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  • Recordings for the 2015 international convention now online

  • Platypus Review #76 is out!

    Transcripts of two panels at the 2015 international convention: "Neoliberalism and its discontents" and "The American left and the “Black Question”: From politics to protest to the post-political".
  • Platypus Primary Marxist Reading Group: Spring 2015

    Reading groups conducted internationally in Boston, Chicago, Frankfurt, London, New York, and Toronto
  • 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 #76

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.

On April 10, 2015, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion on neoliberalism and the Left featuring Walter Benn Michaels, author of The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality; Toby Chow, an organizer with Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) and The People’s Lobby; Margaret Power, author of Right-Wing Women in Chile: Feminine Power and the Struggle Against Allende, 1964–1973; and Donald Parkinson, a founding member of the Communist League of Tampa. The discussion was introduced and moderated by Pamela Nogales of the Platypus Affiliated Society.
The Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion on the politics of anti-racism and the American left on April 11, 2015 in Chicago. The speakers were Toby Chow, an organizer with Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) and The People’s Lobby; Brandon Johnson, an organizer for Chicago Teachers Union (CTU); August Nimtz, author of Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917 (2014); and Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era (1999).
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.