

The objectives of the conference are:

  1. To provide a forum for both students, scholars, workers, civil society activists and interested persons to articulate their views on contemporary capitalism, its impacts and alternatives to it, from a Marxist perspective.
  2. To critically evaluate the responses to capitalism by those classes affected directly or indirectly by the social system.
  3. Assess the extent to which Marxists philosophy, political economy and theory of change are taught in institutions of higher learning around the world.

 

 

Organizing Committee

The Conference on Marxism in Nigeria is being Nigerian Committee for the Advancement of the Working Class Solidarity, Members of the Planning Committee include:

Pic Name Profile
Dung Pam Sha
Y.Z Yau
John Odah