Great Depression and radicalisation in NSW: the Communist Party and the Socialisation Units

6:30pm Saturday 18 September

About this session

In NSW in the Great Depression hundreds of thousands of workers radicalised. From the coal pits of Newcastle, to the newly opened Steelworks of Wollongong, to the unemployed working class neighbourhoods of Newtown Sydney. The Unemployed Workers Movement led dole strikes and anti-eviction rallies, a vicious miners lockout and defeat led thousands to join the communist party. Within the ALP itself NSW Premier Jack Lang refused to pay British Bankers and was ousted by a right-wing coup which would prefigure the Whitlam Coup. Amongst the ALP rank and file Langism wasn’t enough, masses of workers formed ‘socialisation units’ to discuss how socialism could be implemented in their lifetime.

This session will explore the radical politics of NSW in the Great Depression, with a look at the limitation of Langism, the socialisation units and the Communist Third Period.

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