2nd Gathering of the North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Region of the International Gathering of the Workers´ Economy, November 3 to 5, 2016, Mexico City.
Based on the previous five international gatherings of The Workers´ Economy in Buenos Aires 2007, 2009; Mexico City 2011; João Pessoa, Brazil 2013, Venezuela, 2015; and on the regional gatherings in Europe, Fralib in Marseille 2014; South America, in Textiles Pigüe, Argentina, 2014; in North America in Universidad Obrera de Ciudad de México, 2014, the 2nd Gathering of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Region is proposed to take place from the 3rd to the 5th of November, 2016 in Mexico City.
The Gathering of the Workers´ Economy has been known for being a space for gaining knowledge and holding debates, with the constructive participation of workers, intellectuals, social fighters, activists, cultural promoters, scholars, and anyone interested in social transformation based on the economy of self-management by labor, that set the efforts of the struggles of the working class against capital as an alternative to the economic and political domination of the global capitalist system.
On the eve of the 2nd Gathering of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Region, a high risk environment prevails for workers. The crisis of the capitalist world system is becoming more profound, including the slowdown of China’s and other Asian economic powers´ growth, with great consequences for society.
Laborers´ uprisings become inevitable as big capitalists, their governments and institutions increase the exploitation of workers, through the greater precarization of work and worsening of living conditions, that transfer a greater portion of created wealth to capital: slave and serf relations are recreated, informal labor spreads; forced migration expands; the feminization of work deepens exploitation; the working middle class deteriorates by becoming increasingly subordinated to the wage-earning discipline of capital; and important sectors of the peasantry worldwide become proletarianized through the capitalist plundering of natural resources of energy, mining and agriculture.
Under the current political situation of confusion and ideological weakness within the ranks of the workers, worsening working conditions for the great mass of the world population are provoking social discontent that spontaneously erupts in two opposing directions, to the right or to the left; witness events in the US elections, in Great Britain and the rest of Europe, in South America. On the one side, workers are striking, taking over abandoned workplaces, creating cooperative and communal experiences, organizing networks of resistance; on the other side, many workers are voting for Trump and for conservative forces in Europe and other parts of the world.
Simultaneously, the political environment under which laborers undertake their struggles is increasingly affected by the sharpening of conflicts between rival capitalist blocks over the geographic distribution of the global conditions for the creation of wealth: on one side, stands the block of the typical 20th century imperialism (United States of America, Western Europe and Japan); on the other side, the rising, fragile and ever changing block of new capitalist States, originating from the continued capitalist development of the third world, or from the dismembering of ´really existing´ socialism (Brazil, Russia, India, China South Africa, BRICS).
In this context, the main goal of the 2nd Gathering of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Region is to reflect on how to achieve the greatest possible unification of resistance to the further deterioration of working and living conditions and of the struggle for the economic self-management and political dominance of the workers, particularly in this part of America, taking notice on the concrete ways of their self-managing practices as an alternative to the capitalist world system.
Those interested in the 2nd Gathering of the North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Region of the International Gathering of the Workers´ Economy, will be able to participate on the following themes:
1. Contemporary capitalism and the perspectives of the workers´ struggle for the construction of the workers´ economy. Conflicts and challenges for North and Central America and the Caribbean. Unemployment, informal, precarious, servile labor; the labor reform, the destruction of employment. Are these obstacles or conditions for the construction of a worker based economy?
2. Emerging and historic forms of workers´ economic and political struggles towards self-management and the construction of alternatives to capitalism. Emerging forms: the new cooperative movement, recovered enterprises, and other forms of self-managed enterprises by labor; participation, co-management and worker control of production; alternative grassroots trade-union projects; the social and solidarity economy; the communal practices of native groups – the philosophy of ‘good living´ and ’to govern through obedience’–; self-defense groups and communal police, neighborhood, cultural and grassroots organizations. The new electoral struggles on the fringes of traditional parties. Historical experiences: utopian socialism, the Paris Commune, cooperativism, soviets, workers´ councils, peasant communities.
3. Self-management of labor in opposition to the State: to construct, take over, eliminate, or remain on the margins of power? People´s power in the face of State power. How to achieve political dominion by the workers. Current political setbacks around the world show that workers must discuss the pros and cons of electoral social movements.
4. An alternative political economic theory of labor as opposed to the political economy of capital: the premise of labor as a creative, artistic, scientific act, and as enjoyment, of the direct working subject.
5. The aspects of the self-managed labor economy that can be built within the framework of the capitalist economic command and political domination of society. Even within these limits, how to transform the processes of production, distribution, and consumption directed towards the workers´ general welfare, health, and gender equity, keeping in mind the ecological, technological, organizational, administrative and juridical aspects.
6. Within this 2nd Regional Gathering of the Workers´ Economy, the need arises to discuss the organization of the Network of the Workers´ Economy: how to achieve the greatest integration of the intellectual/professional and manual/practical workers, of professionals, scholars, and the direct workers; of militants and activists for workers´ struggles. All this within the spirit of the struggle for the self-management of society by the workers.
The 2nd Gathering of the North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Region of the International Gathering of the Workers´ Economy will take place in Casa Rafael Galván of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, located at the following address: Zacatecas 94, Colonia Roma, Mexico City.
The reception of participant proposals will be open until September 30.
💥 The reception of participant proposals for papers and panels will be extended and open until October 20.
Confirmation of participants will be sent via email. The organizing committee will be in charge of creating the schedule and resolving everything related to the logistics of the event.
Local organizers and participating organizations :
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidades Xochimilco, Iztapalapa and Azcapotzalco; Red de Investigadores y Educadores en Cooperativismo, Trabajadores Democráticos de Occidente, Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas, Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, Frente Auténtico del Trabajo, Centro Cooperativo Artesanal ‘La Brújula Metropolitana’, Universidad Obrera de México, Center For Global Justice (San Miguel de Allende).
International Organizing Committee:
Area de Estudios del Trabajo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Ciudad de México México; Centre for Learning Social Economy & Work, University of Toronto, Canada; Programa de Facultad Abierta, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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