Karl Marx wrote his scathing critiques of capitalis in the 19th century. Are they still relevant for today? This talk will explore what still holds in Marx's theory of capitalism and what has changed.
Western Australian prisons are torture centres for Indigenous youth. This session will explore the racist infrastructure that exists in WA. With special guests.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can seem dystopian. Generative AI is used to make people robotic romantic partners and to make pornographic images of women celebrities without their consent. On the other hand the labour saving - or even simply fun - possibilities of apps like ChapGPT have excited millions of people. Yet while few would deny AI's significance at home or work, its implications are more complex than these two extremes. Meanwhile, tech giants are making billions. Drawing on both theory and history, this talk will set out a Marxist view on AI, arguing that it can only be properly understood in the context of capitalist social relations.
Under capitalism our lives are organised and controlled by a variety institutions; parliament, the legal system, police, the education system and the media. Socialists understand these institutions as constituting the state. This session will explore how Marxists undersatnd the state and whether we think we can reform it or need to overthrow it.
Join academic and writer Michael Quinlan for a fascinating discussion of early worker organising in Australia. This is a hidden history of strikes, riots, bravery and organising at its finest.
In 1996, newly elected politician Pauline Hanson swept to national prominence after making an extraordinarily racist and inflammatory maiden speech in federal parliament attacking Aboriginal people and Asian-Australians.She wanted to build a mass far Right movement in Australia. Anti-racists, however, had other ideas. Huge anti-Hanson rallies were organised in towns and cities across the country, and every attempt to run a public meeting featuring Hanson or to build a local party branch was met with large and militant protests that disrupted and often shut her meetings down. Support for One Nation dwindled and by 1999 the party had collapsed, never to return to its previous strength and prominence. This session will tell this extraordinary history with historian Vashti Fox.
Session description coming soon...
The capitalist system depends on oppression. This session will explore the relationship between gender construction and capitalist control.
Israel is an apartheid state. Its racist laws and illegal settlements, apartheid walls and checkpoints across the West Bank, and its land, air and sea blockade which strangles Gaza are all designed to wipe out any possibility of Palestinian statehood. Today Palestinians are facing a brutal escalation of settler and state violence. The far-right Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu has cheered on and facilitated settler pogroms like the recent violence towards the Palestinian village Huwara. This session will look at the recent escalation of violence by Israel and discuss the strategy needed to fight for a liberated Palestine.
Frantz Fanon was a key figure and theorist of the anti-colonial movements across the African continent in the 1950s and 1960s. Fanon's written works are filled with perceptive analysis of colonial occupation, the transformative potential of collective struggle, and the need to overthrow capitalism to achieve national liberation. In a personal capacity, Fanon was a participant in the Algerian Civil War and fought for independence from French occupation. However, his analysis was constrained by the influence of Stalinist ideas. This session will explore the contributions and contradictions of Fanon's anti-colonialism.
Join Perth folk duo The Lunettes for a musical journey through anti- war music past and present.
There are endless academic theories that attempt to explain the relatively long period of Great Power peace around the world (ignoring the horrors inflicted by major military powers on smaller nations). Some argue that the guarantee of Mutually Assured Destruction means that it's inconceivable that nuclear-armed countries would ever go to war. Others present 'democratic peace theory', that no two democracies have ever been to war because of liberal governance structures. The exponents of globalisation argue that economic interconnectedness means that financial ruin awaits any state that breaks the so-called long peace. None of this is right. Russia's invasion of Ukraine gave a sharp reminder that capitalism is a system of inevitable war. At the same time, China and the US, and with it Australia, continue to gear up and swerve closer and closer to conflict. The Marxist theory of Imperialism, developed by revolutionary socialists before and during the First World War explains why horrific war is inevitable under capitalism. Imperialist brutality is not just caused by some rogue politicians or diplomatic breakdowns, but is baked into capitalism's DNA.
The far right is growing across the world, creating international links and spurring each other on. In Italy, a fascist president whose party descends from Mussolini's now reigns. In America, Trump will run for re-election next year, with a hardcore conservative majority on the supreme court to help wind back the rights of trans people, women, people of colour, and the whole working class. These global trends are not an abberation, but a result of a world wracked with looming crises of economic collapse, environmental destruction, disease, and war. This session will present an analysis of the far right today, and argue that the left needs to organise a radical fight back urgently.
Join socialist film maker and lecturer Liam Ward for this exciting presentation of revolutions on film.
The world is now facing a new Cold War between China and the United States. US President Biden has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Trump by intensifying hostilities with America's 'strategic competitor.' Countries worldwide are massively increasing their military spending and shoring up alliances. Meanwhile, Australian politicians are developing nuclear-powered submarines, employing aggressive 'diplomacy' throughout South-East Asia and contemplating when, not if, a war with China will take place. Come along to understand the important period we're in for world imperialism and how socialists should respond.
Greenwashing is the hottest capitalist fad of the moment. Politicians and corporations everywhere are keen to market themselves as environmentally sustainable, somewhat due to the increase in popular concern about climate change. But the long list of fake technological fixes to the climate crisis is at best a delaying and deceiving tactic that lets the climate criminals off the hook. Tackling the climate crisis will require a clear eyed approach and a healthy antagonism towards the institutions that preserve the power of fossil fuels.
Trotsky was one of the Russian Revolution's greatest leaders. But when he opposed Stalin he was cast from power, slandered, exiled, and eventually murdered. Stalin's counter-revolution destroyed the Russian Revolution root and branch; killing its leaders, reviving Russian imperialism, and stamping out workers' democracy. Trotsky kept alive the genuine revolutionary Marxist tradition that Socialist Alternative stands in today.
The 1970s saw some of the most radical and inspiring moments of LGBTI resistance in recent history. In Australia, the first Mardi Gras was a defiant demonstration against police repression and homophobia. Can we recapture any of this spirit today? This session will feature one of the original participants in the Mardi Gras in 1978 Diane Fields as well as a young trans activist Danica.
China is today one of the world's biggest economies. It is also shaping up as the major imperial enemy of the United States and Australia. Socialists refuse to understand the world in the terms set out by the ruling classes of both countries. Chinese workers are not the enemy of Australian workers. This session will look at some of the dynamics of the modern Chinese working class and ask the question: what hope is there for struggle in China today?
A major strike wave has swept across Britain and France. This session will discuss the highs and lows, the limitations and the possibilities of this resurgence in working class struggle.
Session description coming soon...
Session description coming soon...