2007 SEP Summer School

Below we republish selected lectures from the Socialist Equality Party summer school, held in August 2007 in Ann Ar bor, Michigan. This page will be updated often.

The struggle against centrism and the founding of the Fourth International

A lecture by Bill Van Auken

The five years between Trotsky’s call for the Fourth International in 1933 and the holding of a founding conference in 1938 were marked by a continuous struggle against a wide range of centrist political organizations active during this period, particularly in Europe, many of which professed sympathy with Trotsky’s perspective and some of which declared themselves for the Fourth International.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

“Socialism in One Country” and the Soviet economic debates of the 1920s

A lecture by Nick Beams

This is the first of two lectures dealing with some of the crucial conflicts over economic policy in the Soviet Union during the 1920s.

Part 1
Part 2

The Revolution Betrayed and the fate of the Soviet Union

A lecture by Peter Daniels

An understanding of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state—their rise and subsequent degeneration—is critical in politically arming the working class by learning the lessons of the 20th century in order to prepare for the struggles of the 21st.

Part 1
Part 2

The Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front

A lecture by Ann Talbot

The Soviet intervention in Spain can best be understood as an attempt to strangle a developing revolution, to physically liquidate its leading representatives, terrorize wider layers of workers and peasants and prevent their spontaneous revolutionary strivings from acquiring a more politically conscious form.

Part 1
Part 2

The German October: The missed revolution of 1923

A lecture by Peter Schwarz

This lecture focuses on the strategic and tactical lessons of the failed German revolution, lessons that rapidly became a heated matter of dispute between the Left Opposition and the Troika led by Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The tragedy of the 1925-1927 Chinese Revolution

A lecture by John Chan

The rise and fall of the Second Chinese Revolution of 1925-1927 was one of the most significant political events in the history of the twentieth century. This failed revolution ended with the deaths of tens of thousands of communist workers and the total destruction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as an organised mass movement of the working class. One cannot understand the fundamental problems in modern Chinese history, in particular the nature of the Maoist regime that was established in 1949, without understanding the lessons of 1925-27.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

A lecture by Chris Marsden

The British General Strike of May 1926 remains, after the passage of more than 80 years, a defining moment in the history of the workers' movement. Its lessons are essential for the development of a revolutionary strategy, not just in Britain but the world over.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3