Watch the webinar with our first guest, Leo Panitch, interviewed by Kate Hudson – or listen to the recording as podcast.
In the very first edition of our new series The Left Reflects, we are proud to present insights by Leo Panitch. In his conversation with Kate Hudson, he goes on to explain further lessons for the left that became evident during the pandemic. Such as, that our basic needs must be provided by a democratic public sector, that Amazon workers, for example, who proved to be so essential during this period, need to be public employees.
Our main struggle will have to be that, of meeting people’s basic needs far beyond the Keynesian welfare state, through the provision of public services, through taking key industries, including finance, into the public sector and making them public utilities. And we must do this in a way that democratizes these institutions in the process.
On the role of the European Union, Panitch reminds us that the EU is a capitalist project, rooted in the goal of free movement of capital. And the EU is a project in crisis. A crisis rooted in the lack of solidarity and the discipline imposed by some Member States over others.
Panitch speaks to the need to fight the far right and rising xenophobia, to re-establish the left and working-class institutions, trade unions, mass parties, and the new parties that were formed around the attempt to rebuild the working class of the 21st century. He makes a case for a new type of internationalism, capable of coordination with regards to capital movement and which speaks to taxation. He proposes nothing less, than a new democratic and ecological mode of economic planning.
Leo Panitch is Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto and co-editor of the Socialist Register whose annual volumes he has edited for past 35 years. His latest books are Searching for Socialism; The Project of the Labour New Left from Benn to Corbyn with Colin Leys (Verso); and the expanded and updated American edition of The Socialist Challenge Today: Syriza, Sanders, Corbyn with Sam Gindin and Steve Maher (Haymarket). His book The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire, also with Sam Gindin, was awarded the Deutscher book prize in the UK and the Davidson book prize in Canada.
Kate Hudson is general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK. A historian by profession, she was Head of Social and Policy Studies at London South Bank University from 2000 to 2010, and is the author of a number of books, including two on the development of the radical left in Europe. She is managing editor of Transform UK and is a national officer of Left Unity, a member party of the European Left.
Angelina Giannopoulou, facilitator of transform! europe
transform! europe, the European network of political foundations and think tanks of the radical left, presents a series of interviews with left-wing thinkers to discuss these crucial issues and plan for the future we want to build. They will take place via Zoom and are open to the public on registration. In the second half of the interview, the audience can pose questions to the invited speaker!