WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman and SEP National Chairman David North will be delivering a public lecture on Thursday March 13 at the New School in New York City. Meeting details and map below.
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 this lecture, 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.
North, a leading figure in the socialist movement for more than 40 years, is the author of numerous works on socialism and history, including Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness and In Defense of Leon Trotsky.
Thursday, March 13, 7:00 pm
The New School
66 West 12 Street, Room 404
New York, NY