Interrogating Lenin and Polanyi. Alternatives for Today’s Left
Friday, 28 October 2016, 6 pm
Brassai Sámuel St. 5
Gareth Dale (Brunel University, London) and Tamás Krausz (Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, Budapest)
Moderators: Alex Cistelecan and Florin Poenaru
In one sense, Lenin and Polanyi are the central figures of today’s spectrum of possibilities for the political Left. On the one hand, the attempt to ‘embed the markets’ in society and thus reign in the wild spirits of capitalism via state regulation; on the other, the voluntaristic effort to build a completely different society from scratch, to jump into the realm of freedom directly from the prehistorical realm of capitalist and precapitalist necessity. So what would Lenin and Polanyi say about our current predicament? How viable are their alternatives judging from the perspective of our present crisis? During the fourth edition/meeting of Culture and Politics of Crisis, we will interrogate the specters of Lenin and Polanyi by addressing their best scholars: Gareth Dale (author of Reconstructing Karl Polanyi: Excavation and Critique (Pluto Press, 2016) and Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left (Columbia University Press, 2016) and Tamás Krausz (author of Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual Biography, Monthly Review Press, 2015, winner of Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize).
The discussion will be organized as a virtual dialogue between Lenin and Polanyi around the global contemporary issues facing all of us today, with a special focus on Eastern Europe.