David North to speak at Midwest meetings
The Unfinished Twentieth Century: The Philosophy and Politics of Historical Falsification
22 March 2014
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, a wide range of academics and intellectuals proclaimed that the epoch of revolutionary upheavals, which had opened with the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, was over. Francis Fukuyama announced the “End of History.” Eric Hobsbawm argued that the upheavals of the preceding 77 years belonged to a “short” twentieth century.
However, in the fifteenth year of the new century, the historical problems of the old century persist. The twentieth century is best understood as unfinished. Capitalism is beset by a protracted global crisis. Social conflict is intensifying. And, as the centenary of the outbreak of World War I approaches, the danger of a new world conflagration is growing.
Within this context, the scientific study of the history of the twentieth century is under relentless attack. The revolutionary socialist movements of the twentieth century — above all, the Bolshevik Revolution — are being portrayed as criminal conspiracies. The life and work of the greatest Marxist revolutionaries, especially Lenin and Trotsky, are the targets of slanderous distortions and outright lies that go largely unchallenged. The post-modernist denial of objective truth and repudiation of Marxism have undermined intellectual resistance to the falsification of history of the twentieth century and to the resurgence of extreme right-wing narratives that justify the violence of fascist regimes responsible for the deaths of tens of millions.
In these lectures, David North will examine both the philosophical premises and political impulses that find expression in the falsification of the history of the “unfinished” twentieth century. In particular, he will focus on disturbing tendencies in historiography in Germany, where leading historians are relativizing and legitimizing the crimes of Hitler’s Third Reich, including the Holocaust. Finally, North will explain the far-reaching intellectual and political implications of the falsification of history.
David North is the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site and the national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US). He is the author of numerous works on socialism and history, including Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness and In Defense of Leon Trotsky.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tuesday, April 1, 7:00 p.m.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Michigan League, Koessler Room (3rd Floor)
911 N. University Ave.
Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.
Wayne State University
State Hall Room 101
Cass Ave., North of Warren
Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Student Union Room 240
2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Monday, April 7, 7:00 p.m.
University of Minnesota
Appleby Hall Room 102
128 Pleasant Street Southeast
Tuesday, April 8, 7:30 pm
University of California, Berkeley
159 Mulford Hall
San Diego, California
Thursday, April 10, 7:00 pm
San Diego State University
Arts & Letters 101
Los Angeles, California
Saturday, April 12, 3:00 pm
California State University, LA
Student Union, Los Angeles Room A
5154 State University Drive