Creating a sustained conversation on how our current capitalist political and economic
organization shapes our understanding of the world and our lived experience;
sparking further investigation, critique and resistance to our unjust world.

  Living Theory #7:

Role of prisons in capitalism and why struggles against prison need to be at the centre of an anti-capitalist analysis.

Presented by Kaley Kennedy

Saturday, April 14, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Room 108 of the Bloomfield Centre
(2786 Agricola St. ... the big old red brick building)


An interrogation of the role of prisons in capitalism, and at how the criminal legal system is structural violence through looking at the current state of prison labour in Canada, the criminalisation of women, aboriginal people, and youth, and at prisoner resistance. The purpose of this talk is to propose that the struggle against prisons needs to be at the centre of an anti-capitalist analysis.


Living Theory #6:
Russia’s Transition to a Market Economy and the problem of De-Development through Primitive Accumulation,

With Hamid Sakhai

Saturday, February 25, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Room 200 of the Bloomfield Centre
(2786 Agricola St. ... the big ol red
brick building)


During the period from 1991-1998 Russia underwent a transition into a market economy with devastating socioeconomic consequences and industrial decline. Socioeconomic decline of Russia during this period resulted from a unique form of primitive accumulation that resulted in the de-development of Russia’s economy and society. Russia’s phase of primitive accumulation from 1991-1998 not only lead to a devastating decline in human development indicators of health, poverty and gender equality, but that even in economic terms, the capitalist economy that emerged is a regression towards a lower production scale than the industrial giant that it once was. Russia has not simply reached a phase of underdevelopment, but has in fact de-developed.


Living Theory #5: Screening & Discussion of In Defense of our Treaties, with filmmaker, Martha Stiegman.

Saturday March 26th, (2011) 2pm - 4pm
Room 208, Bloomfield Centre (2786 Agricola St. ... the big ol red
brick building)

In Defense of our Treaties follows the struggle of Bear River First Nation as they stand up to pressure from the Department of Fisheries (DFO) to sell their treaty rights for a ticket into the commercial fisheries.
[19min; 2008]

The discussion will include a historical and political contextualization of the Covenant Chain of Peace and Friendship Treaties; current efforts to have those treaties recognized and honoured; and the alliance building Bear River First Nation is undertaking with non-native communities in their traditional territory resisting various kinds of privatization.


Living Theory #4: Unlocking the Chains of Capitalism and Racism

Presentation by El Jones

Ever hear of primitive accumulation? It can also be described as
grand theft land and limb.

Presentation by El Jones, followed by a discussion.

Saturday February 26th, 2pm – 4pm
Bloomfield Centre, 2786 Agricola Street

The racism we see today has a historical "legacy", which explains present inequalities and injustices along racial lines. Major acts of racism – slave trade and colonial conquest – were necessary for building the wealth of capitalism we see today. Revolutionary change will require bringing together the struggle against racism and capitalism.


Living Theory #3: Understanding the Ecological Crisis

Presentation by Antoni Wysocki

Saturday, January 29, 2:00pm
Bloomfield Centre (2786 Agricola St)

The world is currently experiencing environmental catastrophe on a massive scale, with outright cataclysm in the offing. The overwhelming majority of scientists as well as most laypeople now agree that Earth's climate is changing rapidly due to human activity. Experts such as James Hansen and James Lovelock warn that the planet could be on the verge of a runaway greenhouse effect that would create conditions similar to those observed on Venus, leading to the extinction of all life on Earth.

The Kyoto process has come to be recognized as a sham. Governments have demonstrated little commitment to it and in any case it is now widely understood that the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that it calls for are far too small to have any appreciable effect. This has led to loud demands for "market solutions" such as "cap and trade" carbon reduction schemes.

Marxist analysis indicates that this is a false dichotomy. The real issue is not whether the state or commercial interests constitute the more effective instrument but that the capital system of its very nature precludes the possibility of solving the climate crisis and the host of other ecological problems that confront us.


Living theory #2: What would a revolutionary research agenda look like?

Presentation by Andrea Smith

Saturday, December 4th, 2:00pm
Bloomfield Centre (2786 Agricola St)

What is the role of scientific research in revolutionary movements? Can science be liberatory? What would a revolutionary research agenda look like? In this installment of Living Theory, health policy PhD student Andrea Smith aims to provoke discussion of why we ought to be critical of calls for more scientific research. Exploring Marx’s ideas of materialism and science, we'll examine how the world we live in shapes the types of research questions we pose (and which we answer) and the way we answer them (and which answers are considered legitimate). Using health research as a case example we’ll discuss how defining health as a scientific problem obscures its moral, political and economic dimensions.


Living Theory # 1 - Critique of the creative city

Presentation by Max Haiven

Sunday October 17
Venue: Roberts Street Social Centre, inside and upstairs
Address: 5684 Roberts St.
Cost: free!


As governments cut programs and corporations cut jobs, politicians and bureaucrats are trumpeting "creativity" and "culture" as the saviours of our economy and society. Big events like Nocturne or Toronto's Nuit Blanche publicize these high hopes, but whose interests do they really serve? With corporations rushing to brand these events as their own and with urban infrastructure and social programs falling apart, its time to take a hard look at who the "creative economy" is working for, and who is working for the "creative economy." This presentation will link the new hype about creativity to gentrification to foreclosures to the crisis of capitalism and what we can do about it. Real creativity is the ability to make meaningful change for social justice.