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You are here: Platypus /Archive for category 2012

Presentation by Platypus Affiliated Society member Thodoris Velissaris at the Finanskriseseminar conference in Karlsøya, Norway, on August 10, 2012.

Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Toronto

Saturdays 1–4PM CST

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
112 S. Michigan Ave. room 920

University of Chicago (UChicago)
Reynolds Club 5706 S. University Ave. 2nd floor South Lounge*

(* 10/6, 10/13 and 11/3 UChicago meetings in basement conference room 019)

Chicago Platypus Facebook invitation:

Saturdays 2–5PM EST

Harvard University
Emerson Hall room 318

Boston Platypus Facebook invitation:

Saturdays 2–5PM

Cafe OTO
18-22 Ashwin Street Dalston London E8 3DL

London Platypus Facebook invitation:

Sundays 2–5PM EST

New School University
Eugene Lang College
65 W. 11th St. room 258

NYC Platypus Facebook invitation:

Thursdays 6–9PM EST

University of Toronto
71 Queen’s Park Crescent, Second Floor Group Study Room

Toronto Platypus Facebook invitation:

Summer and Fall/Autumn 2012 – Winter 2013

I. What is the Left? -- What is Marxism?

required / + recommended reading

Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)

Week A. Radical bourgeois philosophy I. Rousseau: Crossroads of society | Aug. 4–5, 2012

Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.
-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by James Miller (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson), Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche)
+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)
+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)
• Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754) PDFs of preferred translation (5 parts): [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Rousseau, selection from On the Social Contract (1762)

Week B. Radical bourgeois philosophy II. Hegel: Freedom in history | Aug. 11–12, 2012

• G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831) [HTML] [PDF pp. 14-128]

Week C. Radical bourgeois philosophy III. Nietzsche (1): Life in history | Aug. 18–19, 2012

• Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (1874) [translator's introduction by Peter Preuss]

Week D. Radical bourgeois philosophy IV. Nietzsche (2): Asceticism of moderns | Aug. 25–26, 2012

+ Human, All Too Human: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1999)
Nietzsche, selection from On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic (1887)

Week E. 1960s New Left I. Neo-Marxism | Sep. 1–2, 2012 Labor Day weekend

• Martin Nicolaus, “The unknown Marx” (1968)
• Moishe Postone, “Necessity, labor, and time” (1978)
+ Postone, “History and helplessness: Mass mobilization and contemporary forms of anticapitalism” (2006)
+ Postone, “Theorizing the contemporary world: Brenner, Arrighi, Harvey” (2006)

Week F. 1960s New Left II. Gender and sexuality | Sep. 8–9, 2012

• Juliet Mitchell, “Women: The longest revolution” (1966)
• Clara Zetkin and Vladimir Lenin, “An interview on the woman question” (1920)
• Theodor W. Adorno, “Sexual taboos and the law today” (1963)
• John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and gay identity” (1983)

Week G. 1960s New Left III. Anti-black racism in the U.S. | Sep. 15–16, 2012

• Richard Fraser, “Two lectures on the black question in America and revolutionary integrationism” (1953)
• James Robertson and Shirley Stoute, “For black Trotskyism” (1963)
+ Spartacist League, “Black and red: Class struggle road to Negro freedom” (1966)
+ Bayard Rustin, “The failure of black separatism” (1970)
• Adolph Reed, “Black particularity reconsidered” (1979)
+ Reed, “Paths to Critical Theory” (1984)

Week H. Frankfurt School precursors | Sep. 22–23, 2012

• Wilhelm Reich, “Ideology as material power” (1933/46)
• Siegfried Kracauer, “The mass ornament” (1927)
+ Kracauer, “Photography” (1927)

Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Sep. 29–30, 2012

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels) and Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
• Chris Cutrone, "Capital in history" (2008)
+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Cutrone, "The Marxist hypothesis" (2010)

Week 2. What is the Left? II. Bourgeois society | Oct. 6–7, 2012

• Immanuel Kant, "Idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view" and "What is Enlightenment?" (1784)
• Benjamin Constant, "The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)
+ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the origin of inequality (1754)
+ Rousseau, selection from On the social contract (1762)

Week 3. What is the Left? III. Failure of Marxism | Oct. 13–14, 2012

• Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (1926–31)
Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)

Week 4. What is the Left? IV. Utopia and critique | Oct. 20–21, 2012

• Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15

Week 5. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Oct. 27–28, 2012

Marx, selections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101
Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469-500
Marx, Address to the Central Committee of the Communist League (1850), pp. 501–511

Week 6. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 3–4, 2012

Engels, The tactics of social democracy (Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx, The Class Struggles in France), pp. 556–573
Marx, selections from The Class Struggles in France 1848–50 (1850), pp. 586–593
Marx, selections from The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), pp. 594–617

Week 7. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 10–11, 2012

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)
Marx, Inaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519
Marx, selections from The Civil War in France (1871, including Engels's 1891 Introduction), pp. 618–652
+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)
Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541
Marx, Programme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)

Week 8. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 17–18, 2012

Marx, selections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 282–294
Marx, Capital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 "The fetishism of commodities" (1867), pp. 319–329

Week 9. Nov. 24–25, 2012 Thanksgiving break

Winter break readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)
+ Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (1940), Part II. Ch. (1–4,) 5–10, 12–16; Part III. Ch. 1–6
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)

Week 10. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Dec. 1–2, 2012

• Georg Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)

Week 11. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 8–9, 2012 / Jan. 12–13, 2013

Lukács, Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), “Class Consciousness” (1920), History and Class Consciousness (1923)
+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302

Week 12. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Dec. 15–16, 2012 / Jan. 19–20, 2013

Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)
+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15
+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145

Winter–Spring 2013

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

Richard Rubin
Lecture 7:

Part of the Summer 2012 Platypus Affiliated Society Primary Reading Group Lecture Series: Trotsky and Trotskyism

• recommended / + supplemental reading

Week 7 Readings:

+ Cornelius Castoriadis, “The workers and organization” (1959)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is revolutionary leadership?” (1960)
• Revolutionary Tendency of the Socialist Workers Party/U.S., “In defense of a revolutionary perspective” (1962)
+ Tony Cliff, “The coming Russian revolution” (final chapter of Russia: A Marxist Analysis, 1964)
+ Hal Draper, “The two souls of socialism” (1966)
+ Isaac Deutscher, “Marxism in our time” (1965)
+ Murray Bookchin, “Listen, Marxist!” (1969)
• Spartacist League, “Genesis of Pabloism” (1972)

Richard Rubin
Lecture 6

Part of the Summer 2012 Platypus Affiliated Society Primary Reading Group Lecture Series: Trotsky and Trotskyism

• recommended / + supplemental reading

Week Six Readings:
+ James Cannon, “The coming American revolution” (1946)
+ C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, et al., “Program of the minority tendency of the Workers Party/U.S.” (1946)
+ C.L.R. James, “Dialectical materialism and the fate of humanity” (1947)
+ Herbert Marcuse, “33 Theses” (1947)
+ Earl Browder and Max Shachtman with C. Wright Mills, “Is Russia a socialist community?” (1950)
+ Ernest Mandel, “The theory of ‘state capitalism’” (1951)
+ Michel Pablo, “On the duration and the nature of the period of transition from capitalism to socialism” (1951)
+ Pablo, “Where are we going?” (1953)

On July 17, 2012, Platypus Affiliated Society member Brian Hioe gave a teach-in entitled "What is the Occupy Movement? in Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan.