[English version of the Introductory Letter]

Napovednik predavanj

Predavanja potekajo vsak Četrtek ob 18h v klubu Gromka na Metelkovi.

11.4.2013: Liljana Burcar: Po socializmu le tema demokracije: restavracija kapitalizma in pogospodinjenje žensk

4.4.2013: Mislav Žitko: Rekonstitucija centralnega bančništva in socializacija bank

28.3.2013: Barbara Kresal: Koliko je socialnega v EU? Primer prenove slovenske delovne zakonodaje

21.3.2013: Andreja Živković: Kriza evroobmočja in kriza levih alternativ

Izredno predavanje:13.3.2013: Michael Roberts: Kriza območja evra je kriza kapitalizma

7.3.2013: Rok Kogej: Kritika keynesovske skromnosti

27.2.2013: Riccardo Bellofiore: Paradigmatska izjema. Italija v svetovni in evropski krizi (Predavanje bo izjemoma v sredo ob 17:00)

21.2.2013: Božo Repe: Evropske integracije, revizija zgodovine in novi protifašizem

14.2.2013: James Meadway: Reševanje krize evroobmočja: varčevanje, eurokeynesianizem in antikapitalistične alternative

7.2.2013: Igor Vuksanović: Ustava in ideologija

30.1.2013: Andrea Milat: Evropa 2020 in mednarodno sodelovanje na področju visokega šolstva in znanosti (Predavanje bo izjemoma v sredo ob 17:00)

24.1.2013: Primož Krašovec: Zgodovinska in aktualna protislovja evropske ideologije

17.1.2013: Viljem Merhar: Reševanje krize kapitalizma kot sistema

10.1.2013: Sašo Slaček Brlek: Proizvodnja pristanka med novičarskimi delavci na Radiu Slovenija

20.12.2012: Angela Wigger: Konkurenca, svetovna kriza in alternative neoliberalnemu kapitalizmu: kritično soočenje z anarhizmom

Izredno predavanje:13.12.2012: Marko Kržan: Skica aktualnega družbeno-ekonomskega stanja v Sloveniji

6.12.2012: Domagoj Mihaljević: Verjeti brez razprave: Proces hrvaškega priključevanja Evropski uniji

29.11.2012: John Grahl: Kriza evroobmočja in konec socialne Evrope

22.11.2012: Sašo Furlan: Kriza evroobmočja v kontekstu globalne krize kapitalističnega produkcijskega načina

Uvodno predavanje:15.11.2012: Joachim Becker: Preobrazbe in krize EU

New webpage:

We moved the WPU web page to a new adress

Wellcome: dpu.si

The Workers and Punks’ University

WPU, the Workers and Punks’ University (http://dpu.mirovni-institut.si/ ), is a collective of students, researchers, and activists who organize series of public lectures, workshops, and seminars on issues that are both theoretically crucial and politically urgent. Located in the Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova and affiliated with the Peace Institute (Ljubljana), it provides a radical local alternative to the academia as well as politics. Instead of degrees it offers public debate, and instead of expert knowledge, theory.

WPU was established in 1998. Its board comprises students and activists who practice in their organizational work the politics of self-management. The core of WPU represents a series of lectures on a topic selected by the board. The lectures given by both academic and independent researchers run each year from November to May. Tackling politically and socially relevant issues in an accessible as well as rigorous manner, they are aimed at a broad audience that actively contributes to discussions. The lectures are accompanied by reading seminars that either supplement the lectures or develop their own problematics, fostering in each case the interaction between WPU and the community. To that aim, week-long symposia have been organized in recent years around Labor Day. Representatives of WPU are also engaged in social struggles such as student demonstrations, union strikes, and activist movements.

The topics of the WPU series of lectures have been:

Revolution (1998), Neo-conservatism (1999), The New Right (2000), The Left (2001), Utopistics (2001-2), May 68 REvision (2002-3), Love and Politics (2003-4), Post-Fordism (2004-5), Political Ecology (2005-6), On Sin (2006-7), Totalitarianism (2007-8), Stupidity (2008-9), School as an Ideological Apparatus of Economy (2009-10), Class Struggle after Class Struggle (2010-11), Financialization (2011-12).

The Double Crisis of European Integration

The process of political and economic integration of European countries, which culminated in the establishment of the European union in early 1990s and in the formation of the Eurozone later in the same decade, was generally accompanied by an enlightened and enthusiastic narrative full of cultural and civilisational ideals. The most prominent image of the EU was one of a pacifist project that has, after centuries of conflicts, united the European countries in a peaceful pan-European political entity. It was supposed to enable economic prosperity and the consolidation of democracy in its member states, while simultaneously opening the borders and expanding outwards, dispersing and abolishing the remaining backward nationalist tendencies. Up until recently, the EU was considered the last stronghold retaining the tradition of the postwar European social model based on the welfare state, as opposed to the militant neoliberalism of the US and to the emerging unbridled capitalism of East Asia. European leaders often envisaged the EU as a high-tech information society, prioritising investment in knowledge and innovations. Furthermore, it supposedly distinguished itself not only by policies of economic competitiveness, but also by those of social cohesion and ‘active and dynamic welfare state’ (The Lisbon strategy).

However, since 2009, the EU has been stuck on the troubling scene of the unfolding of two highly destructive crises. The global crisis of the capitalist mode of production, whose symbolic start can be dated to 2008, the year of the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers, quickly spread to Europe, which suffered a serious banking sector crisis and a stagnation of industrial production. During the same period, the EU was faced with an escalation of the internal balance of payments crisis, which led to a debt crisis on the peripheries of the EU (Hungary, Latvia and Romania) and of the Eurozone (Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal) and is today threatening the very existence of both unions.

After three years of dealing with the crisis, it seems that the image of the EU as a peaceful, democratic and welfare-oriented transnational institution is far from reality. A union whose leaders proved themselves even more radical than the International Monetary Fund when it came to imposing cuts in public spending, lowering the wages and reducing the worker’s rights, can hardly be considered a guardian of the welfare state. A union where major decisions are made by unelected technocratic elites and dictated by capital can hardly be seen as a protector of democracy. And finally, a union that offers a fertile ground for racist myths about lazy and hedonistic workers in the Mediterranean countries can hardly be perceived as an institution that fights destructive nationalist tendencies.

This somewhat darker image of Europe cannot easily be dismissed as a mere temporary effect caused by unfortunate circumstances of the crisis; instead, it should compel us to rethink the EU, its origins and institutional structure, to try to understand the forces and interests that shaped it. After such an inquiry, the current radicalisation of undemocratic and anti-welfare policies might appear far less exceptional. The creation of conditions for unhindered accumulation of financial and industrial capital, which required the suppression of the working class in European countries, was in fact inscribed in the very foundations of the Union and the Eurozone. A short glance at the key moments in the history of European integration should suffice to see that the EU formed and expanded by implementing policies that served but the interests of capital: the Maastricht Treaty instituted the policy of fiscal sustainability; the introduction of Euro served to consolidate a highly restrictive monetary policy; and among the key elements of the Lisbon Strategy were the flexibilisation and liberalisation of the labour market. Even the opposition between the centre and the periphery within the EU is much older than the debt crisis – Europe has always been a ‘two-speed Europe’ based on an unequal economic development of its member states and on the disparity between monetary homogeneity and fiscal heterogeneity.

The goal of this year’s lecture series is therefore to explore the history of European integration beyond the naive liberal narratives, that is, by emphasizing its class aspect; to analyse the key ideological apparatuses and the ideological discourse of the EU; to reveal fundamental political and economic contradictions within the EU and the Eurozone; and finally, to try to oppose contemporary neoliberal Europe by outlining a short- and long-term left political strategy at both the transnational (European) and the national (Slovenian) levels.


16. letnik Delavsko-punkerske univerze predstavlja:

Stališča DPU:


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