Video: The Communist Party Congress as a Syndrome of Political Ideals

With coronavirus lockdowns ruling out real-world events, the Society for the Study of Labour History took its 2020 annual lecture online, drawing members and non-members alike to their computer screens.

The lecture was delivered by Professor Kevin Morgan of the University of Manchester, who took as his theme “The Communist Party Congress as a Syndrome of Political Ideals”.

Watch the video below, or on the SSLH YouTube Channel.

In his talk, Professor Morgan argued that the importance of successive congresses of the Communist Party of Great Britain during the Comintern period of the 1920s and 1930s lay not in their decision making, but in their creation of a political culture

He concluded: “You could write the political history of the Communist Party, in terms of the decisions that it made, the strategy that it adopted, almost without referring to these events. But I think in terms of the political culture which drew people so much into Communist Party politics, and what bound them together in the close, militant and very committed ways we know, I think the party congress did function from that point of view.”

Dr Michael Sanders introduced Professor Morgan, in a session chaired by SSLH chair Dr Joan Allen and facilitated by Dr Janette Martin.