Jonathan M. Feldman

Jonathan-M.-FeldmanJonathan M. Feldman was former Program Director and Senior Fellow at the National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament in the United States. He has been a Corliss Lamont Fellow in Economic Conversion and Disarmament at Columbia University and received a PhD in Regional Economic Development from Rutgers University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Technology and Social Change at Linköping University. He is presently a Docent at the Department of Economic History, International Relations unit at Stockholm University.

Feldman has written various articles about the ability of defense firms to diversify into civilian markets, analyzing examples in Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K. He has also written various articles about militarism, peace movement strategy, universities as socio-political actors, and economic alternatives to the permanent war economy. Feldman was a principal organizer of “The U.S. After the Cold War: Claiming the Peace Dividend,” a national town meeting in the United States involving more than 58 cities and 38 radio stations. He was the principal organizer of the national Green New Deal conference held in Stockholm and televised by SVT24 in March 2009. Feldman was also the principal organizer of the Global Teach-In, a video teach-in involving twenty different locations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Feldman regularly contributes to Counterpunch, an online political newsletter published in the United States. Feldman teaches courses on international relations, disarmament, energy and environmental security, social science theory and democracy, policy and social change. Feldman is a native New Yorker and lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

Session 1: Political Commitment and Political Jews

This seminar will show how Jews addressed various questions related to justice, political accountability, and economic democracy and reconstruction. The points of reference include names as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Zygmunt Bauman, Martin Buber, Noam Chomsky, Barry Commoner, Isaac Deutcher, Erich Fromm, Paul Goodman, Herbert Marcuse, Seymour Melman, and Simone Weil. In the United States, Melman, was a leading voice in the American peace movement and a major theorist of disarmament, conversion of defense firms, and economic democracy. Commoner was a major theorist of ecological transformation and a leading environmental activist. These thinkers combined social values with ideas about social change and organized various platforms such changes. This talk will discuss how various Jewish thinkers demarcated the need to integrate knowledge, ethics and power and provided a vision for social change related to that integration. The talk will address key questions related to: the production of moral indifference, political accountability and commitment, and economic and social reconstruction.