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  • 2015 European Conference The Crisis of Europe - A Crisis for the Left?

    The Platypus Affiliated Society is hosting its second ( annual ) European Conference in Frankfurt am Main from November 6-8
  • 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 #81 is out!

    Nelson Peery’s death prompted members of the Platypus Affiliated Society to recover and transcribe the recordings of two interviews conducted some years earlier. Periklis Pavlidis on the crisis in Greece and the prospects for the Left
  • 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
  • Recordings for the 2015 international convention now online

  • 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 #81

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.

Nelson Peery was active in revolutionary politics for 76 years until his death on September 6, 2015. Politicized in the Communist Party, USA (CP) and later its Left Caucus, Peery left the CP in the 1950s on anti-revisionist grounds to form the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (POC). Expelled from the POC in the wake of the 1965 Watts rebellion, Peery helped to found the California Communist League and played a leading role in this tendency’s subsequent formations: the Communist League, the Communist Labor Party, and the extant League of Revolutionaries for a New America. Peery’s death prompted members of the Platypus Affiliated Society to recover and transcribe the recordings of two interviews conducted some years earlier.
The political life of Greece during the last months has been determined by the quick and complete failure of SYRIZA to achieve its goals through negotiations with the leading powers of the European Union (EU): relaxation of the harsh austerity policies being applied to the country, a partial write-off of its unbearable debt, and thus mitigation of the humanitarian crisis. Though quite modest, SYRIZA’s aspirations were not therefore more realistic. Because of its commitment to Greece’s Eurozone and EU membership, SYRIZA from the very start subordinated itself to the operating principles of these institutions and the negotiating framework set by the creditors.
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.