April 13th saw the Socialist Party host a Revolutionary Ideas day school, discussing the importance of revolutionary politics in Australia and internationally. It welcomed both the new and those curious of socialist politics for a day of discussion.
There were four topics during the day, including a session on how capitalism works, one on the origins of sexism, racism and homophobia, a discussion of what revolution would look like in Australia as well as the politics of struggles happening in the United States.
Beginning the day was an introduction to how capitalism works and why Australia’s rich are getting richer, where David Elliott discussed how one’s relation to capital defines their place in the capitalist hierarchy. This is a hierarchy that concentrates wealth toward a privileged minority of capitalists who use their wealth and property to exploit the working class.
Following on from the first session, Kat Galea led the discussion on how sexism, racism and homophobia arose and are maintained under capitalism. We discussed how these oppressive forces are not merely errors and ignorant choices made by individuals, but rather the outcome of prescriptive societal norms relating to production under capitalism.
We also talked about the nuclear family as seen as by societies’ ‘traditional values’ is actually based on the ordering of the working class family as the productive unit that is most efficient for capitalists rather than a universal expression of how everybody wants to live.
All this led into a discussion of how revolutionary politics are the most effective to counter the symptoms of capitalism, and what a revolution would look like in Australia, led by Kirk Leonard.
Finishing the day was a Q&A focused on labour struggles and politics in the United States with Jordan Quinn from Seattle via video link. The discussion focused on the upcoming Democratic Party primary race and the presidential election.
Altogether, people found the Revolutionary Ideas day school both interesting and informative, as the day provoked more than a few enthusiastic discussions. Hopefully those people newly introduced to revolutionary ideas on the day will be driven to apply socialist politics to change the world.
By Ben McIntyre