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ONSITE & ONLINE LECTURE: Trade Unions and Capitalism

This is the first in a series of three lectures on Trade Unions and the Labour Party: The influence of Economism, Imperialism and Syndicalism with Alex Gordon and Mary Davis

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 - 7:00pm
37a Clerkenwell Green, Marx Memorial Library & Workers School, ec1r 0du, EC1R 0DU
Email: m.jump@marx-memorial-library.org.uk
Phone: 02072531485

This lecture will examine

  • The historic role of trade unions; the fight against exploitation
  • What is economism?
  • British trade unions 1850-1890; an example of right wing economism?
  • Syndicalism in the British trade union context 1890-1918; left wing economism?

This series of 3 lectures/discussions, delivered by Alex Gordon and Mary Davis, will analyse the historic relationship between British trade unions and the Labour Party. It will examine the development of the uniquely labourist form of British social democracy and question why, unlike other European countries, this has led to reformism rather than Marxism as it’s the dominant creed of the British Labour Movement. This analysis will be placed in the context of comprehending the role of British imperialism and the mass penetration of its racist and eugenicist ideology. Following this we will look at today’s debate relating to the trade union/Labour Party link and assess this in terms of an understanding of economism from both right- and left-wing perspectives. Finally, we assess the limits of economism and other impediments to the essential task of the development of class consciousness in the fight to end capitalist exploitation and oppression. 




Those registered for online access will receice a zoom link via eventbrite 24 hours before the event starts.