RSP holds Marxist Education Conference

The Revolutionary Socialist Party gained a good start to the year with its Marxist Education conference in Sydney on January 2-5. In addition to the high quality talks on Marxist theory, history and politics today, the conference provided a boost to RSP members’ morale.

Over the four days there were eight feature talks, and 24 workshop talks where we had a choice of three classes. On the first evening, there was an audiovisual presentation of our political activity over the past year prepared by Roberto Jorquera.

The second evening featured an international solidarity rally, with speakers Max Lane, Kathy Newnam, Marce Cameron and Sam King, with solidarity messages received from revolutionaries around the world. A live music event was held on the third evening.

The conference also hosted a poster exhibition reflecting the activities of Resistance and the Democratic Socialist Party from 1965 to 2000, which was much appreciated, and was able to be used as a visual aid for some of the talks.

Feedback from members and supporters who attended has been very positive. Forty-five people registered, while many others hooked in live via the internet. This Livestreaming of the conference, an innovation for us, enabled members who were unable to travel to Sydney to view and hear the talks and discussion in real time. We want to continue with this for future conferences and seminars.

One extra gain of the conference is that we now have some excellent talks that can be quickly produced as pamphlets. We’ve taken the decision to at least produce the eight feature talks as pamphlets quickly:

  • Why capitalism can’t save the environment, by Allen Myers;
  • Cuba’s revolution – 51 years and still going strong, by Marce Cameron;
  • Australian Politics: the crisis of labour and the role of Marxists, by Kathy Newnam;
  • An international balance sheet of the “broad party” strategy, by John Percy;
  • Key questions for women’s liberation today, by Zoe Kenny;
  • The role and history of party programs for Leninists, by Doug Lorimer;
  • The Australian Left and solidarity with Asia and East Timor struggles, 1980s-1990s, by Max Lane;
  • International capitalism and its crises – long & short term trends, Jorge Jorquera.

We’ll also be looking at some of the workshop talks for possible future pamphlets. All the talks will be loaded up on the RSP website, and all the talks that were videoed will go up on the site via Livestreaming or Direct Action Films. Many of the feature talks are already available there.

Several of the feature talks served as a clear political orientation for the RSP in the year ahead, providing the setting for a meeting of the RSP National Committee that followed. This meeting adopted party-building projections and an extensive program of activities for 2010.

[John Percy is National Secretary of the RSP.]