ANYONE WITH a computer can now access talks on almost every imaginable aspect of socialist history, theory and argument, and much more besides. The fantastic website www.geocities.com/resistancemp3 consists of hundreds of original talks 'on topics from anti-capitalism to Zionism by Socialist Workers Party members, Noam Chomsky, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and others'. Most of the talks are recordings of speeches at the annual Marxism event organised by the SWP in London each summer. Others are recordings from the media and meetings elsewhere.
You can hear Tony Cliff on everything from Lenin and the Russian Revolution to Zionism. There is a wide selection of talks by Duncan Hallas, ranging from the origins of class society to the trade union bureaucracy. Manning Marable, Brian Manning and others who have spoken at Marxism also feature, as does Noam Chomsky. There's even a (very, very short) video and sound clip of Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution. All the recordings are available free from the website in the form of MP3 files, the standard format for downloading audio from the internet.
As well as an internet connection and a computer with a sound card and speakers, you will need appropriate playback software which will be either pre-installed on your computer or can be got free via the internet.
Unless you've got broadband you'll need to allow around 20 to 30 minutes to download each recording. But once downloaded the recordings, most of which are around 40 minutes long, are stored on your computer and can be listened to whenever you want.
The sound quality on the recordings is variable. Some are fine - others are poor as they were often recorded with a hand-held tape in a hall. But a bit of fiddling with the volume controls on your computer pays real dividends, and headphones improve the sound hugely. A brilliant resource.