Art & Socialism – Lectures & Essays

Lecture at San Diego State University

Should art be judged on the basis of race and gender?

By David Walsh, 27 April 2017

This is an edited version of a talk given at San Diego State University on April 18 by WSWS arts editor David Walsh. Audio of the talk is included.

230 DW lecture video

24 April 2017

WSWS arts editor David Walsh speaks at San Diego State University on art and identity politics

By our reporters, 22 April 2017

The WSWS arts editor spoke to an audience of 70 students and workers on the current crisis in arts and culture from a Marxist perspective. His talk was followed by a lively discussion.

Australian governments’ decade-long cultural wrecking operation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 22 February 2017

Today, the ruling elites regard genuinely critical and creative voices with suspicion or outright hostility.

A talk given in San Diego, Berkeley and Ann Arbor

Art, war and social revolution—Part 2

By David Walsh, 1 June 2016

This talk was given by WSWS arts editor David Walsh at San Diego State University, University of California Berkeley and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in April and May.

A talk given in San Diego, Berkeley, and Ann Arbor

Art, war and social revolution—Part 1

By David Walsh, 31 May 2016

This talk was given by WSWS arts editor David Walsh at San Diego State University, University of California Berkeley, and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in April and May.

The defense of culture and the crisis in Detroit

By David Walsh, 17 September 2013

We are posting today an edited version of a talk given by WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh to a June 13 meeting on the threat to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

David Walsh speaks on “Socialism and Cinema”

By David Walsh, 10 November 2010

WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently spoke at the University of Salford in the Greater Manchester area in the UK.

The assault on culture and the crisis of American capitalism

By David Walsh, 5 October 2010

American capitalism in decline has neither interest in, nor financial support to offer, artistic creation.

A presentation by WSWS arts editor David Walsh

The crisis of American filmmaking & cultural life

By David Walsh, 18 March 2010

Arts editor David Walsh addressed some of the current problems in American cultural life, and their historical roots, in a recent talk.

A presentation by WSWS arts editor David Walsh

The crisis of American filmmaking & cultural life

Part Two

By David Walsh, 17 March 2010

Arts editor David Walsh addressed some of the current problems in American cultural life, and their historical roots, in a recent talk. This is part two.

A presentation by WSWS arts editor David Walsh

The crisis of American filmmaking & cultural life

Part one

By David Walsh, 16 March 2010

Arts editor David Walsh addressed some of the current problems in American cultural life, and their historical roots, in a recent talk.

In praise of George Eliot’s Adam Bede on its 150th anniversary

Part 1

By David Walsh, 30 December 2009

This year marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, along with Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. The publication of George Eliot’s Adam Bede in 1859 also deserves to be noted.

The future of art in an age of crisis—Part 2

By David Walsh, 22 April 2009

WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently delivered a talk on “The Future of Art in an Age of Crisis” in a number of US cities. This is the second and concluding part.

The future of art in an age of crisis—Part 1

By David Walsh, 21 April 2009

WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently delivered a talk on “The Future of Art in an Age of Crisis” in a number of US cities. We are posting that lecture in two parts, beginning today.

WSWS arts editor David Walsh speaks at meetings in San Diego and Los Angeles

By our correspondents, 4 March 2009

In meetings at San Diego State University and at the Santa Monica Public Library in the Los Angeles last week, WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh addressed students, artists and workers on “The future of art in an age of crisis.”

Letters on WSWS arts editor David Walsh’s trip to Britain

16 December 2008

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on David Walsh’s discussions with screenwriter-playwright Trevor Griffiths and filmmaker Mike Leigh.

The Writer and Revolution: WSWS arts editor David Walsh in conversation with Trevor Griffiths—Part 1

11 December 2008

On November 12 WSWS arts editor David Walsh and screenwriter-playwright Trevor Griffiths held a discussion on the subject of “The Writer and Revolution.” We are posting an edited version of the event today and tomorrow, along with video excerpts.

Sydney Opera House architect, Jørn Utzon dies

By Paul Bartizan, 10 December 2008

Jørn Utzon, whose name is bound to his greatest, and perhaps one of the world’s best-known post-World War II pieces of architecture, the Sydney Opera House, died in his sleep aged 90 on Saturday, November 29.

A public lecture by David Walsh in the UK

Art and socialism: the real premises

26 November 2008

WSWS arts editor David Walsh recently delivered a talk on “Art and socialism” in a number of cities in Britain. We’re posting that lecture today.

Trevor Griffiths and David Walsh discuss “The Writer and Revolution”

By our reporter, 13 November 2008

A unique discussion on “The Writer and Revolution” between acclaimed playwright Trevor Griffiths and WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh took place Wednesday in Manchester, England.

Socialist Equality Party UK public meetings

Art and Socialism—a talk by David Walsh, WSWS arts editor

By the, 25 October 2008

Global capitalism has entered its greatest crisis since the 1930s. The economic slump will undoubtedly lead to a widespread radicalization, as all the myths about the "free market" are shattered.

The Aesthetic Component of Socialism

11 October 2008

The following lecture was delivered on January 9, 1998 to the International Summer School on Marxism and the Fundamental Problems of the 20th Century, organised by the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) in Sydney from January 3-10, 1998.

A Comment on Art and the Marxist Party

By Joanne Laurier, 11 October 2008

I would like to expand on one question raised in the lecture: the objective character of artistic cognition and the significance of its study for revolutionaries.

Film, history and socialism

Part Two

By David Walsh, 23 January 2007

We are posting here the concluding part of a talk given by David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, to a meeting organized by graduate film students January 17 at York University in Toronto, Ontario. The first part was posted January 22. Also see “Questions and answers at David Walsh’s talk at York University in Toronto.”

Film, history and socialism

Part One

By David Walsh, 22 January 2007

We are posting here the first part of a talk given by David Walsh, arts editor of the World Socialist Web Site, to a meeting organized by graduate film students January 17 at York University in Toronto, Ontario. The second and concluding part will be posted Tuesday, January 23.

The Aesthetic Component of Socialism

By David Walsh, 3 January 1998

Art expresses things about life, about people and about oneself that are not revealed in political or scientific thought. To become whole, human beings require the truth about the world, and themselves, that art offers.

An exchange with a reader

Oscar Wilde and “art for art’s sake”

A Critical Comment on the article “Oscar Wilde’s lasting significance”

8 November 1997

On July 28, 1997 we published an article by David Walsh on Oscar Wilde and his contribution to twentieth century cultural and political life (see article, Oscar Wilde’s lasting significance). We publish here a letter from a reader in Australia, and a reply by Walsh.

Art and freedom

André Breton and problems of twentieth-century culture

Part 2

By Frank Brenner and David Walsh, 16 June 1997

Breton was among the first intellectuals in France to appreciate and draw attention to the significance of Freud's work.

Art and freedom

André Breton and problems of twentieth-century culture

Part 1

By Frank Brenner and David Walsh, 16 June 1997

In June and July 1938 Leon Trotsky, exiled Russian revolutionary, and André Breton, French Surrealist poet and thinker, collaborated in Mexico on the writing of an extraordinary "Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art." This declaration remains the most eloquent expression yet produced of the commonality of interests of the artist and the revolutionary Marxist.

The objective character of artistic cognition

By David Walsh, 13 September 1993

Edward Said, a Palestinian and a professor of literature at Columbia University in New York City, has set himself the task in Culture and Imperialism of offering "a history of the imperial adventure rendered in cultural terms."