Obama, the World and the Construction of Another Possible World
In this seminar, Immanuel Wallerstein will make an in-depth analysis of the current world situation, understood as a precipitation of the systemic trends of historical capitalism. He will therefore be analysing the novel and energetic responses that state, social and political actors have delivered over recent years to change the global state of affairs, while also examining the prospects that will open up following Barack Obama's election as President of the United States. In addition, Wallerstein will consider the more or less relevant innovations in managing the decline of US domination that will unfold once the new Obama administration takes over. In the current situation, US foreign policy options will profoundly affect the opportunities that remain open for other global actors and the way they function, be they states, businesses or anti-systemic movements, and knowledge of these will be essential in structuring effective responses to the crisis both in the economic and trade union fields as well as in those of the political, cultural and organisational strategies of social activists and movements. The description of current circumstances also involves carefully evaluating how emerging powers, above all in the global South, will behave on the world playing field, and what strategies they will employ to alter their weight and influence in the distribution of global wealth and power. Moreover, it must examine how such behaviour should be used by anti-systemic movements to ensure that the new social system which will replace historical capitalism can bring about a historical system which is more just, egalitarian and sustainable. The art of crisis as a network offers antagonistic responses to the strategies of privatisation and the imposition of that crisis on society, with a view to avoiding it being resolved in a reactionary and anti-egalitarian manner without drastically modifying the systemic organisation or the structure of power which has unleashed it. This activity will take place within the context of "The Art of Crisis: Seminars on the Systemic Crisis of Capitalism" organised by MNCARS and the Universidad Nómada in conjunction with the MACBA. Immanuel Wallerstein (1930) is a Senior Research Scholar at Yale; he founded and directed (1976-2000) the Fernand Braudel Center at the University of Binghamton and is a researcher at the Maison des sciences de l'homme in Paris. His most recent publications include The Decline of American Power: The US in a Chaotic World (New Press, 2003), as well as Capitalismo histórico y movimientos antisistémicos (Cuestiones de Antagonismo, Ediciones Akal, 2004) and European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power (New Press, 2006).
Programme31 January 2009, from 11 am to 2 pm
Introduction and replica by Tomàs Herreros (Universidad Nómada).
Tel. (+34) 93 412 14 13
programespublics [at] macba [dot] cat