Lecture by Rastko Močnik about the Left in Contemporary Capitalism

Within the Regional Tea Party lecture series, Rastko Močnik will give a lecture tittled “The Left in Contemporary Capitalism” on Thursday, 11 May, at 12:00, in the Main Hall of the Institute of Social Sciences (Kraljice Natalije 45, Belgrade).

After the French Revolution, according to Wallerstein’s interpretation, the political sphere shaped into three orientations: conservative, liberal and socialist. The liberal ideology had been dominant until 1968, when for a short while the socialist ideological and political orientation prevailed. In the early 1970s, three crises created the critical conjuncture which has been defining our world to this very day: a) transition of the long (“American”) systemic cycle of accumulation into the declining B-phase, b) crisis of the political system of the national state in its bourgeois and “socialist” variety, c) crisis of ideological sphere, i.e. of social sciences and humanities, cultural institutions and practices, and of the “life style”.

Neither the left “establishment”, nor the alternative Left managed to find an effective response to the newly emerged situation. Liberal and conservative politics were rearticulated through a neoconservative platform.

In the Yugoslav territory, these processes resulted in the establishment of bourgeois national states as regulators of dependent capitalism, as well as in rearticulation of the political and ideological sphere in relation to the left-right liberalism axis, which caused closing of the political and cultural horizon and reproduction of the dependent capitalism.

Productive left initiatives, thus, have a chance only in case they manage to transcend the frameworks of dependent capitalism, bourgeois national state and liberal ideological-cultural sphere.

Rastko Močnik is a retired professor of sociology of the University of Ljubljana, visiting professor at the Faculty of Media and Communication, Belgrade, and a Doctor honoris causa at the Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. His most recent publications include: Teorija sa ideologijom (Theory with Ideology, 2019) and Spisi o suvremenom kapitalizmu (Writings on Contemporary Capitalism, 2016).



This lecture is a part of the series titled “The Left” organised together with the Institute of Social Sciences from Belgrade.