Sri Lankan IYSSE public lecture at Peradeniya University: “A study of the Communist Manifesto”

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a public lecture at the University of Peradeniya on February 21 entitled “A study of the Communist Manifesto.” It will be delivered by Deepal Jayasekera, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka.

The IYSSE is grateful to the Political Science Student Association (PSSA) at the University of Peradeniya for hosting this event, the second in a series at the campus.

The first lecture—“An Introduction to Historical Materialism”—was held last year. Dates and times for other lectures—“The Historical roots of the dissolution of the USSR” and “The Global Capitalist Economic Crisis”will be announced.

The Communist Manifesto, jointly written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, was published on February 21, 1848, and distributed throughout Europe as the 1848 revolutionary wave erupted across the continent. It laid out the foundational principles of the world socialist movement on which subsequent internationals, including the Fourth International, developed their political and theoretical work.

The Communist Manifesto famously opens with the statement, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” and concludes with the words, “Workingmen of all countries unite!”

The Manifesto introduces the materialist conception of history and class struggle. Its authors concretely demonstrate this in relation to capitalist society, explaining that the emergence and existence of definite social classes are bound up with a definite stage in the development of the productive forces. The immense advance of the productive forces and the global centralisation of the means of production under capitalism soon outdates those social relations, creating the objective basis for the conquest of political power by the working class and the establishment of a rational classless human society free of exploitation.

The Manifesto drew attention to what is necessary for the political development and preparation of workers for this epoch-changing historical task and discussed the problems of “the organisation of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party.”

The eruption of World War I, which expressed the breakdown of world capitalism, and the subsequent victory of the 1917 Russian Revolution guided by the Bolshevik Party and led by Lenin and Trotsky demonstrated the historical validity of Marx and Engels’ historic document.

Once again, the global capitalist system is mired in deep crisis, with all the imperialist powers, above all the US, dragging the planet towards global conflagration. The international working class is now entering into profound class struggles which will provide it with revolutionary opportunities to overthrow this outmoded capitalist system. The need of the hour is the preparation of the working class and young people for this task. A study of the Communist Manifesto is essential to this preparation.

The IYSSE invite students, workers and academics to attend this lecture, which will explain the basic conceptions and principles elaborated in the Communist Manifesto, and to participate in this critical discussion.

The IYSSE takes the COVID-19 pandemic situation seriously and kindly requests all those attending the meeting to wear KN95 masks for the health safety of themselves and others.

Venue: Lecture Hall No. 86, Political Science Department, University of Peradeniya
Date and time: February 21 at 3.00 p.m.