Don't just take our word for it, read below for a series of reviews from some of the attendees and other organisations at the Marxism 2013 conference.
Green Left Weekly
Hundreds attend Marxism conference
Big turn-out at Australian left conference
Review: Socialist Alternative’s Marxism 2013
The Peter George Report
Marxism 2013: A Huge Success
Brian S Roper's Blog
Marxism 2013 Conference in Melbourne, Australia
From Roberto Jorquera
Marxism 2013 was not only an inspiration but a guide to action. It reminded us of what is necessary and what is possible through discussion and debate. It provided a glimpse of what a united revolutionary socialist party could look and act like. It gave me confidence that the united path we have decided to take is both critical and very achievable.
The Revolutionary Socialist movement in Australia has entered a new stage one that we must not retreat from. The working class is crying out for an alternative, one that we can point to.
The comradely discussion that has opened up is something that we can all learn from and help us in developing more revolutionary cadre.
Che Guevara (1965) once wrote:
"We socialists are freer because we are more fulfilled; we are more fulfilled because we are freer.
The skeleton of our complete freedom is already formed. The flesh and the clothing are lacking; we will create them.
Our freedom and its daily sustenance are paid for in blood and sacrifice. Our sacrifice is a conscious one: an installment paid on the freedom that we are building.
The road is long and, in part, unknown. We recognize our limitations. We will make the human being of the 21st century — we, ourselves.
We will forge ourselves in daily action, creating a new man and woman with a new technology.
Individuals play a role in mobilizing and leading the masses insofar as they embody the highest virtues and aspirations of the people and do not wander from the path.
Clearing the way is the vanguard group, the best among the good, the party"
From John Scott
Marxism 2013: I am unashamed to confess that during Janey Stone's presentation "Resistance To The Nazis In Eastern Europe" the handkerchief came out a couple of times.Many years ago I had to press the pause button on reading about Nazism (and also Stalinism) because it was threatening to become a morbid obsession.I had by then read most of the major works on the subject; I have since resumed, although on a reduced scale.All in all M13 has been an impressive experience; the wishful bourgeois propaganda about the collapse of interest in socialism is belied by the fact that this event was larger than anything similar that I can remember from, e.g. the 70s, and by and large on a higher level without straying into the area of academic Marxism.I understand from someone in a position to know that all production norms have been gratifyingly over-fulfilled, so well done to all concerned & thanks for having me.
The Marxism 2013 conference, held in Melbourne over the Easter weekend, was the biggest and the most successful to date. Some 1,140 people came to participate in debates and discussions and to hear stories of the struggle from Australia and the world.
As always, many highlights were provided by conference guests: John Pilger (investigative journalist and documentary maker), Billy X Jennings (Black Panther Party, USA), Gary Foley (Aboriginal Tent Embassy and Panther, Australia), Brian Jones (International Socialist Organization, USA), Surya (People’s Liberation Party, Indonesia), Gerry Rivera (PALEA, Philippines), Patchanee Kumnak (Thai socialist), Barry Sheppard (US socialist), Antony Loewenstein (author), Jeff Sparrow (author and editor, Overland journal), Bob Carnegie (trade unionist) and many more.
Part of the reason for the overwhelming success of the conference was the ongoing unity discussions between three of Australia’s Marxist organisations. While the conference is hosted by Socialist Alternative, this year the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly all supported the event and provided speakers.
The conference took place in the wake of the official merger of Socialist Alternative and the Revolutionary Socialist Party – which last week held a party congress and unanimously voted to dissolve the RSP and join SA. Kim Bullimore announced the merger in the opening night plenary session. Also speaking on opening night was Peter Boyle, national convenor of the Socialist Alliance, which is also in unity discussions with Socialist Alternative.
Marxism 2013 included the stream “Organising workers today”, which proved popular with workers attempting to rebuild the traditions of militant trade unionism. Other popular streams were “Anarchism versus Marxism”, and “Marxism for beginners”.
For the first time, the conference also organised a “School of Rebellion” for young people and children, which was provided free for all conference attendees with children/grandchildren etc. More than 30 students enrolled over the weekend. At one point the children rebelled against the official curriculum and voted to do something else – a sure sign that the school was successful in its aims!
Socialist Alternative would like to extend our gratitude to all of our international guests and to all who participated in the event.
Marxism 2014 will be held over the Easter weekend 17 to 20 April 2014. Put those dates in your diary now!