In this presentation activist and author Jeff Rickertt will attempt to make sense of Australian pre-Bolshevik socialism by examining the ideological evolution of pioneering radical, Ernest Henry Lane. Drawing from his recent biography of Lane, Jeff will make the case that Lane can be regarded as a bridge linking pre-modern with social democratic and Marxian traditions of socialism in Australia, and that he and his comrades, for all their political inconsistencies, blazed the track that the CPA would eventually make its own.
Jeff Rickertt is a labour activist and historian from the Deep North. He publishes and lectures extensively on the history of Queensland trade unionism and radical politics. Jeff’s current project is a history of Queensland meatworkers and their union, the AMIEU. His book The Conscientious Communist: Ernie Lane and the Rise of Australian Socialism was published by Australian Scholarly Publishing in 2016.