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Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn

The Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust

The Trust was founded in 1980 by Norman Melburn and named for his friend and fellow Marxist, the lawyer Barry Amiel. Both men are now commemorated in the name of the Trust, following Norman Melburn's death in 1991.

The Objectives of the Trust
The general objectives of the Trust are to advance public education, learning and knowledge in all aspects of
(a) the philosophy of Marxism
(b) the history of socialism, and
(c) the working class movement.

The trustees have adopted the following statement as a working translation of the Trust's objectives: Marxism is not a fixed interpretation of history and society but a critical method which generates a different critique in different periods and situations. As a philosophy, its purpose is to understand the world in order to change it. It is therefore a philosophy which takes creative account of other critiques of society as part of the reality which it seeks to understand and change.

Historically Marxism has sought to understand capitalist society, and the change which it has worked for has been to a socialist form of society. Its critique has now necessarily expanded to include twentieth-century socialist societies and the received Marxist tradition itself. These societies have played a central part in the history of socialism and the working class movement. The future not only of such societies, as they depart from the past, but of every society in which a new form of socialism is argued for or attempted in the future, will be a part of the history of socialism. The part played by the working class movement past, present, and future, is in itself a proper object of study, both in its own right and as a part of the history of socialism and the study of Marxism.

Thus the Trust's objectives may be seen as parts of a continuing process of understanding the development of modern societies in the light of the intellectual and social movements which have sought and still seek to transform them to non-exploitative and egalitarian societies. The Trust's funds should be deployed accordingly.

The Funding Role of the Trust
The Trust as well as initiating activity or research in pursuit of these objects, is open to applications for funding. The Trust will give financial assistance to bodies or individuals for projects which the Trust considers fall within the scope of the Trust's objective.

Previously funded projects have included: the organisation of lectures, discussions, seminars and workshops; the carrying out of research, written work and publications; and the maintenance of libraries and archive material.

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© Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust 2005