Critique
Journal of Socialist Theory

Critique Conference 2015

Centenary of the Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution will be 100 years old in 2017. We live in an epoch when both the Russian elite/bourgeoisie and the international ruling class are intent on wiping out any reference to it other than as an unfortunate coup d’etat, made by a band of fanatical far leftists. History has been rewritten yet again to resurrect all the falsehoods of the time, depicting the Revolution as a time in which terror and crimes against humanity were commonplace. The counter-revolution conducted by Stalinism is projected backwards to 1917.

The Critique conferences for the next 3 years (1915, 1916, 1917) will raise a series of aspects of the Russian Revolution in a global context. For Marxists, the Russian Revolution opened up a new period in human history, when the decline of capitalism moved from an objective form into human consciousness. As Trotsky rightly argued, the betrayal of the German Social Democrats prevented the Russian Revolution becoming a European and ultimately a human revolution. As a result, the world has been projected into a long period of transition between capitalism and socialism, with accompanying complex transitional forms.

The 2015 conference will discuss the question of how the world has been permanently changed by the Russian Revolution. In particular, the way in which the ruling class has adjusted to the new reality while claiming that there is no new reality. What is the policy of the ruling class to its overthrow? What was its policy then, in 1917?The i At the time, they did not believe it was possible. The London Times editorialised that the revolution would not last 6 weeks. When it did, 14 nations invaded the country, ultimately withdrawing in large part because their working class opposed the intervention. The international nature of the Revolution has continued down to the present day, obfuscated through the rewriting of history and the incessant bourgeois propaganda.

What is the policy today of the global ruling class? Today, it would appear that it believes its own re-interpretaton of history and cannot understand and so foresee the nature of opposition. If the working class is confused, the ruling class is even more so. Its economic policy, of austerity, can at best be described as utopian and at worst as stupidly cruel and vicious. Do they not realise that the Russian Revolution was no accident and their policies can only force the population to find a way to survive other than capitalism?

Conference 2015 Timetable

10.00 – 11.00am
Critique Editorial Board Meeting

11.00 – 11.30am
Registration

11.30 – 13.30pm
Chair: Alex Marshall
Ukraine in its current conjuncture: A theoretical analysis of what precisely is happening in Ukraine from a socialist perspective, and whether this can, in fact, be understood from the point of view of Ukraine’s ‘transition’
Volodymyr Ishchenko
Marko Bojcun

13.30 - 14.30pm
Lunch

14.30 - 17.00pm
Chair: Lea Haro
Economic crisis in the present time
Hillel Ticktin

From anti-colonial revolutions to the revolution in the metropole, forced labour to workers control
Raquel Varela

For further details e-mail: critique@eng.gla.ac.uk