Monday, 6 July 2009

Marxism - highlights here

The irrepressible Ady Cousins has already posted videos of the best two talks I went to at Marxism - in London this weekend - on his excellent YouTube channel. Tariq Ali provided a clear and comprehensive survey of American imperialism in the Obama era. The Logan Hall, by far the biggest venue used at the event, was absolutely packed. He struck just the right balance in critically analysing the reality of US foreign policy today - it's not radically different to before Obama's election - while acknowledging that saying good riddance to Bush and Cheney was extremely welcome.

The other highlight was the talk John Rees gave about revolutionary leadership, which was linked to a short book about Lenin by the Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs. He managed to convey the essentials about both Lenin and Lukacs - himself an influential and exceptional figure in the marxist tradition - as well as illuminating the big questions about revolution, organisation and leadership.

Ady's also posted Slavoj Zizek's side of the Zizek-Callinicos debate, which I was also at on Saturday - especially popular with students, it had the Logan Hall overflowing. Although not rising to the standards of the Obama/imperialism and Lenin/Lukacs sessions, this meeting certainly generated a lot of discussion in the bar afterwards (not just due to Zizek's penchant for risque jokes).

1 comment:

  1. Zizek - is a raving lunatic! Excuse my french - never been his fan, but it is imposible to understand where he is going politically. I watched a documentary last night on BBC2 on the 1794 French Revolution called 'Terror! Robespierre And the French Revolution.' Hair raising experience, sadistic and very scary times. But this is what the producers say of Zizek "Simon Schama is on hand to dismiss such murderous nonsense with contempt, but producers have managed to find a foaming-at-the-mouth intellectual to stand up for it - one Slavoj Zizek, author of In Defence of Lost Causes.' My take is that, these 12 sadists murdered thousands upon thousands because a completely insane and sadistic Robespierre argued that he loved humanity so much they felt entitled to exterminate innocent people under the pretext that they stood in the way of their higher truth and Zizek defends such kind of barbarism. My ex husband,who is completely apolitical (part of reason for divorcing him) called Zizek a lunatic and a sadist. First time to agree with him on politics!