Memorial meeting for Ernest MandelBy John Percy
SYDNEY — More than 90 people filled the Resistance Centre here on August 20 to honour the memory of Ernest Mandel, world-renowned Marxist scholar and revolutionary who died in Belgium on July 20. The memorial meeting, hosted by the Democratic Socialist Party, brought together most left organisations in Sydney. Speakers were: Ken Davis, from Solidarity, sympathising organisation of the Fourth International; Frank Stilwell, associate professor, Economics Department, Sydney University, former member of the New Left Party; Peter Symon, general secretary, Socialist Party of Australia; Paul True, Militant; Alison Stewart, International Socialist Organisation, editor Socialist Worker; Bob Gould, Sydney bookseller and long-time revolutionary socialist; John Minns, Socialist Alternative; Lisa Macdonald, writer for Green Left Weekly and DSP National Executive member.
A common theme was that Mandel's life was an exemplary uniting of theory and practice — his numerous contributions to the Marxist understanding of economics and other political questions, and his activity as a revolutionary socialist from his youth and as a leader of the Fourth International for the past 50 years.
Many of the speakers expressed the view that the meeting served another useful purpose by bringing the left together and opening up a necessary dialogue among socialists. Most people stayed for a meal and drinks afterwards, and there was strong sentiment in favour of future broad forums and discussions where issues and ideas could be debated in a comradely atmosphere.