The Democratic Socialist Perspective will be holding its biennial educational conference at Sydney University on January 4-7, 2007. The conference theme — "Ideas to change the world" — is inspired by Karl Marx's 11th Thesis on Feuerbach (1845): "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it."
There is a lot to analyse and discuss at this Socialist Summer School because it comes at a time of great changes. Most recently, there was the defeat of the Republicans in the US congressional elections, which has put the Bush administration on the defensive about its bloody occupation of Iraq.
There is also a great crack opening up in the capitalist class around global warming, and the defeat of Israel's invasion of Lebanon showed forces resisting imperialism all around the world that even the most heavily armed and well-funded states can be defeated by popular power. In the midst of that struggle, the first socialist revolution of the 21st century had its most favourable introduction to millions of people around the world when Hugo Chavez declared the solidarity of revolutionary Venezuela with the Lebanese and Palestinian people.
Certainly, 2006 has not been all good news for the socialist movement. The capitalist ruling class has also had some successes in its offensives. In Australia, the legislation of new anti-union and anti-worker laws has destroyed workplace rights won over a century of class struggle.
The conference will feature plenary talks on the fight to save the Earth's climate from capitalism's greenhouse vandalism, the struggle against Washington's bloody occupation of Iraq, the campaign of solidarity with Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, and resistance to Howard's attacks on Australia's workers. In addition, there will be around 40 workshops on a host of topics.
This will not be a conference of scholars but rather a conference of political activists who are members, supporters and political collaborators of the DSP, a Marxist tendency in the Socialist Alliance. Marxism is a method of analysis: not analysis of texts but analysis of social relations, explained Leon Trotsky. And to use the method of Marx effectively you have to be involved in the class struggle.