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You are here: Platypus /MIT reading group

MIT reading group

Platypus chapter at MIT meets Sundays
For more information contact laurasch@mit.edu


[PDF of 2008-2009 scheduled readings]

January 25, 2009

What is "revolutionary leadership?"

· Cliff Slaughter, "What is Revolutionary Leadership?" (1960)

· Rosa Luxemburg, "The Crisis of German Social Democracy" Part 1 (1915) [PDF]

February 1, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (1)

· J. P. Nettl, "The German Social Democratic Party 1890-1914 as a Political Model" (1965)

February 8, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (2)

· Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution? (1900/08)

February 15, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (3)

· Karl Korsch, "Marxism and Philosophy" (1923)

Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)

February 22, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (4)

V. I. Lenin, "Where to Begin?" (1901)

· V. I. Lenin, What is to be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement (1902) [PDF]
[in Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Lenin Anthology, 12-114]

March 1, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (5)

· Spartacist League, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (pamphlet 1978)

Kautskyism and the Origins of Russian Social Democracy

Bolshevism vs. Menshevism: the 1903 Split

The 1905 Revolution

Party, Faction and "Freedom of criticism"

In Defense of Democratic Centralism:
A 1973 speech by James Robertson to the West German Spartacus (Bolschewiki-Leninisten)

The Struggle Against the Boycotters

The Final Split with the Mensheviks

Toward the Communist International

[recommended background reading:]
Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)

March 8, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (6)

· Georg Lukács, "Preface" [original, 1922], History and Class Consciousness, xli-xlvii

· Georg Lukács, "What is Orthodox Marxism?" (1919), History and Class Consciousness, 1-26

· Georg Lukács, "Class Consciousness" (1920), History and Class Consciousness, 46-82

March 15, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (7) 1905

· Leon Trotsky, Results and Prospects (1906)

[recommended background reading:]
Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)

March 22, 2009

Optional session: Revolutionary Marxism 1905 (2)

· Rosa Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)

March 29, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (8)

· V. I. Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)

April 5, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (9) 1917-19 (1)

· Rosa Luxemburg, "What does the Spartacus League Want?" and "On the Spartacus Programme" (1918)

[recommended background reading:]
Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918-19 (1968)

April 12, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (10)

· V. I. Lenin, "Left-Wing" Communism — An Infantile Disorder (1920)

April 19, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (11)

· Georg Lukács, "The Standpoint of the Proletariat" [HTML sections 1-2] [sections 3-4] [sections 5-6] (Part III of "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat," 1923), History and Class Consciousness, 149-222

April 26, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (12) 1917-19 (2)

· Leon Trotsky, The Lessons of October (1924) [HTML]

Rosa Luxemburg, "The Russian Tragedy" (1918)

Rosa Luxemburg, "Order Reigns in Berlin" (1919)

May 3, 2009

Revolutionary Marxism (13)

· Leon Trotsky, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (AKA "Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution") (1938) [HTML]

May 10, 2009

Theory and practice (1)

· Theodor W. Adorno, "Reflections on Class Theory" (1942)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1847-48, Prefaces to various language editions, I. "Bourgeois and Proletarians," II. "Proletarians and Communists," and IV. "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties" [PDF])
[in Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader, 469-491, and 499-500]

May 17, 2009

Theory and practice (2)

· Theodor W. Adorno, "Marginalia to Theory and Praxis" (1969)

· Theodor W. Adorno, "Resignation" (1969)

Theodor W. Adorno, "Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?" (AKA "Is Marx Obsolete?," 1968)

Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)

Theodor W. Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)

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