early on the saturday i missed the session on frantz fanon and the wrtched of the earth,but im fortunate that it will have been recorded on cd.i read this so long ago i have forgotten it.thats serious as it is not just the left that sees some significance in his work,although those not of the left seem over recent years to have drawn some dangerous and erroneous conclusions.
one of the minor problems for me with the main venue was the stairs and its labyrinthine architecture.more than once i felt id entered that black and white film"last days in marienbad"(?)so i missed a session on the dialectic or class consciousness.
i ended up so deep in conversation with comrades at"revolutionary history"and on the "marxism cd stand"that i missed yet more on alienaqtion and labour or the politics of tony negri.and next i was too far away from the ession by terry eagleton on the communist manifesto.
i did attend tha anarchist rally down the road,outside the main venue.i do wonder what would have happened if they had tried to rally in the quad area directly inside the main venue.
there is a joke in britain amongst the left about there being time,then time sike gmt and bst.then ther is british left time-in other words late.yes it can be annoying but given what lfe is like under capitalism,we should not dismiss it.that said its not excatly conducive to the task of burying capitalism
so the anarchists,true to their politics-and i am not being critical here-were late starting,had no"star turns"although it quickly became clear that some were well known to many present.it is impressive that a substantial number of those who spoke were not anarchists but indicated their allegiances to groups including the awl/alliance for workers liberty and the international bolshevik tendency.it was largely very fraternal and comradely in atmosphere.with most people stressing the coom source of anatchism and marxism and the common concerns.it is to the credit of the swp that paul blackledge attended to invite the anarchists to attend the discussion he would speak at about anarchism and marxism that evening.2 police officers were in attendance and who unsurprisingly got jeered until they left.some of the anarchists revealed a deep hostility to police as individuals as well as in their role of agents of the state and as bodies of armed men.for some that hostility spread to teachers,housing officers and others.chris knight.who regards himeslf as a libertarian communist and recently arrested for street theatre spoke briefly and eloquently.it too active encouragement before women were encouraged to speak.they remained a minority both present and amongst those who spoke.this indicates i think how deep laid sexism remains in our society,and may also give a hint to what some groups/currents amongst anarchists like the long defunct ORA/LCG regarded as the tyranny of structurelessness.
their bookstall included free copies of fthe recently revamped freedom weekly,catalyst and others.on sale were several books by maurice brinton of the old solidarity grouping that i would regard as being left communists rather than anarchists.i recognise that here im beginning to sound like a left-nerd.i apologise.works by chomsky as well as allexandra kollontais workers opposition were also on sale.
when i left to try to attend another lecture they were still going strong,and they had some influence on pasers by who looked on or joined in.hecklers were few and far between.everyone who wanted to got to speak and none were shouted down.yjis is not just positive but indicative of an outllok that i yearn to be generalised.
its my opinion that we live in times where we need to be particularly careful about our tendencies to sectarianism and dogmatism because in atime when new opportunities are matched with self set traps,we cannot afford to throw the chances away.
i was late getting to the lecture on disability,but was able to attend what seemed to be the founding meeting of the disability fraction of the swp which took place immediately afterwards,and which i think i wrote about here a few days ago.
on sunday i attended a meeting on hegel,marx and the dialectic which included a brilliant prseentation of difficult material very clearly.the discussion could have gone on for hours.
id intended to attend the meeting on chavs-the demonisation of the working class,which was also a book launch for owen jones new book.this is a pity but i was engrossed in discussion with the dissident marxists of amm/association of musical marxists,about whom i intend to write seperately later.
last on the sunday i attended the lecture on essentailly paris 1968.as a key,earlier revolutionary moment.i made a contribution in this discssion about the impact of 1968 on me as a 14 year old at the time.i will revisit this session again in aletr post.
every evening of M2011 ther were social events,including filsm,music,multi-media events.whilst i was interested,i did not attend as my stamina did not stretch that far