Lecture by Prof. Dr. Andrej Grubačić, California Institute of Integral Studies

Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 14:00


The global left: Yesterday, today, tomorrow


The idea of self-management became part of the global left in the long 19th century. Self-management is not only an economic project, but it also includes a different understanding of the historical time (plurality of social times), of property relations (usufruct), and of the political system (plurality of political authority). The culture and politics of the global left between 1870 and 1939 are part of the “anarchist modernity” (Ilhan Khuri Madisi 2009; Benedict Anderson 2011; Sho Konishi 2015). The idea of self-management and the socialization of power disappears in the fog of the Russian and Spanish revolution, but returns after the so-called world revolution of 1966-1970 (Wallerstein 2021). The criticism of the most important principles of the bureaucratic or Jacobin left (conquest of state power, bureaucratic organization, privileged historical subject) is part of the historical experience and identity of the anti-globalist left of the 1990s. Today, the global left again finds itself facing the choice between the self-governing and the bureaucratic socialism.


Andrej Grubačić is full professor and head of the anthropology department at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, as well as a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

He serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of World-Systems Research of the American Sociological Association and has authored several books in the field of world history and political economy.