The Slovenian academic publishing house Sophia (soon to be called Naprej! [‘Forward!’], after the Slovenian publishing house that first translated the Communist Manifesto in 1908) published a new, third Slovenian edition of Marx's Capital, Vol. I. On this occasion, there has been organised a colloquium on the relevance of Marx's Capital and socialist politics.
The colloquium was organised in cooperation with the Workers and Punks' University, the Institute for Labour Studies and the cultural institute En Knap on the 130th anniversary of Marx's death. It took place on 13 and 14 March 2013 in Ljubljana, in the cultural centre Španski Borci (‘Spanish Fighters’, a centre dedicated to Yugoslav fighters that joined the international anti-fascist brigades in the Spanish civil war).
The first day featured a lecture by the famous Marxist blogger Michael Roberts and a dance performance of Berolt Brecht's Decision performed by En Knap. On the second day, two panel discussions took place. The first one was a debate about the relevance of Marx's Capital. The panelists, Marko Kržan, Lilijana Burcar, Primož Krašovec, Lev Kreft and Rastko Močnik, offered arguments for the relevance of Capital for an understanding of contemporary social processes. They ranged from a critique of neoclassical economics (Krašovec) and feminist aspects (Burcar) to epistemological commentaries (Močnik, Kreft) and an outline of the current political moment in Slovenia (Kržan).
The second debate was titled ‘The Future is Called Democratic Socialism’. The panelists reflected on the current crisis of capitalism, of the European integration process and of representative democracy, and discussed potential socialist responses and alternatives.
As a whole, the colloquium was the most influential Marxist and socialist oriented event in post-Yugoslav Slovenia. Practically all the major media reported on the event (e.g., the national broadcasting service RTV, the central newspapers such as Delo, Dnevnik and Večer, and the main weekly, Mladina, dedicated its cover and main topic to Marx that week). With this media attention, we managed to trigger the first serious nation-wide public debate on Marxism since 1991, as we also largely rehabilitated the socialist political position. With the concept of democratic socialism, we managed to achieve a non-pejorative public use of the notion of Socialism for the first time in more than two decades.
Hence, the colloquium even exceeded the expectations of the organisers. With the support by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and transform! europe, we believe that we achieved a significant breakthrough for Marxism and Socialism in Slovenia. Please find below additional information about the project.
Media reports (in total, there were more than 30 media reports of the event):
Michael Roberts: Workers, Punks and the Euro Crisis (in English)
Lecture by Michael Roberts (in English)
Workers and Punks' University
Institute for Labour Studies
Publishing House Naprej!