In June 1998 the Brasil Society for Political Economy organised a conference. This took place just before the crash of 1998, and with the devastating effects of the neoliberal decades sweeping the global South. The Brasil Political Economy movement was especially significant for the evolution of value theory: the society was (and remains) the only such national organisation that is constitutionally committed to pluralism, a vital component of the emerging battle between the orthodox dogma that had captured the whole of economics, and its heterodox opponents. There was therefore a spirit of free exchange of ideas not to be found in the global North, with the possible exception of Japan.
Brasil was also significant in the history of TSSI: Eduardo Maldonado-Filho’s paper on the Release and Tie-up of Capital in Marx’s Volume III was one of the seminal influences on all of us, and several other Brasilian scholars had taken part in the work of the IWGVT, who became involved both through the influence of Ernest Mandel, which at that time remained strong in Latin America, and through the theoretical tradition of scholarship which held sway in Brasil.
Finally, the movement which became the ‘World Social Forum’ – at one time dubbed the ‘fourth global power’ was already in the making, its first expression being the Porto Alegre conference of October 1999, which I also attended.
In this post I include only my own paper. I hope to retrieve more materials from this seminar event in due course