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1-5 April 2021
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Themes

Introduction to Marxism

This set of sessions will work through all of the most critical, fundamental questions. It’s the perfect place to start for those new to Marxism.

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Capitalism and climate crisis
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Why capitalism is not democratic
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Why is capitalism destroying our planet?
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Climate Debates

Environmental destruction is one of the most profound challenges the world has ever faced. These sessions will explore some of the serious debates for socialists and environmentalists sparked by the incredible global movement for climate action.

Organising Workers

Socialists are steadfast unionists wherever we are. These sessions highlight some of the most important stories of recent unionism in Australia and internationally, and will discuss some important strategic debates about how best to organise. Come along if you're a veteran unionist with stories and strategy to share, or if you're someone new to the movement wanting to undercover a hidden politics of workers fighting back.

Organising for Revolution

Marxism2021 is no academic conference. It's an annual meeting of radicals and revolutionaries from Australia and around the world debating out all the most pressing questions we face and building stronger activist networks to take into the next round of struggles. One of the most important challenges is rebuilding a revolutionary political current. Sessions with this theme will examine the history of the revolutionary movement soaking up as many lessons as possible.

Liberalism vs Marxism

Liberalism is the ultimate captialist ideology. Behind its supposed values of individual liberty and free speech is a defence of private property, class inequality and the capitalist market. And yet liberalism presents itself as an oppositional ideology to the status quo and the only alternative to right-wing conservatism. These sessions will provide a Marxist critique of liberalism and explore how liberal values from pacifism to charity work and academia are ultimately rooted in a worldview that fails to provide an understanding of the world we live in and what we need to do to change it for the better.

Spotlight: Latin America

Crisis and rebellion is reshaping Latin America. The last two decades saw impressive social rebellion from below, substantial gains in living standards and the rise of the neoreformist 'pink tide' governments. Now right wing forces are organising to roll back these gains, scoring important victories but also facing significant challenges.

In the process the weakness of electorally oriented left parties, such as the Workers' Party of Brazil, has been made clear. But at the same time a new generation of radical youth have hit the streets demanding systemic change and making their imprint on the political climate as well. In these sessions revolutionary socialists will unpack this complex situation and discuss the prospects for the left and the workers movement going forward. We are lucky to have a range of guests from Latin America to discuss these questions with us.

World in Crisis

Covid-19. The biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Rising inequality. Imperialist tensions. Climate change. The world captialist system has entered into a period of intense and drawn-out crisis. Across the globe governments are trying to preserve the status quo in the face of political polarisation, social fragmentation, hardening discontent and economic pressures. These sessions will unpack the turbulent changes of 21st capitalism. Understanding the world we live in is vital for developing strategies to overcome this crisis-ridden system.

Book Club

The most-read book in history, a searing takedown of reformists as fresh as if it were written yesterday, and the ultimate revolutionaries guide to smashing the capitalist state will all feature in this set. These sessions are a little different to others - we ask attendees to read the book before the conference and come along to debate out the text. 


Imperialism Today

Imperialist rivalries are reshaping the world in which we live and the threat this poses to human life couldn't be more serious. The US and China are engaged in an escalating dispute over the future of the hierarchy of nations, while slow burn issues of contention in the Mediterran, the Middle East, Africa and Asia are emerging from the shadows of the past. Understanding these inter-imperialist dynamics is vital for working out how the socialist left can respond to a tension filled world of rival nationalisms. These sessions will put forward provocative and insightful analysis of these dynamics and explain why building an internationalist working-class movement is more important than ever.

Rebel History

Insurgent movements for social change, rebellions and revolutions have shaped our world in uncountable ways. This history is not just the past. It's our history that deserves to be remembered, discussed and debated. These sessions will look at the heroism, politics and determination that motivated rebels and ask important questions about how people strove to change the world.. and how we can change it in the present.

Fighting the Right

These sessions are not just about understanding the far-right in history, but are curated to inspire and educate activists for the movement against the far-right today.

Art and Culture

These sessions will explore some of the great artists of history from a Marxist perspective, given by people with a wide knowledge and a passion for the subject.

Left Debates

One of the great things about MarxismConf is it provides a rare forum for leftists to discuss and debate strategies for social change. These sessions critically engage with prevalent theories around the left.

World in Struggle

The last 12 months have seen a spectacular wave of protests and rebellions around the world. Enormous numbers of people came out on the streets for the first time. These sessions celebrate and study this wonderful explosion of popular resistance. Featuring special international guests, commentary from Marxist experts, these sessions provide an insight that you can't find anywhere eles.

History of the Communist Party of Australia

For most of the twentieth century, left-wing politics in Australia was dominated by the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) and its various offshoots. While never in a position to challenge the ALP as the leading force in the working-class movement, the CPA—which per head of population became the largest Communist party in the English-speaking world—built a powerful presence in the trade unions. These sessions dive into that history.

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