MIA | History | Australia


David Andrade

Victorian Labor College

The Victorian Labor College, founded by militant unionists and Marxists in 1912, played a central role in the founding of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920. After its Secretary Ted Tripp visited the Soviet Union in 1929, it operated outside the control of the CPA and leant towards Trotskyism. The Victorian Labor College trained militants during the upsurge of the 1960s and continues to this day.

Victorian Labour College, by L.F. Wilson & B. Davies, 1917
The Proletariat and Education: The Necessity for Labor Colleges, by W.P. Earsman, 1920
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1925
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1927
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1933
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1936
Ten Reasons why you should join the College, 1937
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1946
Speedy introduction of shorter hours; direct action, arbitration or legislation, by May Brodney, 1946
Why a Labor College is a Necessity, by May Brodney, 1946
Victorian Labor College Constitution, 1947
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1950
Victorian Labor College Syllabus, 1955
The Aims and Early History of the Victorian Labor College, A.T. Brodney, 1967
The Need For Independent Working Class Education, Ted Tripp, 1967
In Moscow in the 1930s: How the Comintern was Stalinised, Ted Tripp, 1978
Trotskyism in Australia. Notes from a 1976 talk with Ted Tripp, Peter Beilharz, 1992

An outline of philosophy
Ted Tripp

1. What is philosophy?
2. Materialism versus idealism
3. Influence of Greek philosophy on Rome
4. From the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages
5. Rise of science
6. John Locke
7. Berkeley and Hume
8. Immanuel Kant
9. Dialectical materialism: from Hegel to Marx

Rise of the working class
Ted Tripp and Chris Gaffney

1. Birth of capitalism, Chris Gaffney
2. French Revolution, Ted Tripp
3. Development of socialism and the 1848 revolution, Ted Tripp
4. First International, Ted Tripp
5. Paris Commune, Chris Gaffney
6. Reform or revolution, Ted Tripp
7. Imperialism: the British Empire, Chris Gaffney
8. Formation of the Australian Labor Party, Chris Gaffney
9. What caused World War I? Chris Gaffney
10. Russian Revolution: the rise, Ted Tripp
11. Russian Revolution: defence, Ted Tripp
12. Russian Revolution: from Lenin to Stalin, Chris Gaffney
13. What is fascism? Chris Gaffney
14. Permanent revolution or revolution by stages? Chris Gaffney
15. Why the Leninist party? Chris Gaffney

Chris Gaffney

The English Civil War, Labor Review, 1965
On the history of the family, Labor Review, 1992
The politics of the International Socialists and the Democractic Socialist Party, Labor Review, 1994