More than 180 people attended a day school organised jointly by International Socialism and the journal Historical Materialism in London last November.
Entitled, Capitalism: Where it came from and where it’s going , it centred around three sets of discussions involving the American Marxist Robert Brenner and speakers from International Socialism.
In the first session Chris Harman and Bob Brenner presented rival interpretations of the rise of capitalism in the European late Middle Ages. In the second session Bob Brenner and Rob Hoveman came to similar conclusions about the current global economic situation, but on the bases of very different theoretical analyses. And in the final session, Bob Brenner and Alex Callinicos provided divergent explanations of the relationship between economics and politics in explaining what they both see as the imperialist policies of the Bush government.
Scores of participants spoke during the total of seven and three quarter hours of discussions?a sign of the revival of interest in Marxism which has marked other recent events in London, like a previous Historical Materialism weekend school and a dayschool on the relevance of Marxism to history organised jointly by the British academy and the journal Past and Present.
We hope to publish some version of the three discussions at our school in the future. But for the moment, the whole event is available in audio form