On October 24, 2018, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion on 50 years of 1968 at Berkeley City Community College. The discussion was moderated by Audrey Crescenti.
For half a century, 1968 has represented a high-water mark of social and political transformation, a year of social upheaval that spanned the entire globe. Ushered in by a New Left that sought to distinguish itself from the Old Left that emerged in the 1920s and ’30s, the monumental events of 1968 set the tone for everything from protest politics to academic leftism.
Today, with the U.S. entangled in a seemingly endless war in Asia and people calling for the impeachment of an unpopular president, with activists fighting in the streets and calling for liberation along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality, the Left’s every attempt to discover new methods and new ideas seems to invoke a memory of the political horizons of 1968. We can perhaps more than ever feel the urgency of the question, What lessons are to be drawn from the New Left, as another generation undertakes the project of building a left for the 21st century?
- Bobby Seale (Black Panther Party)
- Max Elbaum (Students for a Democratic Society)
- Watson Ladd (Platypus Affiliated Society)
Towards a Newer Avant-Garde presents: "To a Woman Passing By"
Friday, September 21st, 2018 (Obst, 1801 s Peoria)
To a woman passing by,
I have watched you on the street, placing foot in front of foot, darting through the mass of God’s hellish creation. I have been irreparably struck by your image, which is always departing from my view. With the abandon of your steps, you have won my admiration. I love you for your grace because your walk is so unloving and your movement so unending. I love you for your presence because your sight vaporizes and your gaze unnerves.I love you for the indifferences you cast and the interest you represent. I love you for your taste because it ruthlessly discards whatever cannot last, for you have shown me that the ever-new remains the same old thing. But most of all, I love the cloudy dreams your profanity inspires. Your’s is a rejuvenating sight, and for that I dedicate these works, my first efforts in your name.
The softness that fascinates, the pleasure that kills!
I may be an incomplete man, but I am very passionate.
Exhibiting Artists |
Tatyana Skalany, Anthony Gonzalez, Wesley Gryziak, Suzy Vogenthal, Ant Morales, Anthora Guarderas, Patrick Zapien, Erin Hagood, Stephanie Gomez
Erin Hagood, Patrick Zapien, Stephanie Gomez & Suzy Vogenthaler, insert by Wesley Gryziak
"To A Woman Passing By"
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Held October 4, 2018 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
John Abbott, Senior lecturer of history at UIC
John Bachtell, Chairman of the Communist Party USA
Fred Mecklenburg, News and Letters
David Faes, Platypus / Campaign for a Socialist Party
The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?