Presenter: Vrasidas Karalis
Nikos Poulantzas (1936-1979) is a rather neglected thinker today, although his work deserves more study and attention. Despite his short life, Poulantzas, a Greek expatriate to France, produced a dynamic structural analysis of contemporary capitalism and its development towards globalisation and ideological hegemony. Unfortunately, his unexpected suicide in Paris put an abrupt end to his philosophical development and deprived contemporary Marxist thought from a major innovators.
His books Political Power and Social Classes (1973), Fascism and Dictatorship: The Third International and the Problem of Fascism (1974), Classes in Contemporary Capitalism (1975), State, Power, Socialism (1978) remain amongst the most significant contributions to the theory of the modern state, class and crisis in capitalism.
The lecture will provide a brief analysis and assessment of his work thirty five years after his death. The central of the presentation is that Poulantzas was one of the very few political thinkers who analysed the ability of capitalism to transcend its own crisis and collapse by relocating its centres of power from the old capitalist class to a more diverse network of decision-making centres.
Vrasidas Karalis holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos’ Chair in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published extensively on Byzantine historiography, Greek political life, Greek Cinema, European cinema and contemporary political philosophy.
He has edited three volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His recent publications include A History of Greek Cinema (Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2013) and Greek Cinema from Cacoyannis to the Present (Forthcoming by I.B. Tauris).
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In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.
Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.
The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.