By Margaret Allum
"In the world, the tendency today is to bury Marxism
and communism. The equation is simple: the collapse of the European socialist
bloc is the end of the ideology and the theory that inspired their existence.
But Marxist and communist ideas have today, perhaps more than ever, the
possibility of demonstrating their viability.”
With these words Maria Luisa Fernandez, the Cuban consul-general, opened
the Marxism 2000 conference in Richmond, just outside of Sydney, from
January 5 to 9. Her speech followed a welcome by Colin Giles, a representative
of the local Darug Aboriginal people.
Marxism 2000, initiated and organised by the Democratic Socialist Party
(DSP), was the second Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference; the first was
held in April 1998, also in Sydney.
Far from being a collective international obituary to the ideas and practice
of Marxism, Marxism 2000 was instead a vibrant reassertion of the urgent
need to build an alternative to the capitalist system and a reminder that
such an alternative is the only way to solve massive global inequalities.