The 1970s are usually passed over as the decade in which the social and political upheavals of the 1960s New Left were overwhelmed by a conservative tide. What is forgotten is that the 1970s were also a time of tremendous growth on the Left, most notably in the New Communist Movement. In Quebec thousands of members joined groups intent on forming a new national Communist party. In cities like Halifax and Vancouver activists formed smaller collectives in an effort to "get serious" about their Leftism. The period marked a reconsideration of Marxism and working class politics on a scale that has not been seen since.
What is the legacy of this movement today? Why did it emerge and what lead to its stunning decline in the early 1980s? As activist prepare for the next phase of Occupy is there anything to learn from this experience?
On February 28, 2012, the radio program Radical Minds on WHPK-FM Chicago broadcast an interview with Mary Gabriel, the author of Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011). The interview was conducted by Spencer A. Leonard of the Platypus Affiliated Society.
PROMETHEUS IN DRIFT
an evening of modernist readings, featuring:
G o e t h e | H ö l d e r l i n | R e n a r d | K l e i s t | W a l s e r | V a l e r y | B e c k e t t | K a f k a | S t e v e n s | Y e s e n i n | B a u d e l a i r e | M y a k o v s k y | C e l a n
friday, 03.02, 7pm | nyu kimmel, rm 909, 60 washington sq s
if you would like to volunteer to read one of the selections or have any questions about the event, please contact email@example.com.
In the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels famously observed in the Communist Manifesto that a specter was haunting Europe: the specter of Communism. 160 years later, it is Marxism itself that haunts us.
In the 21st century, it seems that the Left abandoned Marxism as a path to freedom. But Marx critically intervened in his own moment and emboldened leftists to challenge society; is the Left not tasked with this today? Has the Left resolved the problems posed by Marx, and thus moved on?
With Platypus Affiliated Society member Chris Mansour.