Leading WSWS writer Nick Beams will deliver an online lecture Tuesday night April 14, 7 p.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time), on the subject “Socialism versus identity politics and post-modernism.” The event is the fourth in a series being hosted by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality and the Socialist Equality Party (Australia).
The global coronavirus pandemic, and the economic, social and political crisis it has sparked, has demonstrated that the fundamental division in society is class. Governments around the world have responded to the virus by providing billions of dollars to the banks and financial institutions, while refusing to do anything to improve hollowed-out healthcare services.
Workers of all backgrounds are being hardest hit from the virus resulting in tens of thousands dead and millions losing their jobs, unable to pay their rents and mortgages and imperiled by demands from governments and corporations that they return to work.
The situation has exposed the bankrupt character of identity politics. Promoted by the media, the pseudo-lefts and the political establishment for decades, they have claimed that race, gender and sexual orientation are the fundamental divisions in society. This has been aimed at dividing the working class and advancing the interests of a grasping and privileged layer of the upper-middle class.
Postmodernism, which asserts that objective reality is unknowable and that the world is merely a series of competing “narratives,” stands no less exposed. Its central purposes have been to deny the “grand narrative” of Marxism, reject the revolutionary role of the working class and to assert that nothing can be done to challenge capitalism.
This crisis is demonstrating that the lives and interests of ordinary people are incompatible with a society based on private profit. It has underscored the urgency of building a mass movement of the international working class to reorganise society to meet human need, not private profit.
Beams will elaborate on these issues on Tuesday, before taking questions and comments from the audience.
To participate, register for the meeting now, then follow the instructions in the confirmation email at the time of the meeting. Alternatively, you can dial into the meeting using your phone by calling +61 2 8355 1054. You will need the access code 923-723-958.