Revolution #266, April 22, 2012

Political Disobedience vs. Revolution: An Exchange and Debate on the Significance and Implications of the Occupy Movement between Bernard Harcourt and Raymond Lotta

Bernard Harcourt, writing in the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, described the Occupy movement as marking a "political paradigm shift": a new form of "political disobedience" involving a "leaderless" organization refusing to embrace "old ideologies"—whether of free markets or communism. In the editorial, Harcourt specifically engaged Raymond Lotta, an advocate of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, who had recently spoken at Occupy Wall Street. Lotta responded: the question is not whether there will be ideology or leadership—these are in play one way or another—but what kind of ideology and what kind of leadership are needed to overcome oppression and exploitation. The repression directed against the Occupy movement underscores the importance of these questions of social protest and societal transformation.

In December, Harcourt and Lotta had the first round of their debate at Occupy Chicago. Now the debate continues at The New School in New York City. Come ask questions and participate in this vital debate and exchange.

Bernard Harcourt is Chairman of the Political Science department and professor of law at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Illusion of Free Markets.

Raymond Lotta is a political economist and contributor to Revolution newspaper. He has been speaking about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

Date and Time: Saturday, May 5, 5:00-7:00 pm

Location: Wolff Conference Room, Room 1103, The New School
6 East 16th Street, 11th floor

Sponsors: Center for Public Scholarship at The New School; Revolution Books, New York City

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