Community Event: The Black Challenge to the Capitalist State

May 18, 2018 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Seattle Labor Temple, Hall 1
2800 1st Ave.
Puget Sound Socialists (ISO)

RSVP on Facebook:

Sponsored by Red May Seattle

Dr Charisse Burden-Stelly, Dr Christopher Tinson, Olufemi Taiwo Persons racialized as Black have historically occupied a special relationship to the U.S. capitalist state, and to the capitalist world-economy more broadly. This unique relationship to the mode of production, constituted by super-exploitation, racialized violence, and enduring forms of expropriation, has been the focus of Black radicals including Claudia Jones, Cyril Briggs, Louise Thompson Patterson, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Boggs, and Angela Davis. Operating in the tradition of these activist-intellectuals, this panel explores the ways that Blackness as a problem/question, a political formation, and a structural condition has posed a fundamental challenge to the capitalist state. Additionally, the panelists unpack how, in the struggle to upend the structures that reproduce exploitation, domination, and dispossession, Black interventions have simultaneously problematized, enhanced, and challenged traditional Marxist thought. Chris Tinson will revisit the 1965-66 Monthly Review writings of James Boggs, political theorist and worker from Detroit, MI. Most known as the companion of Grace Lee, this discussion takes seriously his bottom-up analyses of power, internationalism, democracy, and the possibility of worker’s solidarity in shaping the economic destiny of black people. Charisse Burden-Stelly will explicate the groundings of the U.S. capitalist state in antiradicalism and antiblackness; the construction and maintenance of Blacks and radicals-especially communists and socialists-as subversive threats to American security and stability; and the ways that Black radicals in particular provide the linkage between statist discourses of anticommunism, extremism, law and order, and anti-terrorism. In his remarks, “The Black Challenge to the Working Class,” Olufemi Taiwo will discuss what the idea of the working class is, some challenges to orthodox conceptions of it, and the implications of all that to organizing in today’s world. He’ll also focus on precarity in labor markets, gender and domestic work, and transnational solidarity.