Revolution #265, April 8, 2012

Socialism vs. Capitalism Debated at Brown University

In a near-packed lecture hall at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, some 160 people came out to hear a debate between Raymond Lotta and Glenn Loury. The topic was "Socialism vs. Capitalism: The Way Forward in the 21st Century." The event was sponsored by the Janus Forum. Glenn Loury is a professor of economics at Brown. An ardent advocate of free-market economics, Loury is also an outspoken critic of the mass incarceration of Black and Latino youth. Raymond Lotta articulated Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism and talked about how the new synthesis is embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

In the question-and-answer period with the audience, there was lively back-and-forth on the housing crisis and what that says about the functioning of the market, how the new Constitution treats jury trials, whether there is a hard-wired human nature, what actually happened during the Great Leap Forward in Maoist China, intellectual property rights and medical care in today's world, racism in America and whether capitalism can be changed through incremental reform.

This was a sharp and substantive debate. People were exposed to Bob Avakian's new synthesis in an atmosphere of serious exchange and close questioning. Many found this quite challenging. The video of the debate can be viewed below or at Brown University's Political Theory Project site.

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