Socialism vs authoritarianism

CFP: a conference in Moscow, 12-13 July 2008

International conference "Historical experience of socialist resistance against authoritarianism", taking place in Moscow, Russia, on 12-13 July 2008.

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Praxis Research and Education Center

Praxis Research and Educational Center

"Memorial" Research Program "Socialists and Anarchists - participants of resistance against Bolshevik regime (October 1917-1930s)"
Plekhanov Foundation

International conference
Historical experience of socialist resistance against authoritarianism
Moscow, 12-13 July 2008

The purpose of the conference is to discuss problems of history of various socialist movements' struggles against authoritarian regimes in Russia and other countries in XIX-XXI centuries; to look at theory, practice, results and lessons of anti-authoritarian socialist resistance.

Contributions to the conference are invited on the following basic themes:

  • Authoritarian political tradition in Russia: civilization specificity or a product of historical circumstances? Forms of authoritarianism before and after 1917, their social, economic, ideological foundations. Authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Theoretical analysis of authoritarianism/totalitarianism in Russian and world socialist thought
  • Socialist alternatives to authoritarianism. Relations between struggles for political and social liberation. Conceptions of democracy in Marxism, (neo)populism, anarchism: common and specific features. Democratic and libertarian socialist currents: discussions, interaction, possibilities of synthesis. Authoritarian tendencies inside socialist movements and struggle against them
  • Resistance of socialists against autocracy in XIX-early XXth centuries: ideas, strategies and tactics. Reasons of defeat of democratic revolution in Russia and paradoxes of socialists' split. Left anti-totalitarian resistance in the USSR: political currents, programs, historical stages, fates of participants. Types of totalitarian states' repression against participants of socialist resistance. Confrontation of socialists with totalitarian regimes in prisons and struggle for political prisoners' rights
  • Development of democratic and libertarian ideas by representatives of Russian socialist emigration. Role of international solidarity in the anti-totalitarian resistance. International experience of socialists' struggle against totalitarianism
  • Contemporary significance of anti-authoritarianism in Russia and post-Soviet countries. Reasons of weakness of left-democratic and libertarian political currents. What can they learn from the past of socialist movement? Struggle of socialists against right and "left" authoritarianism on global scale
  • Socialist resistance against authoritarianism as a subject of research. Situation in the post-Soviet historiography: attempts to rehabilitate authoritarian regimes and new historical myths. Historical memory and reflections of socialist resistance in contemporary social consciousness (educational and fiction literature, mass-media, theatrical and documentary films)

The conference will include:

  • Discussion: "What forces can be considered 'left anti-totalitarian' in Russia in 1920s-1930s and today?"
  • Round tables: "1968: a view 40 years after"; "Historical fate and contemporary relevance of Marxism (to the 190th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth)".
  • Presentation and discussion of the future activities of "Memorial" research program: "Socialists and Anarchists - participants of resistance against Bolshevik regime (October 1917-1930s)" and its web site: "Russian socialists and anarchists after October 1917: history, ideas, traditions of democratic socialism and fates of participants of left resistance against Bolshevik regime"

The conference will be held in the conference hall of Plekhanov Foundation (Raushskaya naberezhnaya, 4).

The working languages of the conference will be Russian, English and French. Conference fee (for organizational expenses): 40 euros. Proposals for papers should include brief summary and authors' CV. Deadline for submitting proposals is 27 June.

Contact with the organizing committee: [mailto][/mailto], [mailto][/mailto], [mailto][/mailto]