2007 Socialist Summer School

Understanding the Bolivarian revolution

By Stuart Munckton

[Based on the talk presented to the DSP Socialist Summer School January 4-7, 2007]

Introduction

In this talk I want to look at some of the key lessons that can be drawn out of the Bolivarian revolution, eight years in from the election of Hugo Chavez as president in December 1998.

These lessons are crucial because it is the first revolution to open up since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s that supposedly ended the question of revolution. This had a big impact on radicals around the world, as well as mass consciousness. It raised the question of whether it was even possible to struggle against the crimes of the system at all. A whole of lot of lessons from the 20th century, things often understood by radicals as given truths, were thrown out. In some ways it amounted to a counterrevolution in consciousness.

Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, February 2003-December 2006

By Katherine Bradstreet

[Part two of an introduction to the Bolivarian Revolution, covering the period February 2003 to December 2006, presented at the DSP Socialist Summer School, Sydney, January 2007. Part one, covering January 1958 to February 2003, was presented by Marcus Pabian.]

Since the end of 2002, there have been huge developments in Venezuela. This next part of the workshop will go through some of the initiatives that have been undertaken, and will try to put together a bit of a picture of the revolution.

Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, January 1958-February 2003

By Marcus Pabian

[Part one of an introduction to the Bolivarian Revolution, covering the period January 1958 to February 2003, presented at the DSP Socialist Summer School, Sydney January 2007, in the series on Latin America. Part two, covering February 2003 to December 2006, was presented by Katherine Bradstreet]

The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela has established a socialist revolution in the 21st century that is winning the support of millions of people.

The Socialist Revolution and the Revolutionary Party

By Dave Holmes

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

Socialism the only solution

Today humanity faces a global crisis stemming from the incredible rapacity of the capitalist system. In the first place, there is catastrophic climate change which threatens to end life on our planet, then there is endemic war and conflict, mass poverty in the Third World and neo-liberalism’s ever more ruthless assault on working people everywhere.

Youth, students and revolution

By Emma Clancy

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

In the Transitional Program, Trotsky wrote:

Class in Australia Today

By Graham Matthews

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

According to Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto published in 1848, the history of all hitherto existing societies has been the history of class struggles.

Climate Change: A Marxist Analysis

By Terry Townsend

Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, has helped dramatise for a whole new generation the enormity of the global environmental crisis we face. Global warming is just the latest manifestation of the environmental crisis of capitalism, a crisis of such enormity that the web of life of the entire planet is at risk of fundamental degradation and with it human civilisation itself.

Popular Power

By Lisa Macdonald

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

A question of state power

Last month, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in Venezuela as part of the presidential election brigade. It was a brief opportunity to see first hand some aspects of the unfolding revolution and it was a fascinating and inspiring experience. The visit really fired up my desire to better understand revolutionary processes, and how popular power is constructed.

War, Imperialism and Revolution

By Doug Lorimer

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

For those who believed that the overwhelming demonstration of US military power in Afghanistan and Iraq would “shock and awe” the rest of the world — and particularly Washington’s foes and aspiring rivals — into accepting its goal of making the 21st century a “new American century” of US political and economic global domination, 2006 was not a good year.

What is Marxism?

By Peter Boyle, DSP national secretary

[Feature talk presented to the Democratic Socialist Perspective Socialist Summer School, January, 2007, Sydney.]

Introduction

I started thinking about this presentation when I read on the US-based Marxism List that the prominent anti-war activist and former US Special Forces operative Stan Goff (who we brought out as a guest speaker to the Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference in 2005 and was a until recently member of a small former Maoist group called the Freedom Road Socialists) was renouncing Marxism. About the same time, Joaquin Bustelo, a former member of the US SWP (who is now in US Solidarity), announced that he too was rejecting Marxism.

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