Past Events

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An opportunity to catch up on what we've been up to

22 March 2023

Professor Thomas Kuczynski, an economic historian and one of the leading Marxist scholars in Germany, will be discussing his new text edition of Capital vol 1, recently published (Hamburg, VSA-Verlag 2017).

Professor Kuczynski writes

After the French edition of Capital vol. I was published, Marx demanded of potential translators into a third language that they always carefully compare the second German edition with the French edition, where he had made many important changes and additions and greatly improved his presentation. Engels did not know anything about these communications from Marx, nor of the instructions Marx had written in preparation for a translation planned but not realised in the USA. He therefore assumed that the entries made by Marx in his hand copies in this connection served to prepare a third German edition; this was a misconception. The new text edition I have compiled is based on the comparison demanded by Marx. The lecture shows some of the major innovations. 

 

23 February 2023

A lecture from economist Michael Roberts

Economist Michael Roberts, author of Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (Pluto 2022), will probe the prevalent explanations of the current crisis and argue that inflation is a symptom not a cause of a crisis whose roots lie in the nature of capitalist accumulation.

9 February 2023

An accessible discussion of the current energy crisis, its impact on the industry, workers and the economy and possible ways forward

Simon Coop (Unite National Officer for Energy) discusses the consequences of the private ownership of energy for his members, for consumers and for the British economy.  Community energy campaigner Stephanie Martin will examine campaigning initiatives and energy economist Stewart McGill will argue that energy can be taken back into public ownership with minimal longer term cost. Join us for what promises to be a timely discussion on this pressing issue.

 

 

2 February 2023

A discussion on how Nicaragua, China, Cuba and other socialist and progressive countries are rising to the challenge of saving the planet.

At this event, we will describe the evolving and diverse strategies being pursued in socialist and progressive countries (with a specific focus on Nicaragua, Cuba and China) in relation to preventing climate breakdown, the collapse of biodiversity, and other key ecological challenges. The speakers will compare these efforts with the alarmingly slow progress being made in the neoliberal West, which has been touting its ‘market-based solutions’ to humanity’s environmental crisis for the last three decades.


Speakers:
Dan Kovalik is a US-based lawyer, activist and teacher. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention and Resistance.
Guisell Morales Echaverry is Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland.


Lauren Collins is an honorary research fellow at the University of Nottingham and a member of the executive committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. 


Paul Atkin is a retired teacher and NEU activist, involved in setting up the NEU Climate Change Network. He is part of the Greener Jobs Alliance Steering Group and is active with No Cold War Britain.


Ben Chacko (chair) is editor of the Morning Star.
 

Event joint with Friends of Socialist China, Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group and the Morning Star.

29 January 2023

Three housing experts, Linda Clarke. Michael Edwards and Paul Watt examine Engels' analysis of the housing question.

Is Engels’ analysis of the housing question still relevant today? Three housing experts, Linda Clarke. Michael Edwards and Paul Watt, debate this question. How far does the current housing crisis in Britain resemble the housing question as Engels analysed it? Market forces continue to drive people out of city centres, for a start. Our panellists identify some of the issues that weren’t so evident in Engels’ time, such as the changing nature of state intervention, building industry organisation, the expansion of social housing, the roles of local authorities and the unions, and the increasing influence of the financial sector. What could a progressive government be doing in response? How to ensure that decent housing is provided as a right? And how to link housing struggles with the wider struggles that are being waged, fighting for a more sustainable future for us all? 

Linda Clarke is Emeritus Professor at the University of Westminster, researching labour and vocational education and training (VET) in the construction industry across Europe.  She is very active in current policy debates and contemporary housing struggles, with a focus on VET, gender equality, zero carbon construction and the role of unions.

Michael Edwards has been based at University College, London, teaching and researching on planning and property markets, both internationally and in London. For many years he has been and continues to be very actively involved in housing and planning struggles.

Paul Watt is Professor of Urban Studies in the Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London. His latest book 'Estate Regeneration and Its Discontents: Public Housing, Place and Inequality in London' was published by Policy Press in 2021. Paul is also actively involved in housing struggles and policy debates.

20 January 2023

Dr. Ofer Cassif, Member of the Israeli Knesset (MK) representing the Hadash-Ta’al* coalition will offer on-the-ground insight on the social and political context that has led to Israel’s most extreme right government ever, and the threats it poses to peace, justice and self-determination for Palestinians.

This event is jointly hosted by Liberation and Marx Memorial Library.

Israel’s new government is the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in the country’s 74-year history. It is so extreme Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now considered a moderating influence on his extreme right-wing coalition partners. Among his ministers is one who once kept a portrait in his home of a man who massacred dozens of Palestinian worshippers.

2022 was a terrible year for the Palestinians, with the largest number of casualties inflicted by Israeli forces in many years, and the ongoing ethnic cleansing and a massive increase in Jewish settler violence against the Palestinian people.

Netanyahu’s plans to further expand illegal Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank and his government’s vicious retaliatory actions in the face of the momentous UN resolution to seek an International Court of Justice opinion on Israel's occupation of Palestine threaten an even grimmer 2023.

Hear from a seasoned progressive Israeli politician, activist and friend of Palestine how we got here - and what we can do in Britain, Europe and the US to demonstrate meaningful international solidarity in this most troubling phase in the struggle for peace, justice and self-determination for Palestinians.

About the speaker: During the First Intifada, MK Dr Cassif was the first person to refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories, for which he was imprisoned four times. He was quoted in Haaretz (April 18, 2021) as saying: "I object to the idealogy and practice of Zionism...it's a racist ideology and practice which espouses Jewish supremacy."

*Hadash-Ta’al is a progressive coalition formed of the Arab-Jewish Hadash (The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), and the Arab nationalist Ta’al (Arab Movement for Change).

30 November 2022

John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review (New York, USA) gives our annual Engels Memorial Lecture, joint with the Working Class Movement Library Twenty years ago, John Bellamy Foster’s Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature pioneered a new understanding of Karl Marx’s revolutionary ecological materialism. More than simply a study of Marx, it commenced an intellectual and social history, encompassing thinkers from Epicurus to Darwin, who developed materialist and ecological ideas. More recently, with The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology, Foster has developed this narrative, revealing a long history of efforts to unite issues of social justice and environmental sustainability that can help us comprehend and counter today’s unprecedented planetary emergencies.  In this fifth Engels Memorial Lecture John Bellamy Foster focuses particularly on the contribution of Friedrich Engels from his The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845) to his Dialectics of Nature (1883) and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) and Engels’ contribution to a Marxist understanding of human impacts on our planetary ecosystem today.

28 November 2022

A dialogue between Andrew Murray and Ken Hammond

Organised jointly with the Morning Star and Friends of Socialist China.

The Communist Party of China has established a goal of “building a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” by 2049 - the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic. This sounds like an exciting project, and yet Chinese socialism is a poorly understood subject in the West, including among much of the left. Meanwhile, China is being subjected to an intense propaganda war, which in many ways resembles the treatment of the Soviet Union and the East European socialist countries during the Cold War.


This dialogue will explore the history and contemporary reality of the Chinese socialist project, including an analysis of trends in Chinese Marxism, the Reform and Opening Up process, China’s trajectory under the Xi Jinping leadership, the escalating US-led New Cold War, and more.


Andrew Murray is vice-president and founding chair of Stop the War Coalition, a longstanding trade unionist, peace campaigner, and one of the leading thinkers of the British left. He has written a number of books, including most recently ‘Is Socialism Possible in Britain?’, reflecting on his time serving as a political advisor to Jeremy Corbyn. Andrew has maintained an active interest in China for several decades, and has been vocal in his opposition to the New Cold War.

Ken Hammond is a professor of East Asian and Global History at New Mexico State University. He was a student organiser at Kent State University at the time of the shocking incident of 4 May 1970, when the Ohio Army National Guard shot and killed four students peacefully protesting the invasion of Cambodia when Nixon escalated the Vietnam War, and was indicted as one of the ‘Kent 25’. Ken lived and worked in Beijing between 1982 and 1987 managing activities for American educational delegations.

Ken earned his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University in 1994, and has worked in support of friendly US-China relations for many decades. He is a founder of the US-based movement Pivot to Peace, set up in 2020 in response to the escalating anti-China rhetoric emanating from US politicians and media. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chinese History, published by Cambridge University Press, and the author of several books, including From Yao to Mao: 5,000 Years of Chinese History. Over the years he has taught at universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Shijiazhuang.

23 November 2022

Part of the MML's Science for the Future series presented by the Morning Star Science and Society team; Rox Middleton, Liam Shaw and Joel Hellewell plus invited speakers.

The past few years have proven the enormous potential of science to transform the world. Science is not a monolithic enterprise cut off from the rest of society. Yet it is often cast as such in political discourse. In order to look behind the neutral facade, we need to explore the ways in which it is used to shape and control our lives. What is science? Why does it take the forms it takes today? How could it be done differently? This series will cover these questions by taking three different perspectives on science: as technology, as health, and as work. Presented by the authors of the Morning Star's science column (Science & Society).

Science cannot be separated from the workers who carry it out - scientists. At certain points in history, science has had a rich relationship with radical politics. But the link is no longer obvious. Is there an inherent radical potential in science workers or even in the practice of science itself?

21 November 2022

The fourth in a series of seminars organised jointly by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and MML on Marxist concepts and their application to contemporary debates and struggles

This session will explore what decolonisation actually involves from a Marxist perspective.

Speaker: Vijay Prashad is an Indian Marxist historian. He is an executive-director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books. He was the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and a professor of international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, United States, from 1996 to 2017. His publications include Red Star over the Third World.

Disucssant: Mary Davis is a labour historian who has written, broadcast and lectured widely from a Marxist perspective on women’s history, labour history, imperialism and racism. She is secretary of the Marx Memorial Library. Her publications include Sylvia Pankhurst: a life in radical politics, Comrade or brother and Unite History, Volume 1 (with John Foster).

16 November 2022

Part of the MML's Science for the Future series presented by the Morning Star Science and Society team; Rox Middleton, Liam Shaw and Joel Hellewell plus invited speakers.

The past few years have proven the enormous potential of science to transform the world. Science is not a monolithic enterprise cut off from the rest of society. Yet it is often cast as such in political discourse. In order to look behind the neutral facade, we need to explore the ways in which it is used to shape and control our lives. What is science? Why does it take the forms it takes today? How could it be done differently? This series will cover these questions by taking three different perspectives on science: as technology, as health, and as work. Presented by the authors of the Morning Star's science column (Science & Society).

The Covid-19 response showed how the power of science can be mobilised - for some. But it also emphasised existing inequalities in health, both nationally and globally. Should it change what we imagine is possible for the future of human health?

10 November 2022

With Pauline Bryan, Jonathan Michie, Lord John Hendy, Dave Smith, Roger McKenzie

9 November 2022

Part of the MML's Science for the Future series presented by the Morning Star Science and Society team; Rox Middleton, Liam Shaw and Joel Hellewell plus invited speakers.

The past few years have proven the enormous potential of science to transform the world. Science is not a monolithic enterprise cut off from the rest of society. Yet it is often cast as such in political discourse. In order to look behind the neutral facade, we need to explore the ways in which it is used to shape and control our lives. What is science? Why does it take the forms it takes today? How could it be done differently? This series will cover these questions by taking three different perspectives on science: as technology, as health, and as work. Presented by the authors of the Morning Star's science column (Science & Society).

Science is closely linked to technology. But technology doesn't always mean progress. As data science, multifunctional devices and algorithmic control of workers and citizens becomes the norm, how do we reclaim this power for the Left?

Speakers:

•       Karen Gregory (University of Edinburgh)

•       Devika Narayan (Bristol Digital Futures Institute, University of Bristol)

 

28 October 2022

A conversation with Ben Sellers and Laura Pidcock

 

 

24 October 2022

With Kenny Coyle and Mary Davis

20 October 2022

With Andrew Murray

13 October 2022

Wth David Lane

 

 

11 October 2022

With Donald Sassoon and Victoria Brittain

 

 

29 September 2022

With Stewart McGill

 

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