Marx Conference in Havana, May 2004

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Thu Nov 20 2003 - 18:07:17 EST

Dear Friends and Comrades,
         I have pasted below the invitation to attend the 2nd Marx 
Conference in Havana in May 2004. For those who attended this year's 
conference, let me call your attention to some significant changes.
         Whereas this year's conference was organised on a shoe-string 
basis and began at the facilities of the Cuban Workers Federation and 
subsequently shifted to the Palace of Conventions (where only plenary 
session were possible at that point), next year's conference will take 
place entirely at the Palace of Conventions. Following the successful 
format of the annual Globalisation Conference in Havana, the Marx 
conference will have 4 commission sessions (all with simultaneous 
translation) occurring in the mornings. Afternoons will be set aside for 
plenary panels; as the closing time will be flexible, in the event of 
extraordinary interventions in the plenaries, it will not produce havoc 
with the presentation schedule. Further, arrangements for translations both 
at the conference and in advance are well in hand. Another change you will 
see in the invitation below is that the length of papers to be presented is 
severely limited to 10 pages. This-- together with advance translation 
(much easier with short papers)-- is intended to permit far more 
interaction and discussion, which was a desire on the part of almost all 
participants this year.
         I think those are the main changes. Again, participants will be 
invited to be there for the May Day ceremonies, and there will be seminars 
focusing on Cuba in the days before the Conference.
         Finally, if you have any questions about the conference at all, 
please contact Jesus Garcia Brigos, coordinator of the Academic Committee 
(address noted below)--- ie., not me. Please circulate this to all lists 
that may be relevant. Thank you, and I hope to see you next year in Havana.
                 in solidarity,


Second International Conference
Marxism and the challenges of the 21st century

Second notification

The permanent workshop 'Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century', 
established by the Philosophy Institute of Cuba's Ministry of Science, 
Technology & the Environment, announces the Second International Conference 
on Marxism and the challenges of the 21st century, to be held in Havana on 
4th-8th May, 2004. All those interested in analyzing the basis of the 
current world order and finding ways of achieving its progressivist 
replacement, thereby contributing to a strengthening of early 21st-century 
revolutionary thought, are invited to attend.

The Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the Institute of Philosophy's 
foundation, the 45th anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution and 
the 65th anniversary of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC).

Conference's sponsors (in alphabetical order):
-       Cuban Society for Philosophic Research
-       Cuban Workers Federation (CTC)
-        Department of Marxist-Leninism and history  at the Ministry of 
-       Department of Marxist-Leninism at the Ministry of Higher Education
-       Empresa de Servicios de Traducción y Interpretación
-       Faculty of Philosophy, Sociology & History, University of Havana
-       Higher Council of Social Sciences (Cuba)
-       Higher Institute of Art (Ministry of Culture)
-       Higher Institute of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
-       Juan F Noyala Centre for Economic & Planning Studies (Ministry of 
Economics & Planning)
-       Latin America Popular Memory Research Group (MEPLA)
-       Latin American Council for the Social Sciences (CLACSO)
-       'Madres de la Playa de Mayo' University, Argentina
-       Martian studies Centre (Centro de Estudios Martianos)
-       National Association of Economists & Accountants (ANEC)
-       Ñico López College (Cuban Communist Party)
-       'Pasado y Presente XXI' Centre
-       Social Sciences Council of the Ministry of Science, Technology & 
the Environment
-       Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País

The event will build on work based on the guidelines approved for the 
permanent workshop 'Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century', 
which are also the subject areas proposed for the Conference:

1.      The reality and contradictions of today's capitalism. Their social, 
political, ideological and cultural impact on society
2.      The social actors and the forms of revolutionary struggle generated 
within capitalism's system of multiple domination
3.      Limits and contradictions of socialist experience during the 20th 
century: new theoretical developments for the improvement of the 
emancipator paradigm.

Drawing on the results of the working sessions in May 2003, as the central 
theme for this debating and proposal-generating meeting of social 
activists, politicians and scientists, we propose the following:

"Class and revolutionary power: theory and practice".

Applications to attend the Conference are now being received at the offices 
of the Organizing Committee. Prospective speakers should send  their 
papers, together with an abstract , by 31st January 2004.

Papers should be no longer than 10 sides, Letter or A4 size, 12-point and 
double spaced. Synopses should adopt the same formatting and not exceed a 
page in length. The relevant files must be Microsoft Word 6 or higher, and 
sent on diskette or via E-mail. All papers received will be published in 
advance of the event, in the Conference websites (Cuba Siglo XXI and Portal 
de Filosofía Cubana), unless the author specifically requests otherwise. 
The Conference's working languages will be Spanish and English.

The working sessions in the Havana International Conference Centre (Palacio 
de las Convenciones) during 4th-8th May will take the form of committee 
meetings in the mornings and plenary sessions in the afternoons. 
Presentations of papers to committees will be restricted to 10 minutes, to 
maximize discussion time. The plenary sessions will be dedicated to the 
central theme of the conference and will be based on interactive panels.

The four committees will respectively address:
1.      Capitalism, imperialism and globalization: current limits and 
2.      Class and revolutionary power: experience, present challenges and 
3.      Socialism and communism in today's world
4.      Marxist thinking and human development.

Issues planned for debate at the working sessions include:

Communist revolution and human emancipation:
·       Need, possibilities and realities, near-future and strategic
·       The subject of revolution in the context of the new world order
·       Classes in the revolutionary subject
·       Vanguard-party-classes-social movements-the masses.

The proletariat in today's world
·       The unions and neoliberal globalization
·       The world of labour, social movements and power in contemporary 
capitalist states
·       The union movement and building socialism.

State and economy under present world conditions
·       Nation state, global state and neoliberal non-state
·       New multinational powers
·       International institutions
·       State intervention and antitrust policies in relation to production 
and technological incentives
·       The capitalist accumulation model under the present conditions of 
globalization: contradictions and perspectives.

Underdevelopment and capitalism
·       Periphery-centre relations
·       Third World and hegemonic influences on development
·       State terrorism against the peoples of the so-called Third World. 
United States, Zionism: Palestine and the peoples of the Middle East
·       The South within the North
·       "Modernity" and underdevelopment.

Globalization and sustainable human development
·       New technologies as a means of domination and as a means of 
emancipation: civilization and sense of humanity
·       Man-nature contradiction
·       Global and demographic environmental problems and their impact on 
contemporary society
·       The rapid pace of the scientific-technical revolution and the 
notion of a "knowledge-based society"; implications for various aspects of 
the natural reproductive and socio-economic cycle at world level
·       The hegemonic global imperialism crisis, militarism and war.

Latin America and the Caribbean: the FTAA, the United States of America and 
·       Latin America and the Caribbean - integration versus ultimate 

Property and social development
·       Cooperativism vs. Capital
·       Socialist ownership
·       The individual and ownership under communist transformation.

Those attendees wishing to do so will be able to participate in the 
traditional Mayday celebrations and in meetings the following day with 
Cuban and foreign trade unionists, to be attended by the Cuban Workers 
Federation (CTC), while interactive sessions on "Cuba in the 21st century - 
socialism, politics and economics" will be held on 3rd May. These latter 
sessions will be attended by distinguished Cuban specialists in the 
subjects under discussion. Those interested should notify the Organizing 
Committee accordingly by 30th March 2004.

The conference fee is US $100 for speakers and other participants except 
students; the student fee is $50. The corresponding fees for Cuban 
participants are 80 pesos and 50 pesos respectively. Travel to and 
accommodation in Cuba, including transfers between the various conference 
activities, can be arranged with Rumbos, the event's official tour operator 
(E-mail: Those interested in attending or in the 
Permanent Workshop's activities generally can keep abreast of developments 
by visiting the Cuba Siglo XXI website ( and 
the Cuban philosophy portal (

We shall be working to achieve the widest possible attendance from among 
those interested in bringing about a better world - which is not only 
possible, but essential to the very existence of mankind.

Permanent workshop 'Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century'

Chairman of the Organizing Committee: Dr Romelia Pino Freyre, Director of 
the Institute of Philosophy. E-mail:
General Coordinator: Roberto Lima Ferrer. E-mail:
Coordinator of the Academic Committee: Dr Jesús Pastor García Brigos
E-mail:;; Nchamach Miller,

Members of the Academic Committee  (in alphabetical order of surname):


Dr Esther Aguilera, Dr Rafael Alhama Belamaric, Dr Talia Fung Riverón, Dr 
Carmen Gómez García, Dr Norma Gálvez, Marta Harnecker, Dario Machado, Luís 
Marcelo Yera
Dr Ernesto Molina Molina, Dr Isabel Monal, Haydée Montes, Dr Concepción Nieves;
Dr Hugo Pons, Dr Rigoberto Pupo, Isabel Rauber, Daysi Rivero Alvisa, Dr 
Ramón Sánchez Noda, Dr Jorge Luís Santana, Luís Suarez, Prof. Raúl Valdés Vivó.

International Academic Committee:

Prof. Robert Albritton, Canada; Luciano Alzaga, Sweden; Prof. Samir Amin, 
Senegal; Prof. Atilio Borón, Argentina; Dr Alexander Buzgalin, Russia; 
Prof. Al Campbell, USA; Prof. Ken Cole, UK; Prof. Theotonio Dos Santos, 
Brazil; Prof. Georges Labica, France; Prof. Lau Kin Chi, Hong Kong; Prof. 
Néstor Kohan, Argentina; Professor Emeritus Michael Lebowitz, Canada; 
Professor Emeritus István Meszárós, UK; Nchamach Miller, Colombia.

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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