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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Berlin Summer 2016: Marxism and Identity

Berlin Summer 2016: Marxism and Identity

"Marx issued the call to all the workers of the globe, regardless of race, sex, creed or any other condition whatsoever. As a social party we receive the Negro and all other races upon absolutely equal terms. We are the party of the working class, the whole working class, and we will not suffer ourselves to be divided by any specious appeal to race prejudice; and if we should be coaxed or driven from the straight road we will be lost in the wilderness and ought to perish there, for we shall no longer be a Socialist party."
-- Eugene Debs, "The Negro in the Class Struggle" (1903)

How have changes in social group identity affected the politics of capitalism and the Left's responses to it? While vulgar-propagandistic and economic-reformist Revisionist pseudo-"Marxism" appeared to reduce the problem of capitalism to exploitation -- to the neglect of other forms of social oppression -- there have been several important attempts to grasp the struggle for socialism in capitalism in broader and deeper ways, occasioned by crises that have transformed the concrete practices and lived experience of people -- for instance, as matters of gender roles, sexuality, and "racial" segregation and affinity -- as capitalism has developed and changed over the course of the past century. We will read from among the most sharply acute and incisively critical attempts by Marxists to articulate these crises of social identity as opportunities for finding how capitalism potentially points beyond itself in the struggle for socialism.

Wednesdays 8 June - 20 July, 2016, 19:00h 

Zossenerstrasse 56, eingang A, 4. Stock

Week 1: Women's Question - Wednesday 8 June

+ Quintin Hoare, "On Mitchell's 'Women: the longest revolution' " (1967)
+ Mitchell, reply to Quintin Hoare (1967)

Week 2: Women's Question and sexuality  - Wednesday 15 June

Week 3: Gay Identity and sexuality - Wednesday 22 June

Week 4: Race and the Black Question - Wednesday 29 June

Max ShachtmanCommunism and the Negro AKA Race and Revolution (1933)

Week 5: Race and the Black Question - Wednesday 6 July

Week 6: Race and the Black Question - Wednesday 13 July

Harold CruseThe Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967), [selections part 1, 3-10 and 11-63] [part 2, 451-475 and 544-565]

Week 7: Race and the Black Question - Wednesday 20 July