“Fighting the System, Rebuilding the Left” was the theme of Socialist Alternative’s 2022 Marxism Festival. The event is usually held in Melbourne, but this year was spread across Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Around 1,000 people attended across the five cities.
Marx’s view of how society’s ills could be resolved underwent a major change between 1843 and 1845. At the start of this period, he was editor of the Rheinische Zeitung—attempting to apply insights from the philosopher Georg Hegel to the struggle for a more liberal and democratic Prussian state. At the end of it, he was a communist, convinced of the potential of the working class to overturn capitalism and build a new, more equal and free society in its place.
At the start of 1917, it was clear that Russia was, in the words of the revolutionary and novelist Victor Serge, “sliding into the abyss”. The country was being stretched to breaking point by the demands of World War I. Millions were dying in the trenches, and behind the lines, the economy was unravelling. In the first weeks of 1917, Serge writes, “most Russian politicians and generals, not to mention several Grand Dukes, were thinking of how they might avert a revolution in the streets by conducting one in the palace”.
When a serious call to recreate the racist Cronulla riots goes out, and 200 people answer it, something serious is in the air. When a short-notice call for opposition is answered by three hundred anti-racists, you know there are plenty of people in Melbourne ready to stop these bastards in their tracks. This is what happened in St Kilda on Saturday.
Abortion may be legal in Australia, but accessing it is another matter. The last specialist clinic in Tasmania has shut down, leaving women in Tasmania with curtailed choices.
EMpath, a self-described “high-performing and innovative organisation” based in the US, offers a “metric-based, mentor-led, incentivised program” that “takes a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to fostering economic mobility”. Poverty, they reckon, is all in your head.