The opening night of the Socialism conference is always a brilliant affair, with hundreds of like-minded people getting together for the first time to discuss the issues of importance to the left. This year the theme is racism, and there is no shortage of it, from Trump's bigotry, Le Pen's successes in popularising fascist themes in France, to the growing assertion of far-right themes around Hanson, Bernardi and Dutton here in Australia.
How can the left understand and resist these movements? What alternatives are there for the millions of people disgruntled with the status quo of neoliberal politics and the mainstream parties? And how can we begin to build such an alternative here in Australia, where workers, students, muslims and immigrants are under constant attack? All of this and more is up for discussion at this excellent launch to Socialism 2017.