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Los Angeles Short course in Platypus

What is the "Left"? Why does it matter? Should we be on it?

In the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels observed, in the Communist Manifesto, that a specter was haunting Europe, the specter of Communism. A century and a half later, it is Marxism itself that continues to haunt the Left, while capitalism remains.

What does it mean that Marx and Marxism still appeal, while political movements for socialism are weak or non- existent? What were Marxism's original points of departure for considering radical possibilities for freedom that might still speak to the present?

This four-week reading series is designed to create discussion about the history of "Left" politics and what those politics mean, both historically and contemporaneously.


Tuesdays 7:00 -9:00 p.m.
The Library On Broadway
3418 E Broadway
Long Beach, California 90803


Week 1: Nov. 14, 2017

• Max Horkheimer, “The little man and the philosophy of freedom” (pp. 50–52 from selections from Dämmerung,1926–31)
• Louis Menandon Marx and Engels as philosophes of a Second Enlightenment
• Karl Marxon “becoming” (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 2: Nov. 21, 2017

• Chris Cutrone“Capital in history” (2008)
Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
+ video of Communist University 2011 London presentation
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
• Cutrone“Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today” (2012)


Week 3: Nov. 28, 2017

• Leszek Kolakowski“The concept of the Left” (1968)
• MarxFor the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843)


Week 4: Dec. 4, 2017

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
• Cutrone“The Marxist hypothesis” (2010)

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