On Your Marx
‘Marxism exists in 19th-century thought like a fish in water: that is, it is unable to breathe anywhere else.’ Variations on this claim, made in 1966 by Michel Foucault, had decades of oxygen in the West.
But today, the work of Karl Marx is again breathing life into a range of Western movements. Within Black Lives Matter, Jeremy Corbyn’s UK Labour or Bernie Sanders’ ‘Revolution’, young people are repurposing thought long dismissed as antique.
In a discussion hosted by Helen Razer, our panellists, including Alyx Gorman, Max Gillies and Nazeem Hussain, describe their practical agreement – and their useful dispute – with this 19th-century European thinker.
Helen Razer was a broadcaster and is now a writer. Her appointments in radio were at the Triple J national network and ABC Melbourne. Her books include A Short History of Stupid, co-authored with national affairs correspondent Bernard Keane, a 2015 work on the history of bad Western thought shortlisted for the Russell Prize; and Total Propaganda, a popular work on Marxism recently published by Allen & Unwin.
Helen has written on social and political matters for the Age and Australian. She now contributes news and cultural analysis to outlets including Crikey, the Saturday Paper, Daily Review, Frankie, SBS and Atlantic digital publication Quartz.
Alyx Gorman attended her first demonstration in-utero; her parents, both avowed Marxists, met through the union movement. Alyx rebelled against her red nappy upbringing by becoming a lifestyle journalist. She has written for ELLE, Quartz and Sydney Morning Herald, and is currently the Editorial Director of Time Out Australia and Fashion Editor of the Saturday Paper.
Nazeem Hussain is the star of his own critically-acclaimed TV show, Legally Brown, which aired on SBS. The show broke ground with its boundary-pushing content, received wide spread critical acclaim and was nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy at the 2015 Logie Awards. Nazeem is also well known as a stand-up comedian, and until recently was part of political comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet.
Max Gillies is most recognized for his work over more than three decades impersonating Australia’s political leaders and public figures.
Max has created several shows to widespread acclaim including the ABC television series The Gillies Report.
Max also enjoys a distinguished career as an actor.
He was the first Chair of the Australian Performing Group and he continues to perform on stages around Australia with several theatre companies.