On November 7, Canberra’s own Dr Rick Kuhn will be awarded the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize in London for his book Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism (University of Illinois Press). This prestigious prize is awarded annually for a book “which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition.”
A reader in Political Science at the Australian National University, Dr Kuhn is a long-standing political activist, member of Socialist Alternative and contributer to the magazine Socialist Alternative (www.sa.org.au).
His book tells the story of the Polish Marxist economist Henryk Grossman, whose life unfolded against the backdrop of key events of the 20th century – world wars, the rise of Stalinism and Nazism and the Cold War. While best known today for the theories of economic crises he developed at the Frankfurt Institute of Social Science, Grossman began his political life as an activist. He was a key participant in Jewish workers’ strikes and demonstrations and in the development of the socialist movement in Poland. After World War I he was often arrested and jailed as a member of the illegal Polish Communist Party, eventually leaving Poland.
As Dr Kuhn says: “Today, as the world economy dives into recession because of the stagnant rate of profit in developed countries, Grossman’s experiences and work are more relevant than ever,” He added that workers need to fight to defend living standards and jobs now more than ever, and in the long run build a party that expresses their interests. Dr Kuhn said: “It is no good only analysing the world; the point is to change it.”
Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism is available from Socialist Alternative. (See www.sa.org.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Canberra branch of Socialist Alternative meets every Thursday night at 6 pm in room G 52 of the Haydon Allen Building at the ANU. The meeting on Thursday 30 October will discuss Race, Class and Struggle in the US today, and the meeting on Thursday 6 November will talk about the new imperialist scramble for Africa. (see www.sa.org.au or email email@example.com)