Cybersocialism: Can we integrate socialist planning with democracy

How do we combine socialist economic planing with democracy? Dr. Paul Cockshott, Computer Scientist and Reader at the University of Glasgow gives us his thoughts on the matter. Slides of the talk are given in a pdf file below.


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The Marxist Seminars: Marxism in Practice

Marx and Engels studyingThe Marxist Seminars are back!

After our initial 6 seminars based on theoretical topics, we thought we’d run the next 6 on ‘Marxism in Practice’.

We will be beginning on Saturday 9th August, 6pm, Chaplin’s Bar, Hawkins’ Street, D2. Each seminar will be at the same time and venue fortnightly thereafter.

Miles Link will be introducing the first seminar and will be put the case forward for the Frankfurt School of ideas. Western Marxism: Problems of mass culture. A lively debate will surely follow as always.

The full of programe is the following:

1. Western Marxism: Problems of mass culture – Miles Link

2. Comparing popular resistance to neoliberalism in Latin America the in 80s and 90s to the situation in Ireland in the current context of crisis – Barry Cannon (NUI Maynooth)

3. Marxist Analysis of the Trade Union movement – Andrew Phelan

4. Fundamentals of communist production and distribution – Gavin Mendel-Gleason

5. Personality & History – Helena Sheehan (Dublin City University)

6. Marxism & Feminism – Sinead Kennedy

Hope to see you all over the coming months!

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European Left Summer University 2014

SU_2014_01The summer university of the European Left Party will be held in Werbellinsee, north of Berlin, on 23-27 July, hosted by Die Linke.

A number of Left Forum members attended the summer university in Portugal last summer and found the experience extremely motivating.

This year, to facilitate the registration process, it makes logistical sense to register as a group under the ‘Left Forum’ banner. If members or supporters of Left Forum are interested in attending the summer university please let me know before this Thursday evening, 29 May, so that the necessary registration forms can be submitted together en bloc.

Details of the summer university can be found here:

Please note that attending the summer university as ‘Left Forum’ is not a statement of intent in terms of affiliation to the European Left Party. This is a purely administrative short cut to make life easier for any individuals who wish to attend, as the summer university is not really set up to cater efficiently with individual attendees, although this is possible, as was discovered during last year’s university in Portugal.

If you wish to attend under the umbrella of Left Forum, please download the registration form ( and send the completed form in a return email to me at the above address. No payment is necessary at this time. I will collect the registration fee in due course and make the bulk payment to the summer university organisers once the registrations have been approved by them.

Apologies for the short notice but the deadline for registration is Friday 30 May, so we will need to act quickly to make the block registration.

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Marxist Seminars

marxSome members of the Dublin Left Forum are organising a series of 6 seminars on Marxism. Our second meeting is on Saturday 26th April 2014, 6-8pm in Chaplins Bar, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2. Every meeting will be at that time and venue fortnightly thereafter.

Gavin Mendel-Gleason of the Left Forum will be giving an introduction to Marxist economics.

Wide-ranging reading material will be circulated in advance of each meeting. All Marxists and none welcome!

1. Historical Materialism
12th April, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

2. Marxist Economics
26th April, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

3. Power & Ideology
3rd May, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

4. Orthodox Marxism
17th May, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

5. Theory of the State
31st may, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

6. The Russian Revolution
7th June, 6-8pm, Chaplin’s

Hope to see you all soon!

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Challenging the Rule of Troika, Transforming Europe


International Conference

Challenging the Rule of Troika, Transforming Europe

Dublin, 10 March 2014

Venue: Room AG01 (Ballymum Road etrance)

09:00 – 09:15: Arrival

09:15 – 09:30: Welcome

Dr John Doyle, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dublin City University (Ireland), Professor Helena Sheehan, Professor Emerita, Dublin City University (Ireland), Haris Golemis, Economist, Legal Representative of transform! europe, Director of Nicos Poulantzas Institute (Greece)

09:30 – 11:30: Economic and Social Consequences of Memoranda I

Maria Karamessini, Professor of Labour Economics and Social Policy, Panteion University (Greece), Michael Taft, Economist, UNITE Trade Union (Ireland), Rafael Munoz de Bustillo Liorente, Professor of Applied Economics, University of Salamanca (Spain)

Moderator: Professor Helena Sheehan, Professor Emerita, Dublin City University (Ireland)

11:30 – 11:45: Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:45: Economic and Social Consequences of Memoranda II

Marisa Matias, Economist, MEP of the Left Block (Portugal)-GUE/NGL, Vice President of the Party of the European Left, Mary Lou McDonald, TD, Sinn Fein (Ireland), Professor David Jacobson, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Dublin City University (Ireland), Panagiotis Pandelidis, Economist, Committee for a Radical Left Rally (Cyprus)

Moderator: Elena Papadopoulou, Economist, Nicos Poulantzas Institute (Greece), Economists΄ Group of transform! europe

13.45 – 14:30: Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:30: Social Resistances and Political Alternatives at National and European Level I

Marga Ferre, Secretary of the Programme Committee of the United Left (Spain), Paul Murphy, MEP, Socialist Party (Ireland)-GUE/NGL,Sotiris Vlachos, Economist Bi-Zonal Peace Platform (Cyprus)

Sotiris Vlachos, Peace Platform United Cyprus, University of Cyprus (Cyprus)

Moderator: Dr. Walter Baier, Economist, transform! Austria (Austria), Coordinator of transform! europe

6:30 – 16:45: Coffee Break

16:45- 18:45: Social Resistances and Political Alternatives at National and European Level II

Euclid Tsakalotos, Professor of Economics, University of Athens, MP, SYRIZA (Greece), Mariana Mortagua, Economist, MP, Left Block (Portugal)-GUE/NGL,

Moderator: Haris Golemis, Economist, Legal Representative of transform! europe, Director of Nicos Poulantzas Institute (Greece)

18:45 – 19:00: Break

Venue: Room HG20 (Collins Avenue entrance)

19.00 – 20:00: A Left Political Alternative for the Refoundation of Europe

Alexis Tsipras, President of SYRIZA (Greece), Vice President of the Party of the European Left, Candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission

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Reconfiguring the European Left: Where do Britain and Ireland come into the picture?


Speakers: Kate Hudson and Andrew Burgin of Left Unity
Chair: Helena Sheehan of Left Forum
Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2:30pm
Location: Mandate Trade Union, 9 Cavendish Row, Dublin 1, Ireland

Reading Kate Hudson’s book “The New European Left: A Socialism for the Twenty-First Century?”, outlining the new political forces occupying the space to the left of social democracy, provokes the question of where are Britain and Ireland in this scenario.

Since it was published in 2012, this current has begun to stir on these islands too. Are these winds strong enough to impact on the politics of our time? This is what we want to explore in this national meeting of Left Forum.

Kate Hudson, who is now national secretary of Left Unity in Britain, will analyse the new and dynamic scenario on the European left. Andrew Burgin, also a founder and leader of Left Unity, will discuss the process, problems and possibilities of Left Unity as a new left party.

As to where Ireland fits into this picture, that is for all of us who attend to explore. A prominent part of the agenda of Left Forum is to explore the possibility of forming such a broad left party here. Why is there no formation in Ireland affiliated to the Party of the European Left? Might there be?

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Open Letter Regarding EU election

The Left Forum are putting this letter here as it seeks greater cooperation on the left. The statement is not endorsed by the Left Forum, though individual members may sign. If you would like your name included you can put it in a comment.

Statement follows.

People Before Profit and the Socialist Workers Party have decided to run Cllr Brid Smith as a candidate for the European Parliament in 2014, significantly reducing the chances of Paul Murphy retaining the seat.

Members of the SWP have argued that there is no intention to damage Murphy’s prospects and that this will result in an increase of the Left vote. We, however, believe it will deprive the Left of a National and European platform for challenging austerity.

We have endured five years of extremely harsh attacks on public services, pensions and pay. The credibility and legitimacy of the mainstream parties has plummeted, leaving significant space for the Left to advance its criticisms and its alternative. It is an historic opportunity and, because of the real hardship that is being inflicted upon the population, an historic responsibility.

Instead of responding to this challenge, however, the Left has turned its fire inwards, and has allowed infighting to destroy joint campaigns and the electoral coalition of the ULA. This behaviour is foolish and irresponsible and will only hamper the development of a broad and powerful anti-austerity movement.

The undersigned call for the Left parties to negotiate a non-aggression pact in the coming European and local elections and to maintain this for the General Election.

Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Dara McHugh
John Meehan
Helena Sheehan
Alan Myler
Donal Higgins
Pamela Rochford
Niall Dunne
Micheal O’Flynn
Rob Galligan
Deirdre Murphy
Rose Anne Murphy
Henry Silke
Joanne Pender
Donagh Davis
James Flynn
Catie Murphy
Raymond Deane
Ronan Burtenshaw
Joe Loughnane
Jim Monaghan
Gerard Madden
Sean Lowde
Brendan Young
Jake James Cullen
David Landy
Justin Byrne
Michael Craig
Kim Williams
Eoin O’Mahony
Roy Johnston


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