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  • 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 #77 is out!

    Transcripts of panels on "Democracy and the Left" (April 11, Chicago) and "1989 and its significance for the Left" (February 6, Frankfurt).
  • 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 #77

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 11, 2015, The Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion on democracy and the Left at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the seventh annual Platypus International Convention. In conversation were Mike Macnair, member of the Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and author of numerous works including Revolutionary Strategy (2008); August Nimtz, author of numerous works including Marx and Engels: Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough (2000); Aaron Smeaton, a member of the International Communist Tendency and a contributor to leftcom.org; and Peter Staudenmaier, teacher at the Institute for Social Ecology, and veteran of anarchist, environmentalist, and anti-capitalist movements.
On February 6, 2015 the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main on the subject of 1989 and its significance for the Left. The event’s speakers were Gerd Bedszent, a former member of the East German [GDR] opposition group Initiative für eine Vereinigte Linke [United Left] and presently of the Exit! group; Patrick Köbele, chairman of the German Communist Party; and Stefan Bollinger, author of 1989—Eine Abgebrochene Revolution (1999) and a member of Die Linke’s Historical Commission.
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.