Published: 04th July 2020
Marxist University: This four-day long online course will teach you all you need to about Marxism
Organised by the International Marxist Tendency, the course goes live on July 25. People from around 87 countries have registered so far
On July 25, hundreds of people from 87 countries across the globe will meet on a common platform. Virtually, of course. We're yet to contain the pandemic. They are all different — they do different things for a living, speak languages that others cannot understand. However, there's one thing that binds them all together. All of them believe in the Marxist ideology or are intrigued by it. Not quite surprising, they're all set to attend the Marxist University, an online school o the ideology and other notions of revolution from July 25-28.
Keen to know more about the online school, we reached out to Hamid Alizadeh of the International Marxist Tendency, one of the organisers. Hailing from an Iranian Marxist family, Hamid is the editor of a website In Defence of Marxism. "What always bothered me about some parts of the left, was that they never tried to understand capitalism at a deeper level and therefore much of their activism always seemed inefficient to me. I wanted to know how we can really change this world, not just make a gesture," he says.
We got into a conversation, where Hamid explained the thought process behind the course and the challenges behind it. Excerpts:
What exactly is the Marxist University all about?
The Marxist University, in the present format of a webinar, is inviting people from across the world to come and learn. Due to the price of travelling, and visa restrictions however those were confined to a few hundred participants. This year, the event is fully online and we are expecting thousands of participants from all over the world. In particular, we are pleased to see so many people signing up from countries where the income levels didn't allow many people to travel to Europe.
In the current times, do you see a lot more people getting interested in the ideology? What is the trend like?
The interest in Marxist ideas has never been as high as today. In the past years, the visits to our website, marxist.com, have increased by around 40-50 percent per year. This year, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen even higher figures. In all countries, where the International Marxist Tendency has groups, we see a massive increase in interest in revolutionary ideas, in particular amongst the youth. The capitalist system is in a deep crisis, and millions of people are looking for a radical way out. The ideas of the ruling class, the ones presented in the media, the schools and the universities, do not match up with the reality that billions of people are experiencing all over the world. But if you look back at the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, who all lived a long time ago, we see a far more exact explanation of the processes which are taking place in front of our eyes.
Do you have enough participants this year?
Our goal initial goal for participation in the school this year was 1000-3000, but we are only a week away from reaching the upper level and registrations are really beginning to take off now. That means that we could far surpass our own targets and expectations. What this also reflects, is a thirst for the theory that we have been witnessing for many years. As opposed to what we often hear, people do not want superficial answers and simple solutions. They want a deeper understanding of what is taking place around them. And I think scientific Marxism, is the only set of ideas that consistently tries to do that.
Has there been criticism against this?
Until now, I have not heard of a single negative comment about this event. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Was it difficult to get the webinar organised?
The main difficulties have been the technical aspects of having speakers from around the world and translation into more than a dozen languages. We only decided to go ahead with this project two months ago, so we have been under a lot of time pressure. But luckily we have also received a lot of help from all over the world. We have IMT comrades in the US developing graphic design, comrades in Sweden are helping to make video ads, social media teams in dozens of countries are helping the promotion of the school and as I said teams of translators are being assembled in many countries.