Historical Materialism

by Alexandra Fox
Logistics Organizer / Historical Materialism, Toronto, Canada (May 2016 )

Confronting the Violence of Capital

Historical Materialism Conference

York University, Toronto, Canada

May 13 – 15, 2016

Capital comes dripping from head to toe in blood and dirt, and its continued reproduction has proven no less bloody. Its existence relies on systemic forms of degradation and exploitation, both spectacular and quotidian. From the violent suppression of 19th century workers movements and genocidal imperialism – from the Paris Commune to the scramble for Africa – capitalism’s victories and defeats have always played out in the arena of violence.

Today, against a backdrop of permanent war, austerity measures, refugee crisis, and racist police brutality, it has become clear that violence remains the backbone of the capitalist world order. As many Left movements, from the indignados to Occupy to Black Lives Matter, are challenging the violence of capital, it is vital that we conceptualize new strategies of resistance and self-defense. The 2016 Historical Materialism Conference at York University in Toronto aims to contribute to a collective discussion that can extend our analysis and contribute to praxis that meets the challenges of our times. 

We would like to acknowledge that the conference takes place upon traditional territories. The territories include the Wendat,Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and the Métis Nation. We also recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land. 


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