Marx conferences in Beijing and Moscow

Hermann Dworczak berichtet von zwei Konferenzen zur Zukunft des Marxismus in Beijing und Moskau.

In memory of the 200th birthday of Marx there were and are worlwide events (now in Budapest, Sofia etc). In Trier where he was born a statue was erected. In Mannheim (Germany) there was even a march through the city. I attended two big conferences in May – in Beijing and Moscow.


The conference in Bejing at the Peking University was very „official“: many bows to Marx and praising of the ideas of Ji Jinping- but very few content. The majority of the chinese speakers presented Marx as part of a „statereligion“. Only some dealt with concrete problems using the – still valid- method of Marx as a tool for analysis.

The most interesting inputs came from some russian speakers and „westeners“.

One russian speaker reported about the tragic life of Rjazanow, director of the famous Marx Engels Institute who was expelled from his post and finally liquidated by Stalin. Ludmilla Buzgalin spoke about the (possible) relations between China and Russia. In relation to the belt and raod initiative she asked if there will be only economic projects or also room for culture and social activities? If everything is coming from above or if the civil society can play its part?

Also the inputs of indian comrades were interesting. Tthey mentined the rising gap of imports/exports between India/China and that India is loosing more and more ground.

There were interventions of Davis Harvey and Samir Amin. They spoke about the aggressive character of present capitalism/imperialism and the growing tendency towards wars and destruction of the environment.

Cheng Enfu from the Chinese Acedemy of Social Sciences (CASS), departement marxism give an outline of the present economic and political situation in China He mentioned his – critical – speech at the peoples congress against further „liberalizaitions“ (f. e. „opening of the financial sector for international capital). After his intervention a high ranking delegation „visited“ him. About his speech thre were no info in the – official – media…

In my intervetion I underlined that it is not sufficiant to cite Marx but to make with his tools a concrete analysis of the concrete situation. I spoke also about his mistakes – f.e. his – wrong – judgemernt about socalled „peoples without history“ (f.e. Slawes). And I explained that his position of liberation of the working class was very clear: the proletariat has to liberate itself and rule directly – and NOT the party should rule „for“ the proletariat.

I participated in a panel in the CASS – together with David Kotz from USA. There one chinese speaker tried to convince the auditorium that Marx should not be criticized for he is „holy man“ (sic!).

I gave also a lecture at the Northern University of Technology with the participation of 200 students. After my input we had a vital, some times contraversial debate. One could see what is the dominating thinking in the actual chinese society. One female student asked: „Was not Marx not too critical towards capitalsm in the communist manifesto?“

I had the chance to meet left comrades and undogmatic members of the CASS. They told that the REAL politics is going more and more into the direction of „further openings“ – not only more „market mechanisms“ but development of capitalist structures.


The conference at the Lomonossow University and the University for Finance and Law was much more productive, differentiated and critical.

There was also an „official“ part but shorter and not so empty. One could feel: there are still sectors in the russian society for whom Marx is not a „dead dog“. The main aim of the conference – for above all for the „alternativy“ group around Alexander Buzgalin (which was one of the main organizers of the conference) – was to study the present situation and to look into the future.

The range of the conference lasted from political economy to the problem of alianation. Savvas Matsas underlined the necessity for the left forces to act again internationally in a common way.

Zhan Toshchenko reported that the majority of the workers in Russia stay in precarity: parttime, contractworkers… – without sufficiant social and medical guarantees.

To be honest there was also a lot of confusion about the meanin of the category „proletariat/working class“. Some speakers reduced the working class to the industrial workers- what is NOT the position of Marx. They spoke in a very superficial way about middle classes and „forgot“ that the woorking class was always differentiated. And there was no understanding what is class „an sich“ and „für sich“.

Summa summarum: it was important to attend both conferences, to „swimm against the river“ and to implement the critical and revolutionary ideas and methods of Marx into the present situation.

Hermann Dworczak (0043 / 676 / 972 31 10)

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