Capitalist crisis: socialism or barbarism?

On April 18, the revolutionary and progressive governments of Latin America were waging a battle against the US at the Summit of the Americas. On the same day, Luis Bilbao, an active participant in the Venezuelan revolution, addressed a public meeting in Sydney on the topic of "Latin American integration at a crossroads".

"There is no third way between capitalism's crisis and socialism — the choice we face is socialism or barbarism", explained Bilbao, who was one of the international guest speakers at the World at a Crossroads conference organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance over the Easter weekend.

An important cross-section of the Latino community in Sydney, together with activists of the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) and Socialist Alliance, turned up to hear Bilbao, a founder of the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI and participant in the construction of the Union of South American Nations.

He explained the significance of recent events such as the G20 Summit and the Summit of the Americas for the future of humanity.

The meeting was part of a series held around the country. On April 14, Marxist economist Michael Lebowitz debated conservative economist William Coleman on ABC Radio National program Late Night Live over the question "Is it time to dust off a copy of Das Kapital and revisit Marx's analysis of capitalism's ills?". The next day, Lebowitz spoke together with Bilbao at a well attended forum in Canberra, organised by AVSN.

Fifty people came to hear Lebowitz speak at a Socialist Alliance meeting in Melbourne on April 16. Lebowitz also spoke at meetings with the Turkish and Jewish community regarding the revolution in Venezuela, in which he has taken part for the past five years.

Bilbao addressed a lively forum on April 16 in Brisbane called "Revolution in Venezuela: communal councils, the workers movement and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela".