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On April 1st, 2016, during its eighth international convention in Chicago, Illinois, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion entitled, “What is socialism? International social democracy.” The panelists were Bernard Sampson, a member of the CPUSA and a precinct chair in Houston, Texas, for the Democratic Party; Karl Belin, a socialist worker, writer, and member of the Pittsburgh Socialist Organizing Committee; Jack Ross, a freelance editor and historian, and author of The Socialist Party of America: A Complete History (2015); and Chris Cutrone, president of the Platypus Affiliated Society.

Against the backdrop of the numerous discussions of the political agenda, appearance, and vocabulary of the candidates running in the American presidential election, there is almost no demand for one subject: What is the class nature and mass social base of each politician?

In April, the Platypus Affiliated Society held its Eighth Annual International Convention, based on the question, “What is socialism?” On April 2, 2016, Platypus held the convention’s closing plenary, “The Death of Social Democracy,” a discussion and Q&A moderated by Pam Nogales of Platypus, with the following panelists: Jason Schulman of the Democratic Socialists of America; Christoph Lichtenberg of the International Bolshevik Tendency; Brian Tokar, former director and current board member of the Institute for Social Ecology; and William Pelz, director of the Institute of Working Class History. What follows is an edited transcript of this event.

Bruce E. Parry

The role of revolutionaries is to lead the working class. To follow the ruling class is not to lead but to tail after its leaders. Through this strategy, the CPUSA has discouraged and prevented the political independence of the working class since the 1980s.

On June 8, the London chapter of the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel on the topic“Left Exit or No Brexit?” at the London School of Economics. The panel brought together Neil Davenport , Mike Macnair, and Gerry Downing , and was moderated by Ninad Pandit of the Platypus Affiliated Society.

Das Verhältnis der Kritischen Theorie zur historischen sozialistischen Bewegung war schon für die Gründungsgeneration von zunehmender Distanzierung geprägt. Die beiden Nachfolgegenerationen haben den Abstand noch einmal vergrößert. Sie sind dabei in den Verdacht geraten, die Paradoxien kapitalistischer Vergesellschaftung zwar aufklären zu können, doch letztlich für unauflöslich zu halten. In den Grenzen einer „ideen-“ bzw. „metapolitischen“, d.h. sich vom unmittelbaren Praxisbezug freihaltenden Intervention versucht Axel Honneths jüngstes Buch hier eine Klarstellung: Kritische Theorie bleibt auch in ihrer kommunikations-, anerkennungs- und folglich freiheitstheoretischen Prägung eine Theorie des immer noch möglichen Übergangs zu einer sozialistischen Gesellschaft.

Am 11.06.2014 veranstaltete Platypus an der Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main eine Podiumsdiskussion mit dem Titel „Was war neu an der ‚Neuen Linken‘?“. Teilgenommen haben: Detlef zum Winkel (freier Journalist), Alex Demirović (damals Goethe-Universität) und Stefan Eggerdinger (Arbeiterbund für den Wiederaufbau der KPD). Es folgt ein gekürztes und überarbeitetes Transkript der Veranstaltung.

In one of her earliest interventions in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), participating in the notorious theoretical “Revisionist Dispute,” in which Eduard Bernstein infamously stated that “the movement is everything, the goal nothing,” the 27 year-old Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919) clearly enunciated her Marxism: “It is the final goal alone which constitutes the spirit and the content of our socialist struggle, which turns it into a class struggle.”

On April 2, 2016, during its eighth international convention in Chicago, Illinois, Platypus brought together Jason Schulman of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Bernard Sampson of the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), to discuss how the electoral campaign of Bernie Sanders matters for the Left.