Summer School 2024

May 2024 Forums World Socialist Movement Summer School 2024

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    Mike Foster

    Bookings are now open for this year’s Summer School! The event is being held on the 16th – 18th August at a new venue of St John’s Campus at the University of Worcester. The weekend’s theme is Political Consciousness, and more details, including about the talks, will be announced in due course. For more information, and to make a booking, see here:

    Mike Foster

    I’m pleased to announce the first of the talks at this year’s Summer School.

    Keith Graham will be speaking on ‘Political Consciousness: What Can We Learn From Marx?’
    Karl Marx’s views on political consciousness are best understood in the context of his wider views about human society in general and capitalist society in particular. This talk will assess the plausibility of the relevant elements in these theories and consider what implications they hold for the transition from capitalism to socialism. In particular, the question of inevitability will be addressed.

    More announcements coming soon! For further details about the event, see the link in the previous post.

    Mike Foster

    I’m pleased to announce another talk at Summer School!

    Darren Poynton will be speaking on ‘Socialist Consciousness, Solidarity and Democratic Virtues’
    What is required for Socialist consciousness can be thought of as comprising two parts. One: a theoretical understanding of capitalist relations as a form of social compulsion that inevitably constrains the actions of both workers and capitalists. Two: a practical capacity to organise in a democratic and active way, that is required for both the establishment and continued reproduction of socialism. This talk will focus on this second aspect.

    More news soon!

    Mike Foster

    Here are details of another talk at this year’s Summer School. For more details about the event, see here:

    “They are many, we are few” The Political Consciousness Of The Capitalist Class?

    Brian Gardner (Glasgow branch) presents a talk on political consciousness that he dubiously claims was given at the annual convention of the global capitalist class held in the Swiss Alps at Davos in January.
    Allegedly smuggled out in a delegate’s complementary Faberge egg, the secret talk celebrates the diverse and inventive propaganda efforts passed on by each ruling class throughout history to help preserve their position of privilege over the ungrateful global masses, – from royalty, religion and racism, to patriotism, consumerism and culture wars.
    To help maintain the current order, concerted acts of good old-fashioned violence are of course still an option available to many of the rich. But in this snowflake era, concepts such as democracy and freedom are gaining strength, and brutal, semi-genocidal state terror does carry significant PR and reputational downsides.
    The talk supposedly goes on to warn the global elite attending that many of the old ideologies used by the 1% – and that could previously be relied upon to distract, divide and demoralise the 99% – are just not proving to be so effective anymore. Our citizens are increasingly reluctant to fight our turf wars for us. They are unwilling to ignore economic crises and pandemics. And despite being effectively trespassers on the planet, they appear to think they have some interest in its health. “Fooling some of the people some of the time” may have proved a sufficient strategy over the centuries, but there are worrying signs that “the few” may be running out of new arguments to manage “the many”. Our authority was once unquestioned, conveniently handed down by various Gods. Then we found we had to actually argue the point by championing capitalism. Now, our PR advisers tell us not to defend capitalism but just try and change the subject. We once had philosophers on our side, writing passionate speeches for Margaret Thatcher to deliver. Now it’s GB News and Liz Truss.
    The alternative is to join Elon Musk’s rocket trip and escape to Mars. But if the prospect of bunking down for six months in class solidarity with the likes of Nigel Farage, Prince Andrew and Michelle Mone doesn’t attract you, what arguments are now left for the poor, misunderstood, class-conscious elite? … And, most of all, what might the workers be making of it all?

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