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  • Platypus Review #89 is out!

    The Platypus Review #89 is now out. Read Boris Kagarlitsky discussing Bernie Sanders' capitulation to the Democratic Party, a transcript of our panel event on the Left and the EU, and Chris Cutrone asking Why not Trump?
  • 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.
  • 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 #89

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.

If one blows all the smoke away, one is left with the obvious question: Why not Trump? Trump is opposed by virtually the entire mainstream political establishment, Republican and Democrat, and by the entire mainstream news media, conservative and liberal alike. And yet he could win. That says something. It says that there is something there.
The U.S. Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia ended with a big schism that divides not only the supporters of Hillary Clinton from her opponents, but also Bernie Sanders from the movement he led until not very long ago. The senator from Vermont who attracted thousands across America to his rallies and ignited them with his speeches looked helpless—even ridiculous—in Philadelphia. In a matter of seconds, his speech endorsing Hillary turned a charismatic leader who embodied the hopes of millions into a pathetic old man who does not understand what is happening around him.
One November 7th, 2015, at its Second Annual European Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel addressing the topic “What is the European Union and should we be against it?” The discussion was moderated by Thodoris Velissaris and included the following panelists: Juan Roch, a member of the Spanish political party Podemos; Jens Wissel, a founding member of the Assoziation für Kritische Gesellschaftsforschung and author of Staatsprojekt EUropa: Grundzüge einer materialistischen Theorie der Europäischen Union; Nikos Nikisianis, a member of DIKTYO (Network for Political and Social Rights) in Greece, an affiliate of SYRIZA until July 2015; and Martin Suchanek, a member of Gruppe Arbeitermacht, the German section of the League for the Fifth International, and the editor of its theoretical journal Revolutionärer Marxismus. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.
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.