Category: Presentations

ICSS 20210502 Socialism: Scientific and Utopian – Eugene E. Ruyle

Sun, May 2, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific
Socialism: Scientific and Utopian
Just as Darwin discovered the law of motion of biological evolution, so Marx and Engels discovered the law of motion of human history and with it, placed the science of human society on a firm, working class basis. In 1880, Engels published Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, explaining how socialism had been transformed from a utopia into a science. This science was further developed by Lenin who led the world historic October Revolution and is continuing to develop in other world historic revolutions in China, Vietnam, and Cuba, and well as revolutionary movements throughout Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Unfortunately, some comrades have chosen to reject science and revert to utopianism. We will examine this question in group discussion in which everyone is encouraged to participate fully.
Organizer: Eugene E Ruyle is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at CSU, Long Beach; President of Veterans For Peace, East Bay Chapter 162 (Berkeley/Oakland); and active in a variety of working class organizations, including the ICSS and the Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression.

Read More

SUNDAY, MAY 09 – Theory of Revolution – Mehmet Bayram

SUN, MAY 9, 2021: 10:30 AM TO 12:30 PM PACIFIC

The recent events call us to revisit Historical Materialism to understand what is happening.  The COVID-19 Pandemic, the re-emergence of the cold-war racing towards a real war, the Minneapolis murders by the police, the US police force becoming the third largest army in the world, the Amazon workers’ organizing efforts, the struggle of the health care workers, the Indian Farmers’ Strike, the failure of the world capitalist system to deal with a simple and preventable disease, and to allow millions of people to die from it shows the world, as we know it, is bubbling and boiling.  “A Change is gonna’ come,” for sure, but why, how, when, or where?  Where are the “Locomotives of History,” the revolutions, as Marx called them?
As the saying goes, there is no revolutionary action without a revolutionary theory. 
We will not offer solutions or chart a path to revolution in this session.  However, we will visit Historical Materialism and see why revolutions are a way of life, a natural phenomenon, a natural way for anything, including human societies, to evolve and change.  When, how, or do the dialectically consequential evolutionary and revolutionary stages of development merge into one?  We will discuss the assertion of the inevitability of revolutions, the development, needed conditions, the necessary organizations for societal change and revolutions.  The possibility of change without violence, a peaceful transition, will be discussed alongside what constitutes a revolution.  We may even talk about what happens if a change does not occur in the current human societies.
Our speaker will be Mehmet Bayram of the ICSS group is an activist, journalist, photographer, videographer, and translator.  His writings, news articles, and commentaries could be found in, or in English,, a progressive site that survived for more than 20 years, even after the Turkish government shut it down 62 times.


Read More

ICSS 20210425 Grover Furr on Issues in Soviet History

Sun, Apr 25, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

Grover Furr on Issues in Soviet History

Grover writes that he will discuss two subject in his talk. First, he will talk about his new book Trotsky and the Military Conspiracy, available from Second, he will discuss the issues concerning evidence: what evidence is; how to analyze it; what logical fallacies and false arguments are employed to avoid facing the evidence.

Read More

ICSS 20210418 The Law and the people’s rights in India – Mihir Desai

ICSS 20210418 The Law and the people’s rights in India – Mihir Desai
Sun, Apr 18, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

Mihir Desai on Law and People’s Rights in India
Our speaker writes: I will be speaking about legislative and policy changes during the Modi Government affecting rights of people. This will include the new labour codes, farmers laws, laws concerning citizenship, love jihad laws, education policy, AADHAR act, changes in laws affecting NGOs, Environmental laws, laws concerning elections, demonetisation, etc. This will include the erosion of parliamentary democracy and federal structure. The talk will also include the use of existing and new draconian laws. It will be in the overall context of the present context of the Establishments efforts to suppress all dissent and to hollow out all institutions of accountability.

Read More

ICSS 20210411 Ten Things for US to Understand about Latin America – Laura Wells

Sun, Apr 11, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

Ten Things for US to Understand about Latin America

Our speaker, Laura Wells, just returned from two weeks in Nicaragua with a delegation sponsored by Sanctions Kill, Alliance for Global Justice, and Friends of the ATC. When she received the announcement for the delegation, she felt instantly inspired. She had already visited the other two countries named as the “Troika of Tyranny” by Trump’s Secretary of State Pompeo. She knew “tyranny” was a lie about Cuba and Venezuela and wanted to see if it was also a lie about Nicaragua. She was especially interested because there is a common impression across the political spectrum that Daniel Ortega was good in the 1980s but became corrupt and authoritarian when he returned to the presidency in 2006. See more at

Laura will report back on the struggles in Latin America and the Caribbean resisting US imperialism to create a better world, based on her visits and studies. In the Q&A, she would like to engage in a robust discussion of what we can learn from the shift in consciousness in Latin America and about their advances toward socialism.

Laura Wells is a longtime political and social activist. She is a leader in the Green Party, running for Congress in 2018 and for governor in 2010. In 2002 she garnered nearly a half million votes in her run for California state controller. A former financial systems analyst, she supports taxing the rich, implementing public banks, and making significant changes to Proposition 13.

We highly recommend her blog:

We Intend to start the presentation as close to 10:30 am as possible, but the Zoom room will be opened up, as usual, at 10:15 for anyone to join and discuss technical matters, catch up with each other, say Hi, etc.. The program (and recording) will end at 12:30, but the Waiting Room will remain open until about 1 pm for informal discussion.

Read More

ICSS 20210404 Understanding the Mass Psychology of Neofascism

Sun, April 4, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

Understanding the Mass Psychology of Neofascism

Fascist rulers in the 20th century, as well as Neofascist forces across the globe in the early 21st century have managed to attract mass support from significant sections of working people. This is despite the fact that these reactionary projects intensify capitalist exploitation and undermine the material interests of many of their own followers. To understand this contradiction, we need to supplement current political economy analyses of Neofascism with a grasp of mass psychology processes, which are powerfully manipulated by neofascist leaders.
Our speaker is an activist physician and author.speaker

Read More

ICSS 20210328 What is Going on in Myanmar – KJ

Sun, Mar 28, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

What’s going on in Myanmar?

On Feb 1st, 2021, the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) instituted a coup of the civilian government on the eve of the seating of the newly elected parliament,. Since then, the situation has resulted in mass protest while devolving into bloodshed. Journalist K.J.Noh will join us to discuss the history, geopolitics, and political economy of Myanmar to better understand the situation, what forces–historical, political, material– are at play and what is at stake in this critical moment.
K.J. Noh, is a scholar, educator and activist journalist focusing on the geopolitics of the Asia-pacific. He writes for Dissident Voice, Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Popular Resistance, Asia Times, and is senior correspondent for KPFA Flashpoints. He also does commentary and analysis on the shows: By Any Means Necessary, Fault Lines, Critical Hour, Political Misfits, Loud & Clear. He is a contributor the banned book “Capitalism on a Ventilator”, now available on Kobo.

Read More

ICSS 20210321 Labor Movement of 1930s and the response – John Holmes

Sun, Mar 21, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

The Great Labor Rebellion of the 1930s.
The topic will be the history of the 1930s. Not the Great Depression but the *responses* to it. Firstly the Great Labor Rebellion: the CP-led California farmworkers strike, the three left-led general strikes of 1934, the sitdown strikes, and the rise of the CIO. And secondly the capitalist response, the New Deal and FDR, how the capitalist class coopted Labor’s Giant Step, and how black people, Chicanos and women were mistreated under New Deal legislation.

Our speaker is John Holmes who teaches history at Merritt College in California, and is currently on the executive council of the Peralta Federation of Teachers, representing part timers. He was previously an activist in the typographical union.

Read More

ICSS 20210307 Capitalism, Ecology & Socialism – Raj Sahai

Capitalism, Ecology, and Socialism
Forest fires in California, thawing of ice in the arctic, Glacier melting in The Himalayas, floods and bitter cold in Texas; and the Covid pandemic are all tied to the global warming from cumulative effects of capitalist commodity production over the past 200 years. Air pollution in much of world has worsened. Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and China taking the role of a biggest commodity producer for the world; other than tiny Cuba, there is no model of development that does not contribute to worsening of the ecological crisis all over the world. Class differentiation is leading to right-wing populism, threatening social peace in many countries. The internal contradictions of capital are extreme. To survive, capitalism requires even more exploitation of natural resources and human beings of the world, witness the farmers fighting capitalist predation laws in India. Result of all this is more pollution of air, sea and land on a scale that is undermining the very basis of healthy human existence on earth. Can the alienated individualism and consumerist way of life created by late stage capitalism be ended by a new socialist revolution? Can a new socialism build a healthy materially adequate society for all human beings which lives in balance with Nature?
Our Spesker, ICSS Member Raj Sahai will explore ideas and invite discussion with the participants, in a work in-progress.

The meeting will be opened up, as usual, at 10:15 for anyone to join and discuss technical matters, catch up with each other, say Hi, etc. We Intend to start the presentation as close to 10:30 am as possible. The program (and recording) will end at 12:30, but the Waiting Room will remain open for informal discussion.

Read More

ICSS 20210228 Peace and Solidarity Movements – Phyllis Bennis

Sun, Feb 28, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time The Recent Past and Future of Peace and Solidarity Movements, 2008 – 2021 and Beyond The anti-war movements in the US and across the globe were at their peaks through the first years of the post-9/11 wars. They were broad, diverse, international, and powerful. They did not succeed in preventing the 2003 US/UK invasion of Iraq, but they set the stage for future movements and future victories, including stopping US bombing campaigns in Syria and escalation in Iran, parts of the Arab Spring uprisings, and more. By the time the Obama administration came into office in 2008, the movement in the US was already facing new challenges. And over the next several years its power, size, breadth, and influence had all diminished. Many blamed it on “oh the peace movement was just too enthralled with Obama” and they stopped working. But that claim, while holding a grain of truth among a few sectors of the movement, does not explain the changes. Phyllis will discuss that history, and look forward to today’s legacy and new anti-war organizations, and the rise of anti-war/anti-militarism components in a broad range of intersectional organizations.

Read More

ICSS 20210221 The Politics Behind the Western Campaign against Russian and Chinese Athletes Rick Sterling

Sun, Feb 21, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

The Politics Behind the Western Campaign
against Russian and Chinese Athletes
Rick Sterling will discuss the banning of Russian athletes beginning with the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Summer Olympics and continuing through banning Russian participation in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He will analyze the “state sponsored doping” accusations that have been made by the World Anti-Doping Agency. What are the accusations and what is their credibility? Who is Grigory Rodchenkov and what role has he played?
Rick will also discuss the case of Sun Yang, probably the most famous Chinese athlete. Sun Yang has won many international swimming events and holds the world record in the 1500-meter event. In 2019, Sun Yang was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and was banned from international competition for 8 years. The case was appealed to the highest court adjudicating international sports. In a ruling that shook the swimming world, the court overturned the decision because of racist tweets by the Italian head judge. These tweets were revealed in Rick’s article lto be discussed on Monday. Sun Yang’s lawyers used this information to successfully challenge the decision. There will be a new hearing with new judges.
Rick will put these cases in the context of the politicization of athletics and western efforts to attack Russia and China in this international arena.
Rick Sterling is active in Task Force on the Americas ( and Mount Diablo Peace and Justice Center (
He researches and writes articles on diverse subjects – from the campaign to save the City College of San Francisco, to Syria, to international sports.
He can be reached at

Read More

ICSS 20210214 Communism and the Left in Turkey – Yusuf Gursey

Sun, Feb 14, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
History of Communist and
Left Movements in Turkey
Comrade Yusuf Gürsey is organizing this with some other possible speakers.
Yusuf writes: “I am Turkish and born in Turkey but now residing in New Haven, CT. I am a member of of the US Peace Council and CPUSA and an associate of Communist Party of Turkey (TKP). I am a retired physicist from Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey but lately I have become an independent researcher in linguistics and history. I am also very knowledgeable about the struggles in other Middle East countries, particularly the Arab World and I am involved in Middle East Solidarity work. I had become first familiar with Left Movements in Turkey through the students of my parents in Middle East Technical University since 1967 when I was in junior high school and that was also the year I became a supporter of the Palestinian cause.:
We are more or else certain that Ekim Kılıç an officer in the Labour Party (Turkey) of the Kurdish nationality will join us. Also a comrade from the TKP but this is not confirmed.

Read More