What is Socialism Today?

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Date: February 20, 2020
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Tierney Alumni House | Map
5510 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Lecture

An Emeritus Academy colloquium presentation by Ronald Aronson, HIstory

Abstract: Old new leftists among us are experiencing a remarkable change: Socialism has entered the mainstream. After a lifetime of saying the word softly, sometimes apologetically, while immersing themselves in the other movements of our times – for peace, Civil Rights, feminism, labor, gays and lesbians, and now the environment -- for the first time in almost 100 years it is possible to be an American activist and comfortably talk about something called socialism. But what is this socialism? What does it mean today? How does it fit previous understandings of socialism, and how did it emerge on the scene? Above all, how is it that millions of mostly young Americans have decided to disregard their upbringing and common sense and instead have come to imagine that living under a different system might be better?

Ronald Aronson was a community organizer and editor of Studies on the Left in the 1960s, was the successful subject of one of the first grievances under collective bargaining at Wayne State in the 1970s, and was a charter member of Democratic Socialists of America. He has, in addition to his academic career, been politically active over his entire adult life. He has written several articles on socialism, radical theory, and current politics, most recently in Boston Review and Tikkun. He has taught at WSU since 1968, first at Montieth College, then in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, and, most recently, in the Department of History. He has had visiting appointments at DePaul University and University College, London. He was guest lecturer at the University of Natal in South Africa and other South African universities, involving himself in the struggle to end apartheid, later being awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Natal for his efforts. The author or editor of eleven books, he is an internationally recognized authority on the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, serving as Chair of the Sartre Society of North America and founding editor of the journal Sartre Studies. His publications include Jean-Paul Sartre: Philosophy in the World; Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It; “Stay Out of Politics”: A Philosopher Views South Africa;  Living without God: New Directions for Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and the Undecided; Sartre’s Second Critique; The Dialectics of Disaster: A Preface to Hope, and After Marxism.

Place: first floor conference room of the Tierney Alumni House, 5510 Woodward (just north of the Park Shelton parking structure on NE corner of Woodward and Ferry St.). Visitor parking available behind the building. Please come to the rear door of the house and ring the bell for entrance. There is also handicap parking and a ramp for easy access to the front door of the building.



Arthur Marotti