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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category 2018

A short interview conducted by Dane Thomas with Robert Pippin on February 21st, 2018. It was aired as part of a larger show on WHPK on February 22nd. 

Robert Pippin is a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, noted for his scholarship on Hegel. His 1989 book Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness was a major contribution to Hegel studies.

Teach-in by Boris Kagarlitzky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements) on the first year of Trump. Held February 18, 2018 from 13:00-14:30 in RHB 137a of Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Jerzy Sobotta.

Held on February 18, 2018 from 18:00-20:00 in RHB 137a at Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Pam Nogales.

Speakers:

Boris Kagarlitsky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements)
Alex Demirovic (University of Frankfurt; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
Mark Osbourn (Alliance for Workers Liberty)
Hillel Ticktin (University of Glasgow; Founding Editor, Critique)

Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Platypus)

Description:

The recent polarisation of politics, in the UK manifested around Corbyn and Brexit, has led some commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. This undetermined moment has been welcomed variously as a potential opening for emancipatory politics, political engagement and a renewed imagination of 'socialism'. For others, it has been received with belligerence, as a turn toward a new, populist right. This panel discussion aims to clarify the range of Left perspectives on the question of the future of socialism today.

Questions:

  1. Are we in a moment of stability or instability? How so? Can we talk, as CNN notes, of an upset equilibrium in the world? (CNN: “The Trump effect could be all the more pronounced because the political
    equilibrium of much of the world has been upset, straining institutions and assumptions in international relations that have endured for decades. To judge how much has changed, and why the prospects of 2017 look so uncertain, it's worth looking back a year.”)
  2. Is there a “re-politicisation of public life … reviving a culture of political participation and democratic debate”? If so, what kind of politics are emerging in this moment?
  3. Does the success of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders constitute a resurgence of socialists politics today? What is the character of these socialist politics?
  4. Do you see a future for socialist politics? In what way would this be a break from the history of previous attempts at socialism, for example the anti-war movement and the New Left? What are the political tasks socialists must face today?
  5. Do we still need the dictatorship of the proletariat? Why or why not?

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism


 required / + recommended reading


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


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


 


Winter 2018

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

Week 10. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Jan. 10, 2018

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

+ Commodity form chart of terms

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 11. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Jan. 17, 2018

 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 | Jan. 24, 2018

 Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ 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 2018

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

Week 13. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 31, 2018

• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915)
• J. P. Nettl, “The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)


Week 14. Reform or revolution? | Feb. 7, 2018

 Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution? (1900/08)
+ Eugene Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)


Week 15. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 14, 2018

 Spartacist League, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)


Week 16. What is to be done? | Feb. 21, 2018

• V. I. Lenin, What is to be Done? (1902)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 17. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 28, 2018

 Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)
+ Luxemburg, "Blanquism and Social Democracy" (1906)


Week 18. Permanent revolution | Mar. 7, 2018

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


Week 19. State and revolution | Mar. 14, 2018

 Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)


Week 20. Imperialism | Mar. 21, 2018

 Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)
+ Lenin, Socialism and War Ch. 1 The principles of socialism and the War of 1914–15 (1915)


Week 21. Mar. 28, 2018 (spring break)


Week 22. Failure of the revolution | April 4, 2018

 Luxemburg, “What does the Spartacus League Want?” (1918)
 Luxemburg, “On the Spartacus Programme” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, "German Bolshevism" (AKA "The Socialisation of Society") (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “The Russian Tragedy” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
+ Eugene Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)


Week 23. Apr. 11, 2018 [Platypus international convention]


Week 24. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 18, 2018

 Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)
+ Lenin, "Notes of a Publicist" (1922)


Week 25. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 25, 2018

 Lukács, “The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.org: section 1 section 2 section 3
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 26. Lessons of October | May 2, 2018

 Trotsky, The Lessons of October (1924) [PDF] + Trotsky, "Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)


Week 27. Trotskyism | May 9, 2018

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
 Trotsky, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (1938)
+ Trotsky, "Trade unions in the epoch of imperialist decay" (1940)
+ Trotsky, Letter to James Cannon (September 12, 1939)


Week 28. The authoritarian state | May 16, 2018

• Friedrich Pollock, "State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" (1941) (note 32 on USSR)
• Max Horkheimer, "The Authoritarian State" (1942)


Week 29. On the concept of history | May 23, 2018

• epigraphs by Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson) and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche) on the modern concept of history
+ Charles Baudelaire, from Fusées [Rockets] (1867)
+ Bertolt Brecht, "To posterity" (1939)
+ Walter Benjamin, "To the planetarium" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
+ Benjamin, "Experience and poverty" (1933)
+ Benjamin, Theologico-political fragment (1921/39?)
 Benjamin, "On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF] • Benjamin, Paralipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 30. Reflections on Marxism | May 30, 2018

• Theodor Adorno, “Reflections on Class Theory” (1942)
 Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, Dedication, "Bequest", "Warning: Not to be Misused" and "Finale", Minima Moralia (1944–47)
+ Horkheimer and Adorno, "Discussion about Theory and Praxis" (AKA "Towards a New Manifesto?") [Deutsch] (1956)


Week 31. Theory and practice | Jun. 6, 2018

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
 Adorno, “Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
 Adorno, “Resignation” (1969)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, “Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?” (AKA “Is Marx Obsolete?”) (1968)
+ Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)
+ Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)

Held 17 February 2018 from 14:00 -16:00 in RHB 137a of Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Erin Hagood.

Speakers:

Roxanne Baker (International Bolshevik Tendency)
Judith Shapiro (London School of Economics)
Sarah McDonald (Communist Party of Great Britain; Weekly Worker)

Event Description

Feminism and the women's question has continually played an important role in the history of the Left. This workshop seeks to bring together feminists of different generations to discuss the changing meaning of the relationship between feminism and socialism, in order to begin to talk about what the struggle for women’s liberation might mean politically in the future.

Questions for panelists

  1. What is feminism? What is the struggle for women's emancipation?
  2. How should we interpret the greater separation of mainstream feminism from socialist politics and from Marxist politics over the 20th century?
  3. What is the relationship between the fight for women's freedom and the project of human emancipation?
  4. What do the seeming advancements and successes of feminism in recent decades tell us when considered in relation to the failure of the proletarian struggle?