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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category 2017
In contrast to what the liberal doxa would like us to believe, Donald Trump’s victory should not be underestimated on account of the billionaire’s failure to win the popular vote. Trump’s victory should not be thought a surprise, either. It reflects a "structural" tendency of growing political polarization within Western societies over the past four decades. The extremes have been, on the one hand, the multi-cultural or "identity" liberalism/leftism with its origins in the social movements of the 60s, and, on the other hand, right-wing populism’s embrace of irrationality as a response to the excesses of the former.
On January 23, two days after his inauguration, President Trump issued a draft order for visa reform proposing to regulate the H-1B visa, which among other things, allows CEOs in Silicon Valley to hire high-skilled foreign-national engineers who work for less in exchange for visas. This reform could increase wages down the line;


Recommended winter break preliminary readings:

+ Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
+ 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)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)
+ 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

Film screenings: January 2017

Week 13. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 30, 2017

Week 14. Reform or revolution? | Feb. 6, 2017

Week 15. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 13, 2017

Week 16. What is to be done? | Feb. 20, 2017

Week 17. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 27, 2017

Week 18. Permanent revolution | Mar. 6, 2017

  • Leon TrotskyResults and Prospects(1906)
  • + Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism /Trotsky for Beginners (1980)

Week 19. State and revolution | Mar. 13, 2017

Week 20. Imperialism | Mar. 20, 2017

Week 21. Mar. 27, 2017 (spring break)

Week 22. Failure of the revolution | Apr. 3, 2017

Week 23. Apr. 10, 2017 [Platypus international convention]

Week 24. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 17, 2017

Week 25. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 24, 2017

Week 26. Lessons of October | Apr. 29, 2017

Week 27. Trotskyism | May 1, 2017

Week 28. The authoritarian state | May 8, 2017

Week 29. On the concept of history | May 15, 2017

Week 30. Reflections on Marxism | May 22, 2017

Week 31. Theory and practice | Jun. 29, 2017

In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit zwischen Winter- und Sommersemester 2017 möchten wir uns mit dem Verhältnis von Kunst und Politik auseinandersetzen.

On November 7, 2016, the eve of the U.S. presidential election, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion entitled “Immigration and the Left” at the University of Illinois at Chicago [UIC]. Moderated by Joseph Estes of Platypus, the event posed three questions to the panelists: How has the Left approached the question of immigration historically? What opportunities exist in the immigrants’ rights movement today for a renewed emancipatory politics? What role can left-wing civil and political organizations play in immigration politics? Three speakers addressed these questions: Jorge Mujica, seasoned activist and the Strategic Campaigns Organizer for Arise Chicago; Ralph Cintron, professor of English and Latino and Latin American Studies at UIC; and Jacqueline Stevens, professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. What follows is an edited transcript of their discussion.