Two hundred years ago, on May 5, 1818, Karl Marx was born in the German town of Trier on the banks of the river Moselle. In this bicentennial year, the 11th annual Marx Conference, devoted to Marx’s life and work, will take place in Tel Aviv over the weekend of November 9 and 10 under the auspices of the Hagada Hasmalit (Left Bank) Alternative Cultural Center. In addition to 20 panelists, hundreds of people will participate in the meetings and discussions.
It’s not every day that a sizable group of academicians and social activists meet to develop a dialog, to debate and to cooperate in furthering their common aim of maintaining and developing the intellectual and political status of Marxism in Israel.
Among the subjects to be discussed: the ongoing crisis of capitalism, Marxism and popular revolutions in the Middle East, Marx and philosophy, economics, culture, society and ecology, Marx and class strategies. The significant participation of many young people and students is noteworthy, as is their special interest in the practical side of social activism and labor struggles, especially the movement for the establishment of worker committees as part of a new drive for unionization.
The agenda is admittedly ambitious for the framework. Despite these difficulties, there is a sense that the annual Marx conference is becoming a valuable asset to the work of the left in Israel. The organizers have received additional requests for the analysis of different subjects, and there are additional people in academia who we hope to involve in future Marx Conferences.
The Conference is being organized by activists from Hagada Hasmalit, an alternative cultural space which has been active for the past two decades in Tel Aviv, with the support of the Communist Party of Israel and Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality). Hagada Hasmalit also maintains the leading alternative Hebrew-language website of the militant left in Israel.
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