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Capital’ Against Capitalism – New Website

Saturday June 25 -Central Sydney

It seems significant, and hardly coincidental, that the impasse that politics fell into after the 1960s and 1970s coincided with the eclipse of Marx and the research project of historical materialism. Social democracy, various left-wing melancholies and/ or the embrace of dead political forms has stood-in for these absent names. Returning to Marx, to Capital and to the various traditions tied-up with these names may present a way to cut across this three-fold deadlock.

The papers at Capital Against Capitalism will respond to contemporary politics from a range of historical materialist perspectives. We want to bring together the theoretical discussions and debates occurring in Capital reading groups, PhD study circles, and Marxist political organisations and networks. Our conjuncture – its manifold crisis – urges new analyses, new strategic orientations and the engagement of activists and academics alike on these questions.

‘Capital’ Against Capitalism:

Provisional Timetable


9.00 – 9.15

9.15 – 10.45
Speaker: Rick Kuhn, on his book, with Tom Bramble, Labor’s Conflict: Big business, workers and the politics of class (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Respondents: Geoffrey Robinson and Tad Tietze

10.45 – 11.00
Short morning tea

11 – 12.30
Roland Boer: ‘The Religion of Everyday Life’: Capital as Fetish
Tamara Prosic: Orthodox Christian Theology and Social Change
Remy Low: Religion and Revolutionary Praxis: Theologies of liberation in retrospect and prospect

Tom Barnes: From ‘surplus populations’ to informal labour: Is Capital relevant to class formation in the Global South?
Paul Rubner: Deciphering the Dialectic in Marx’s Capital
Mike Beggs: Zombie Marx and modern economics

12.30 – 1.15

1.15 – 2.15
Jess Gerrard: Hegemony, Class and Culture
John Pardy: Patterns of schooling in Australia: Toward a historically materialist explanation.

Mark Steven: The Silliest Insurrection: On Marxism and the Marx Brothers
David Lockwood: Marxism and the Bourgeois Revolution

2.15 – 3.45
Jess Whyte: Leaving the ‘Eden of the innate rights of man’: Marx’s Critique of Rights
Richard Bailey: Strategy, rupture, rights: law and resistance in Australian immigration detention
David McInerney: To read and speak the law: Althusser on Montesquieu

Marcus Banks: How does workfare produce value?
Humphrey McQueen: Labour time
Ben Reid: Is there Australian Exceptionalism? Scenarios for capital accumulation and crises after the second great contraction

3.45 – 4.15
Afternoon tea

4.15 – 5.15
Plenary 2 – MARX’S CAPITAL
Speaker: Nicole Pepperell on the key ides of her PhD thesis and forthcoming book on Marx’s Capital (Brill/Historical Materialism Book Series 2011)
Respondent: Dave Eden

5.15 – 5.30
Wrap Up

More information

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Humphrys:  

Jonathon Collerson:

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Marx was Right


Labor’s Conflict: Big Business, Workers and the Politics of Class by Tom Bramble and Rick Kuhn has just been issued by Cambridge University Press. The book is a history of the Australian Labor Party from its formation through to the formation of the minority Gillard Government after this year’s federal election. The focus is on the ALP’s changing relationship with business and the working class and unions.

More details can be found at: 

If you’d like a copy you can order online and receive a 20% discount:
1. Go to 
2. Add to your basket
3. Enter discount code LABOR10 at the checkout

The following launches are taking place, please RSVP as indicated if you would like to attend.

to be launched by Rob Lambert, Winthrop Professor of Labour Studies, UWA
Business School
at the Co-op Bookshop, University of Western Australia
Thursday 18 November 5:00pm for 5:30pm start
RSVP to (08) 6488 2069 or by 17 November

to be launched by David Pope, the political cartoonist of the Canberra Times
at the Co-op Bookshop, Australian National University
Tuesday 23 November 5:00 for 5:30 pm start
RSVP essential by 19 November to or (02) 6249-6244.

to be launched by Dean Mighell, Victorian state secretary and National President of the Electrical Trades Union
at Readings Bookshop, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton
Wednesday 24 November, 6pm for 6.30pm start
RSVP to Readings on (03) 9347 6633

to be launched by Frank Stilwell, Professor of Political Economy at Sydney University
at Abbey’s Bookshop, 131 York Street, Sydney.
Wednesday 1 December, 5:30 for 6:00 pm start
RSVP by 26 November to (02) 9264 3111 or

to be launched by Raymond Evans, Adjunct Professor at the School of Humanities, Griffith University
at Avid Reader, 193 Boundary Street, West End
Thursday 2 December, 6:00 for 6:30pm start
RSVP (07) 3846 3422 or

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Higher Education

Higher Education



Government puts education into the hands of big business

No university fees! Demonstrate 28 November!

We won’t pay for the bosses’ crisis!

New Labour and the Conservatives are determined to make young people and workers pay for this crisis. On the one hand, they say there are jobs available for all, all you need is ‘determination’. At the same time, they slash funding for youth training and put corrupt fat cats in charge of setting university fees.

Lord Mandelson refused the National Union of Students a voice in the review of university fees because that would harm the ‘objectivity’ of the review. Instead, we have an ‘objective’ board of some of the biggest capitalists and privateers in Britain, chaired by Lord Browne. Lord Browne was Chief Executive of BP until 2007, making billions of pounds out of war in Iraq and environmental destruction. Browne left BP, amidst allegations of corruption, with a £5 million payoff and a £21 million pension pot. Is this man seriously going to say that society cannot afford our education?

David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, also sits on the review. As part of the Russell Group, he has been demanding students pay more for education for years. The university is currently trying to close its entire sociology department, without consultation with staff, because it is not bringing in enough money. Aston University’s vice chancellor is also ‘objectively’ reviewing university funding, fresh from slashing 18 jobs over the summer.

The rest of the board is made up of a former advisor to Tony Blair (the Prime Minister who abolished free university education), two NGO bigwigs and, unbelievably, Peter Sands, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank. Is he going to demand the same level of investment in education, in our future, that him and his peers have received over the last eighteen months? Of course not. The bosses organisation, the CBI, call for fees of £7,000 a year. Labour and the Tories say similar. Before the review board has met, the outcome is clear. Peter Sands, Lord Browne, Lord Mandelson and all the others want to make us pay for the crisis of their system.

£350 million cuts are being made in vocational education. Out of around 600,000 school leavers, 8,000 will get real apprenticeships, ones which lead to a job and a qualification.

Never mind that young people want to learn, want to work! Never mind that 55% think university education should be free! Since when did the politicians care what we think? Since when did big business and university bosses do favours for us?

Since we organised and fought them. Youth Fight for Jobs says no to university fees, no to writing off our generation, no to mass youth unemployment. We are demonstrating on 28 November – for real jobs, for free education. Join us in the fightback!

Join the demonstration in central London, Malet Street, WC1E, nearest tube Euston / Russell Square. For details of transport from outside London, see:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

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