New nationalism is growing fast at a global scale. It is during this time that Marx’s ideas are mostly needed to resist this political ideology. This is why the Socialist Workers Party is hosting a four-day festival in July, named after the father of this critical thinking.
The rise of right-wing populism across the world is having serious consequences within societies, by eroding social rights while appealing directly to the population.
This political trend is affecting both national and international politics and is expressed through the rejection of migration, a particular fear of Islam and the celebration of nationalism.
Right-wing populists fear the other and advocate for the defence of borders and trade protectionism. Other key characteristics of populism include the presence of a charismatic leader emphasising a direct relation with the population, the spread of popular but unsustainable policies and the celebration of a specific group of people who view themselves as the only legitimate citizens of their countries.
Without needing to build international ties, populism has turned out to be a plague that has spread throughout Europe and across the globe. This increasing instability makes a response ever more urgent and necessary.
“Marxism 2018”, a four-day festival hosted by the Socialist Workers Party, aims to debate how to best resist the challenges posed by right-wing movements.
This year, the discussion topics include Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party and the fight for socialism; resisting the racist backlash and the rise of fascism across Europe; #Marx200 – was Marx right? Capitalism and climate change; #MeToo: challenging sexism and the system; war, imperialism, the Middle East and Palestine; Marxism, trans politics and the fight for LGBT+ liberation; and Donald Trump, the US and resistance.
This year, the speakers of the conference will be: Ilan Pappé, discussing Palestine in the era of Trump; Janet Alder from the Justice for Christopher Alder campaign speaking on #BlackLivesMatter; John Bellamy Foster debating climate change and capitalism; Ghada Karmi leading a panel on Palestine and free speech; Eulália Reguant, Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) MP in Barcelona, as part of a panel on “Where next for Catalonia?”; Michael Roberts discussing “Economic crisis and the long depression”; Bríd Smith Teachta Dála (TD) will lead a panel on “Fighting for abortion rights today”; Ian Hodson, President of Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), will debate “Corbyn, Labour and the fight against austerity”. In addition, Christine Buchholz and others will explore “Resistance to the rise of the far right in Europe”. The event will be also attended by Moyra Samuels from the Justice4Grenfell campaign, Mark Perryman from Philosophy Football, Laura Miles on the Fight for trans* liberation and Alex Callinicos.
The festival will take place from the 5 to 8 July, from 12 to 7:00 pm at London, WC2H 7LH. Alongside political meetings, there will also be film, music, spoken word and other entertainment.