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ID number:434025
Published: 14.07.2004.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

This is the text of a talk given around 1985; and deals primarily with the causes of the Depression of the 1890s, looking at parallels to the 1930s. Some of the material here is a bit out of date, but what the heck.
During the past century, the Australian economy has experienced two periods of extremely severe economic collapse: the depressions of the 1890s and the 1930s.
These crises were quite unlike anything we ourselves have ever experienced. In both depressions there was a decline in gross national product of the order of 30%. This meant mass unemployment of between a third and a half of all workers, widespread misery, hunger and anger.
These periods of crisis are important for us as revolutionaries for it is in periods of crisis that the system reveals its inability to satisfy the basic needs of the mass of the population.
It is in periods of crisis that all the old certainties are brought into doubt, when hundreds of thousands of people begin to turn to desperate solutions, when the ideas of revolutionary socialism can grip the imagination of the masses.

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