[OPE-L] PSA Annual Conference University of Bath, April 11-13, 2007

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun Oct 08 2006 - 18:10:56 EDT

PSA Annual Conference: University of Bath, April 11-13, 2007.

Lea Haro has kindly organised two sessions on behalf of the group.  If you
are interested in joining in with either of these, or have a paper that
you would like to give which might be the basis of an entirely separate
session, please contact me as soon as possible.  The sessions already
organised are as follows:

1. Marxism and War

Panel will discuss different Marxist theories on the relationship between
war and political economy and its importance to the survival of
The panel will also take a closer look at the case of Iran.


1.1 Yassamine Mather, University of Glasgow: 'Workers in Iran: exploitation
and conflict'

Abstract: This paper will examine the neo liberal economic policies of the
Islamic Regime in Iran, casualisation, systematic non payment of wages and
the resulting conflicts in workplaces. The paper will look at the
increasing penetration of the Iranian car industry by foreign
multinationals and examine workers protests in Iran's largest car plant.

1.2 Hillel Ticktin, University of Glasgow, 'Marxist political economic
theory of modern war'

Abstract: This paper outlines a number of different Marxist theories on the
importance of war and so a military economy to the survival of modern
capitalism. The Monthly Review school laid particular stress on the role of
the military sector in preventing an underconsumption crisis. Michael
Kidron argued that the military sector was effectively withdrawn from the
operations of the rest of the economy and consequently its investment did
not count, so raising the rate of profit. Mandel argued against both,
though he agreed that the military sector was important.
It attempts to produce a critique of those views and argues that the growth
of the military sector of the economy and the functional relationship of
war to the capitalist economy are part of a wider penetration of capitalism
itself consequent on its decline. Unlike Mandel it does argue that the Cold
War has been crucial in preventing crisis but not in the arcane and bizarre
form suggested by Kidron, or simply in holding back underconsumption. It
discusses the different ways in which crisis has been prevented. It also
argues that one cannot ignore the crucial role played by Stalinism and its
counter ideology-anti-communism in disciplining workers.

2. Marxism and War II

This panel will discuss Victor Serge and Rosa Luxemburg's position on war.
Having lived through extremely turbulent periods both wrote extensively on
the nature of war and its relation to revolution.


2.1 Lea Haro, University of Glasgow, ' Rosa Luxemburg and the theory of
Mass Action'.

Abstract: This paper will discuss Rosa Luxemburg's theory of mass action
and her use as a symbol during critical periods of history. After her death
in 1919 Luxemburg developed icon status.  Her place as a symbol in the
German Communist movement proved problematic for the Comintern.  Unable to
purge the party of Luxemburgism the Comintern distorted her image.  This
paper will explore how those distortions affected the perception of her

2.2. Suzi Weissman, Saint Mary's College of California, ' Victor Serge and

abstract: to follow.  (It may involve a change of title but there is a
possibility that the paper will be on Zborowsky and the growth of a climate
of fear in the soviet union.)

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