Event Type: 
Room 3
SATURDAY August 25, 2018 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm
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This panel is inspired by the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth on May 5, 1818. On June 30, 2018, the NY Times published a column headlined: “The Millennial Socialists Are Coming.” Is “the spectre of communism [still] haunting” America and the world 200 years after Marx was born? Panelists representing different leftist parties and perspectives will tackle these questions and more. Speakers will explain their conceptions of what Marxism is and explore whether Marxism is still relevant 170 years after Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto.

Is Marxism a Stalinist police state with a command economy and gulags? Or is Marxism a utopian pie-in-the-sky fantasy of a classless society? Is this just an outdated philosophy from 1848 that is no longer relevant in the 21st century? Or is Marxism a participatory, direct democracy of the workers, by the workers and for the workers?

Is Marxism applicable in 2018? Come the revolution, how will Marxism impact on economics? Race? Gender? Class? Militarism? Endless war? Can Marxism solve inequality across the board and create an egalitarian social system? Is Marxism a workers’ paradise, “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all,” where the golden rule is “from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs”?


Born into a progressive working class family in Baltimore, MD, Carl Wood has been active in the civil rights and anti-war movements since childhood. He attended the University of California, Riverside where he was elected student body president and organized local opposition to the Vietnam war...

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Jim Lafferty is President Emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild-Los Angeles.

Val Carlson is a retired attorney who has spent her career fighting for affirmative action, civil rights, civil liberties, and workers’ rights. She led legal teams that protected the First Amendment associational privacy privilege in electoral politics and that won race, sex, and political...

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Stephan Hammel is a Marxist educator and agitator living in Santa Ana, California. He is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California at Irvine. He has written about value theory, Marxist Aesthetics and the continued relevance of the historical materialist approach to history....