Many attempts have been made over the years to ‘update’ Marx’s economic theories. Inevitably, these ideas jettison the revolutionary core of Marxist economics. Instead of applying a dialectical and materialist method to the economy, the revisionists slip into a mechanical and idealist mode of analysis. They do not see the economy as a living, breathing system, composed of human beings and conflicting classes, but as a set of abstract equations. This discussion will set the record straight, show how these revisionist ideas fall short, and give an overview of genuine Marxist economic theory. Our speaker, Rob Sewell, is a leading activist of Socialist Appeal, British section of the IMT.
Postmodernism is very popular on university campuses, and has also gained an echo in the workers’ movement. This school of thought denies the very idea of historical progress. It echoes Henry Ford, saying “history is just one damn thing after another”. Scientific truth is also sidelined in favour of a ‘subjective’ emphasis on language, experience and identity. Where do these ideas come from, and what does Marxism have to say about them? Our speaker, Daniel Morley, is a leading activist of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the IMT.
In the socialist movement, there are those who compromise on political principles opportunistically in order to find a short-cut to the masses; and there those who place themselves outside the main workers’ struggle, spending their time attacking other organisations in a sectarian fashion. Opportunism and sectarianism are two sides of the same coin. Both must be combated if the programme of revolutionary Marxism is to become a mass force by connecting with the aspirations and movement of the working class. Our speaker, Claudio Bellotti, is a leading activist of Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione, Italian section of the IMT.
Capitalism’s rampant exploitation of the earth’s resources is wreaking havoc on the natural world: with a spike in freak weather events, floods, wildfires and so on. In recent years, the struggle against climate change has erupted with explosive force all over the world, led by school students. But does the solution lie in ‘green’ production methods and policies? Are lifestyle changes like veganism the answer? Or is the problem more fundamental, requiring a radical transformation of the capitalist system? Our speaker, Jack Halinski-Fitzpatrick, is the director of Wellred Books, the official bookshop of the IMT.
On the anniversary of Engels’ birth, we will highlight one of Engels’ greatest works, Dialectics of Nature. With his masterful grasp of dialectics, Engels pre-empted scientific discoveries like the equivalence of matter and energy and the role of labour in the development of modern humans. In this talk, we will show that modern science serves as a continuing validation of the Marxist method of dialectical materialism, revealing a world in a constant state of motion, flux and revolution. Our speaker, Ben Curry, is a leading activist of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the IMT.
Marxists are frequently attacked as unrealistic utopians. Rather than talking about revolution, the reformists say we should focus on winning achievable goals for workers. But all over the world, the main reformist parties and organisations have discredited themselves by carrying out attacks on the working class and holding them back in order to save the system. Now, they are in total disarray, losing elections and support across the board. This talk will explain why reformism is a dead end, and argue that only revolutionary struggle can improve the lives of working people. Our speaker, Niklas Albin Svensson, is a leading activist of the International Marxist Tendency.
Apologists for capitalism argue that it is the best, most-efficient system that could ever possibly exist. But the current period of crisis and chaos prove otherwise. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic collapse that threatens to throw society back to the 1930s, sending the world into a full-blown depression. Clearly, something is rotten at the heart of the system. The advocates of Keynesian ideas – or modern varieties like Modern Monetary Theory – cannot provide a real solution to this crisis. Only the Marxist method can explain why capitalism has failed, and what the way forward is for humanity. Our speaker, Adam Booth, is a leading activist of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the IMT.
The year 2020 will enter the annals of history as a decisive turning point. The coronavirus pandemic, the economic collapse and the corresponding wave of popular anger and revolts have brought all the contradictions in capitalist society to the surface. Millions of people are questioning the status quo as never before, and the inspiring popular uprising in the USA is the harbinger of battles to come. The system has revealed its total bankruptcy, and despite the fervent desire of the ruling class for a return to normality, nothing will ever be the same again. We are witnessing the first stages of world revolution. Only the ideas of Marxism can offer a way out for humanity and prepare the way for the final victory of socialist revolution. Our speaker, Alan Woods, is the editor of the In Defence of Marxism website and author of a long list of books on Marxist theory.