The idea of socialism has gained great popularity as an alternative to capitalism, particularly among the young. In the last century it was conceived as a state directed economy. Today Leftists are rethinking socialism afresh, with a focus on a resilient civil society as the foundation. This emphasizes democratic participation at the grass roots and a state that facilitates popular autonomy. That at least is one version.
Michael Lebowitz, Camila Pineiro Harnecker and Dario Azzellini will discuss these issues. Lebowitz is a Marxist economist who was an advisor in Venezuela during the Chavez government. He has authored several books, among which is The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development and has a new one coming out soon: Between Capitalism and Community. Camila Pineiro is a Cuban social scientist who is a prominent advocate of cooperatives in socialist construction. She put together the volume Cooperatives and Socialism: A View from Cuba. Dario Azzellini comes from the autonomist tradition. He has authored Communes and Workers Control in Venezuela: Building 21st Century Socialism from Below.