Session highlights

System change not climate change

Even after summer’s horror bushfires, Scott Morrison is still expanding fossil fuel use. Worldwide, political leaders are failing to take the action required to avert climate catastrophe. Martin Empson from the UK will speak on why we need System change not climate change and also explain in Marx, nature and the metabolic rift why Karl Marx’s work offers an understanding of the relationship between capitalism and the natural world vital to the fight for climate action. Climate change and the myth of overpopulation will debunk the idea that too many people are to blame, while a panel of climate activists will discuss building the movement in Facing emergency: How can we win climate action

Bernie, Marxist theory and socialism

In the context of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’ campaign in the US, we will hear direct from speakers in the US on Trump, the Democrats and the resistance in the US while Corbyn, Sanders and the roots of reformism will look at both the limits of fighting for radical change through parliamentary elections and why many on the left place their hopes in it.

Imagining a world without capitalism will look at why we need a system run along different lines and what a socialist society would look like while Sexism, gender and liberation will discuss the myths about gender roles and the gender binary as well as why sexism remains so widespread in society.

Racism and Indigenous rights

Professor Lyndall Ryan will speak on The Killing Times: Mapping frontier massacres and how new research is revealing the extent of violence against Indigenous people through colonisation, while Injustice, inquests and black deaths in custody will look at the ongoing and systematic racism that is still producing ongoing deaths in custody today.

The social roots of everyday racism will discuss where the everyday experience of racist comments and treatment comes from and why racism persists, while Decolonisation and revolution will look at struggles for decolonisation and what this means in Australia.

Trump, imperialism and war

China and the West: a new Cold War? will discuss Trump’s trade war and threats against China as well as the growing anti-Chinese racism in Australia as a result.

Clinton Fernandes will talk about Australia’s role in the region and its history of support for the colonial and US-led world order discussed in his book Island off the coast of Asia in The Imperialist instrument: Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific. Another session Palestine, imperialism, war and the Middle East will look at Israel’s increasingly aggressive settlement push in the Palestinian territories as well as how the horrifying war in Syria and recent uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon are reshaping the region.

Inequality, workers and the right to strike


Capitalism, inequality and the Australian economy will look at the record low wage growth, the threat of recession and why capitalism is producing growing inequality, while The future of enterprise bargaining and the right to strike will discuss the shocking decline in the number of workers on enterprise bargaining agreements and the union membership crisis, as well as why using strike action and fighting for the right to strike against restrictive industrial laws are crucial to rebuilding a fighting union movement.

Plus the global revolt, drugs and addiction + more

Other topics include: Sudan, Chile, Iraq: From global revolt to revolution, Drugs, profit, big pharma: Capitalism and addiction, and Latin America: the retreat of the Pink Tide.

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