Over seven hundred people gathered in central London last weekend for a Marxist conference.
The sixth Historical Materialism (HM) annual conference, organised by the editorial board of the HM journal in association with the Deutscher Memorial Prize committee and the Socialist Register, was the biggest yet.
The conference’s theme “Another World is Necessary: Crisis, Struggle and Political Alternatives” reflected the urgency of the tasks faced by growing layers of radical thinkers from both the academic and revolutionary traditions.
Many Socialist Workers Party members spoke from platforms and intervened in the wide-ranging discussions about how best to understand and transform the world.
The attendance of hundreds of young people was a particularly encouraging sign of the increasing relevance of Marxist thought among a new generation of activists.
Simon Englert, a student at Sussex University, was attending HM conference for the first time.
He told Socialist Worker, “I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived on Friday. Academic conferences can seem quite intimidating.
“But I was really impressed by how students, lecturers and activists were able to come together and debate very serious issues in an accessible and productive way.”
Sessions ranged from discussions of economics and philosophy to social movements and student occupations. Memorial sessions paid tribute to the contributions of the late Chris Harman and Peter Gowan.