“Tea Party” with Rastko Močnik: The Left Cannot Find an Effective Response to the Crisis

On 11 May, in the Institute of Social Sciences, Slovenian professor of sociology and political activist Rastko Močnik gave the lecture titled “The Left in Contemporary Capitalism”.

In his comprehensive overview of the development of political processes and practices after the French Revolution, Močnik first indicated the three directions that had imposed themselves and had had decisive roles in shaping the post-revolutionary political sphere, Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism.

Then he talked of the period since 1970, when the crisis that the world still fights today had commenced, the crisis which has been highly heterogeneous in both causes and consequences, and to which still only the capital (Conservatism and Liberalism) seems to have its neoliberal answer, unlike the working class (Socialism).

Močnik put an emphasis on the three processes that have been active in the last fifty years. Firstly, destruction of family which is replaced by identity ethnic and religious communities; secondly, destruction of (local) factories, with the strengthening of small and mid-size (family) enterprises which, in the globalised economy and with displacement of production, remain in the development trap; and thirdly, destruction of the concept of public formal (humanist) education, rendered meaningless with the displacement of education and training in the private sector.

The crisis of the Left, concluded Močnik, both globally and on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, has primarily been reflected in the inability to find an effective response to this newly-emerged situation, or any form of sustainable resistance to the dominant capitalist model, bourgeois national state, or the liberal ideological and cultural sphere.

The lecture was a part of the Regional Tea Party series, organised this year under the subtitle “The Left” by the Institute of Social Sciences in cooperation with the Academic Network for Cooperation in South East Europe.