Journal of Socialist Theory

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Critique 50th anniversary conference

Published: 01 June 2023

10 June 2023, 10.00am - 5.00pm
Admission Free – also on Zoom
Register to attend online

Morning Programme

Time: 10:00 – 10:15
Critique 1973– 2023
Opening remarks

This year’s Critique conference celebrates the journal’s 50th anniversary. Critique’s continued relevance is due to the explanatory power of Marxist analyses in an increasingly complex and opaque global political economy.

Time: 10.15 – 12.00
Title: Back in the USSR
Speaker: Hillel Ticktin

Critique initially made an impact by developing robust theory about the Soviet Union. Its analysis came at a time when the Left was divided by its understanding of the nature of the USSR, relying on pithy slogans such as ‘state capitalism’, ‘degenerated workers state’ or ‘bureaucratic collectivism’. Unlike many of these debates, Critique offered insight based on direct research in Russian within the Soviet Union itself. That direct access, so difficult to gain at the time, afforded a rigour and depth that exposed the weaknesses of the Left’s debates then current. Hillel Ticktin and others will talk about the early issues of Critique, how the analysis of the USSR was developed, why the ‘Russian Question’ was so central to the left at the time and its continuing legacy.

Afternoon programme

Time: 14.00 – 15.15
Title: Russia, China and the war in Ukraine
Speaker: Mick Cox

The collapse of the USSR did not lead to a new liberal order in Russia allied to the West but instead to Putin and a close alliance between Russia and Xi’s China. How did this happen? And what role has the strategic partnership between Moscow and Beijing played in shaping the war In Ukraine?

Time: 15.45 – 17.00
Title: New world disorder

Thirty years ago the West announced it had achieved victory over what it called ‘communism’ and that the world could now look forward to a new international order underwritten by American power and shaped globally by the free market. Today that same order is in deep trouble – from Europe to Africa, Asia to South America. Globalization is in question everywhere and American hegemony faces a possibly more serious challenge from China than anything it faced during the Cold War.

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