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Few figures, excepting perhaps Adam Smith,[1] have received such scorn from the Left as has Nietzsche. The philosopher of ice and high mountains has all too assiduously been banished to the depths of rightwing reaction or derided as a brief flirtation only fit for male teenage angst.
On April 5th, 2019 at the University of Chicago, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a conversation, moderated by Pam Nogales, on the legacy of 1989 at its 11th annual international convention. What follows is an edited transcript of the discussion.
A FALSE REASSURANCE EXISTS AROUND THE YEAR OF 1917, equally for those who treat its legacy as a model and those who treat it as a question that has yet to be answered. As Rosa Luxemburg put it: the October Revolution posed a question that couldn’t be answered in Russia.
On September 26, 2019, Matt Cavagrotti and Spencer A. Leonard of the Platypus Affiliated Society conducted an interview via email with Dan La Botz, a longtime labor union activist and the author of A Troublemaker’s Handbook: How to Fight Back Where You Work — And Win! (1991), Rank-and-File Rebellion: Teamsters for a Democratic Union (1991), and What Went Wrong? the Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis (2016). What follows is a transcript of their exchange.
WHEN CAPITALISM IS IDENTIFIED AS THE PRIMARY ILL facing society, the search for a time for it to be undone, exceeded or simply left behind, is inevitable. The idea of ‘no exit’ evokes a present that is both totalizing and enclosed, a kind of hall of mirrors found in classic horror films. Whichever way you turn, there is continuous multiplication, whether of space, objects or people. Without a potential escape, the critique of capitalism seems an argument without a conclusion.