This question is ever so urgent to discuss, in order to advance concrete proposals and the work of solidarity as bombs fall over Gaza and the number of innocent victims increases from day to day. Mid-February, IIRE will hold it Palestine Seminar, bringing together progressive activists from several Arab countries and Israel, as well as experts and activists dealing with the Middle East from Europe, North America and the Philippines.
Interview with IIRE Fellow Gilbert Achcar (Znet June 2008)
2008 is the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of Israel and of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe. What do you see as the Israeli goal and has it changed over the years? What is the current Israeli strategy regarding both Gaza and the West Bank?
Dialectics as a method of social research
Seminar given at the IIRE, Amsterdam, on 15 January 2008
Part I. A general introduction.
As well known, Marx did not explicitly write a work on dialectics. Nevertheless, he thought it would be possible to make intelligible to people with ordinary intelligence in a few pages what is rational in the method “which Hegel discovered and at the same time mystified”. In spite of Marx’s warning that Hegel mystified dialectics, traditionally, commentators have tried to force Marx into conformity with Hegel. I will depart from this tradition and will submit a notion of dialectics as a method of social research, a method focused exclusively on social reality. This method is extracted from Marx’s own work rather than from Hegel’s work. I argue that it is internally consistent with Marx’s theory and therefore capable of further developing that theory in order to account for capitalism’s new features.
Saturday’s Gramsci conference in Amsterdam turned out to be a big success, both in terms of participation and discussions.
With 120 registration, much more than expected, the organisers were forced to turn down people who wanted to participate.
On Saturday the IIRE hosted, in corporation with the Italian Cultural Institute in Amsterdam, a one-day seminar on the legacy and relevance of Gramsci’s thought today.
A Difficult Love Affair? On the Relation Between Marxism and Theology
Abstract: From the moment Marx and Engels became involved with the League of the Just, Marxism has always had a long and often difficult relation with theology and the Bible. Some of the leading figures of the twentieth century were no exception - Althusser, Adorno, Gramsci, Lefebvre, Eagleton are just a few. And in our own day we have the rush of engagements with Paul's Letters in the New Testament by thinkers on the Left. In light of my recent book, Criticism of Heaven: On Marxism and Theology, as well as the next book, Criticism of Religion, I ask why Marxism and theology seem to be so close, why they argue so much, and what it means for both of them. Does it weaken them or are they stronger for the connection?