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  • Platypus Review #88 is out!

    The July-August issue of the Platypus Review (#88) is out! Read our transcript from “The death of Social Democracy” panel, Boris Kagarlitsky’s article on Donald Trump, Bruce E. Parry’s response to John Batchell on the Left’s relationship to the Democratic Party, and our transcript of the panel “Left Exit or No Brexit?” organised by the London chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society.
  • Audio/Video from VIII Annual International Convention

    What is Socialism? Listen to the 2016 Platypus Annual International Convention
  • Platypus Review Reader Available Now

    The Platypus Review Reader, 2007-2014 contains a selection of 50 articles distributed across ten headings: Marxism in the 20th century, the anti-war movement, the legacy of the New Left, Israel-Palestine, the election of Barack Obama, the economic crisis, art, the history of Marxism, Lenin, and the #Occupy movement.
  • Platypus Review #86 is out!

    The Platypus Review #86 is out! Read our articles on social democracy and the Left, from revisiting Rosa Luxemburg’s critique to its role in SYRIZA, and a transcript of our event on the Left’s relationship to Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party.
  • What is political party for the Left?

    Transcript of the closing panel at the 7th annual Platypus Affiliated Society international convention in Chicago. Speakers: Chris Cutrone of Platypus, Mike Macnair, Adolph Reed, Jr., and Tom Riley
  • What is Political Party for the Left? An international panel series

    What would it mean for the Left to take "political action" today?

The Platypus Review: Issue #88

International Events

The Platypus Review hopes to create and sustain a space for interrogating and clarifying positions and orientations currently represented on the Left, a space in which questions may be raised and discussions pursued that would not otherwise take place. As long as submissions exhibit a genuine commitment to this project, all kinds of content will be considered for publication.

Against the backdrop of the numerous discussions of the political agenda, appearance, and vocabulary of the candidates running in the American presidential election, there is almost no demand for one subject: What is the class nature and mass social base of each politician?
In April, the Platypus Affiliated Society held its Eighth Annual International Convention, based on the question, “What is socialism?” On April 2, 2016, Platypus held the convention’s closing plenary, “The Death of Social Democracy,” a discussion and Q&A moderated by Pam Nogales of Platypus, with the following panelists: Jason Schulman of the Democratic Socialists of America; Christoph Lichtenberg of the International Bolshevik Tendency; Brian Tokar, former director and current board member of the Institute for Social Ecology; and William Pelz, director of the Institute of Working Class History. What follows is an edited transcript of this event.
Bruce E. Parry The role of revolutionaries is to lead the working class. To follow the ruling class is not to lead but to tail after its leaders. Through this strategy, the CPUSA has discouraged and prevented the political independence of the working class since the 1980s.
On June 8, the London chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel on the topic“Left Exit or No Brexit?” at the London School of Economics. The panel brought together Neil Davenport , Mike Macnair, and Gerry Downing , and was moderated by Ninad Pandit of the Platypus Affiliated Society.
The Platypus Affiliated Society, established in December 2006, organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and post-political (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today.
Statement of Purpose
In the face of the catastrophic past and present, the first task for the reconstitution of a Marxian Left as an emancipatory force is to recognize the reasons for the historical failure of Marxism and to clarify the necessity of a Marxian Left for the present and future. — If the Left is to change the world, it must first transform itself!
What is a Platypus?
A story is told about Karl Marx’s collaborator and friend Friedrich Engels, who, in his youth, as a good Hegelian Idealist, sure about the purposeful, rational evolution of nature and of the place of human reason in it, became indignant when reading about a platypus, which he supposed to be a fraud perpetrated by English taxidermists. For Engels, the platypus made no sense in natural history.
A Short History of the Left
An emancipated world in which the freedom of each would be a precondition for the freedom of all, achieved through social solidarity that provides “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," whose vision motivated the historical Left, seems scarcely conceivable today.
The Left is Dead! Long Live the Left!
Platypus is concerned with exploring the improbable but not impossible tasks and project of the reemergence of a critical Left with emancipatory social intent. We look forward to making a critical but vital contribution towards a possible “return to Marx” for the potential reinvigoration of the Left in coming years. We invite and welcome those who wish to share in and contribute to this project.