Capitalism in crisis: Why you should come to Socialism 2008
8 & 9 November, London
As one student planning to attend Socialism 2008 put it: "Things aren't carrying on in the same way and neither can I. I want to know what I can do in my day-to-day life to try and make a difference. That's why I'm going."
Sean Figg, Brighton Socialist Party
Faced with a financial meltdown, Bush, Brown and the bankers are dumping their old ideas on insisting everything be left up to the market, in an attempt to save their system.
The economic crisis engulfing the world poses fundamental questions about how society is run and in whose interests. 'Bailouts', 'rescue packages' and 'socialism for the rich' are just some of the 'answers' that the big business governments of Bush and Brown have come up with.
These so-called answers will cost taxpayers in the United States up to $700 billion and a possible £500 billion in Britain. While satisfying the rich and capitalist class, these answers are woefully inadequate. However the crisis plays out, it is clear that the working class are expected to suffer the brutal consequences in terms of cuts in services, cuts in pensions, house repossessions and job losses as the financial crisis turns into a deep global recession.
Explaining why she will be attending Socialism 2008, a new Socialist Party member commented: "Socialism 2008 will be a chance for ordinary people to put forward an argument for how we want society to be run. Who in the mainstream media argues for genuine socialism? Despite everything that's happening, they're still dismissing it!"
The cause of this latest economic disaster is not new - capitalism, an unplanned, profit-driven system, based on the enormous exploitation of the many by the greedy few. Like capitalist crises, the ideas of socialism have been around for well over a century. But contrasted against the sham nationalisations and bank bailouts we have seen over the last weeks, socialist ideas shine out as if brand new. As the complete failure of capitalism becomes starker every day, support for socialist ideas among working people and youth will grow all over the world.
Socialism 2008 promises to be a showcase of socialist ideas that will pose a real alternative for working-class people. The weekend of discussion and debate will be an arena for a genuine exchange of ideas on the best way to run our planet.
Capitalism's current crisis will feature prominently, but there will also be debates on the environment, the struggle against tuition fees, the development of China, fighting the BNP, developments in the Middle East and much more.
On Saturday 8 November there will be a large 'rally for socialism' at 5.30pm at the Friends Meeting House. The speakers will include:
- Matt Wrack, general secretary of the firefighters' union;
- Janice Godrich, president of the civil servants' union;
- Peter Taaffe, Social ist Party general secretary;
- Robbie Segal, candidate for the presidency of the shop-workers' union (she got 40% in the general secretary election);
- Fang Guoli, a Chinese socialist and activist;
- David Redelberger, a German school student strike leader
- Nikos, a leading activist from the new Greek coalition of the radical left, Syriza.
Come along to Socialism 2008. Bring everyone you know who is interested in what's going on and what we can do about it. Not only will it be a fantastic event, but you can help ensure that this year's Socialism is a landmark in the rebuilding of support for socialist ideas in these crisis-ridden times.
Socialism 2008 details
Registration opens at 12 noon on Saturday 8 November at the University of London Union building (ULU), Malet Street, London WC1.
Day time sessions at Socialism 2008 will take place at the University of London Union (ULU) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
The Rally for Socialism will take place from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Saturday 8 November at Euston Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London.
The closing session of Socialism 2008 will be a discussion forum hosted by the Campaign for a New Workers' Party. This will take place from 3:00pm - 4:30pm on Sunday 9 November at Logan Hall, Institute of Education.
In The Socialist 15 October 2008:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party women
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis