North Texas Daily

Marxism conference speakers discuss building a socialist party, fighting fascism

Marxism conference speakers discuss building a socialist party, fighting fascism

Marxism conference speakers discuss building a socialist party, fighting fascism
November 19
20:28 2018

Around 35 people attended the Texas Marxism conference, hosted by the Denton branch of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in UNT’s Business Leadership Building on Saturday

Discussions of socialist doctrine were held throughout the day from 9 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Different speakers spoke on subjects ranging from how to build a Socialist party in the United States to what fascism is and how to fight it.

Before each talk proceeded, the ISO’s code of conduct was ratified by all in attendance. Two people at the front of the room gave their presentation for 30 minutes and then left the floor open for discussion for 45 minutes.

“We don’t just look to Lenin or Trotsky, but look to each other to build the world were looking for,” said Cheli Cruz, a member of the Denton ISO chapter and one of the conference’s organizers.

The first talk leaned heavily on what it will take to build a state controlled by the proletariat — a collective group of working-class people — and what a socialist party would look like, as well as there politics to push socialist agendas.

Next, the conference moved to talk about climate change, how capitalism has affected the planet and socialist solutions to these problems. In regards to the environment and capitalism’s destruction of it, the term green capitalism — the concept where the free market and businesses can stop environmental devastation. was brought up.

“The impetus on impending environment change is put on the individual,” conference speaker Warren Bagley said.

After a return from lunch at 3:45 p.m. the conference resumed with a talk on Revolutionary Socialism, Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy.

Social Democracy is where the wealth of the rich is required to be spread out and shared among the populace. This socialist system is a collaboration between the workers and the elites, this in terms of the ISO perspective makes it an untenable solution in the long run due to the rich not being fully eliminated as a class.

The Marxism Conference, hosted by the Denton chapter of the International Socialist Organization, covered a wide range of topics including environmentally friendly socialism, the rise of fascism, and the differences and similarities between democratic and revolutionary socialism. Trevor Seibert

Democratic Socialism proposes that the full economy must be controlled by the workers. The dominant large companies will be turned into workers co-ops [businesses owned and run by the workers] and the political system is democratized all the way to the bottom.

Revolutionary Socialism differs in that socialism must be fought, implemented and organized by the working class itself. No government or elites are involved.

“We don’t propose everyone to adopt [our] socialism, we use our ideas to participate in the struggle,” Cruz said.

Denton ISO member Maddie Fenn gave a talk at 5 p.m. about fascism and how to fight it.

She described fascism as a reaction to failed revolution and said fascism is the complete social, economic and political control of the nation state where the followers are hoodwinked into believing that their troubles will be solved, but in reality they will be discarded as soon as the capitalists see fit.

“To get victory over fascism we need a mass movement of people before their lives or education is at stake,” Fenn said.

Fenn also said fascism grows from people who have struggled and are angry at the system but have no other civilizational alternative to look to and that one of the main goals of fascism is the complete annihilation of working peoples movements and organizations.

At 6:15 p.m. the conference’s last talk was held by Lucy Hershel, a New York City based ISO member who talked about socialist alternatives to Trump’s America.

Her talk largely focused on immigration, border policy and her views on how the Trump administration has been so successful in destroying peoples rights and freedoms despite living in a western country.

“Most people don’t feel they live in the richest country in the world,” Hershel said.

Hershel cited spending too much money on the military and other institutions while there is “rampant poverty” and many Americans living pay check to pay check as reasons why the country does not feel wealthy.

Featured Image: Access to the Marxism Conference required a minimum donation of $5. There was a large amount of Socialism themed items available for purchase, including shirts. Trevor Seibert

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Zach Walters

Zach Walters

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1 Comment

  1. JD
    JD November 22, 18:56

    Why is UNT hosting a conference of this nature?

    Reply to this comment

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