Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Branch Meetings

Every Wednesday 7:30pm in the Phoenix Community Centre (2 Phoenix Place Brighton BN2 9ND) - please email info.bhsp@gmail.com for more information

2nd May - Review of the papers - we will pick up on 3 or 4 recent news stories and respond to them from a socialist point of view, so please come prepared from news items!

9th May - New/Social media and protest - many of the movements globally in 2011 have highlighted the use of internet networking sites, with some commentators claiming that these were 'Twitter' or 'Facebook' revolutions. There has also been a rise of internet activism, over the question of intellectual property rights, as well as hacking campaigns and campaign videos like Kony2012. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these new methods? Initial reading: http://www.socialismtoday.org/157/revolution.html

16th May - 1918 - 1921, the Russian Civil War - this is part of our series looking in-depth at the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. After establishing peace (at a high cost) with Germany, Russia was plunged into civil war with the 'Whites'. These forces included those wishing to return the Monarchy to power, but also anti-Bolshevik so-called socialists who opposed the revolution and de facto aided the reintroduction of the forces of capitalism into the leadership of the country. 

The Whites were not the only forces fighting in the civil war, an anarchist movement existed in Ukraine, and armies of the imperialist countries (France, America, Britain, Japan etc) invaded to try and crush the Bolsheviks. The civil war was a brutal and cruel conflict, which further reduced the economic capacity of Russia to establish a socialist development of society, economically (during the war it was reduced to 25% of 1914 industrial production!) as well as socially with the deaths, exhaustion and dissolution of the class that had made the revolution. 

Bureaucracy arose at this point out of necessity, and the relations with the peasantry were tested almost to breaking point. The civil war was a key period in the development of the Soviet Union, and raises a number of very important questions. 

23rd May - Despair, depression, humiliation; what are the psychological and social effects of capitalism? (Marxist theory of alienation) - This will be a discussion on the social and psychological impact the capitalist system has on us. In a world where the forces that impact our lives are seemingly out of our control, what is the effect on individuals and society in general? This is potentially a huge topic as it can cover crime, culture, mental illness and social disorder, interpersonal relationships, sex and so on. This will be an introduction to the topic. 

30th May - The Socialist, our paper; how can it be improved? - Members only meeting