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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category 2019

On September 27, 2019, at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, MA, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a teach-in led by Platypus members Divya M. and Soren W. on capital in history.

What is the development of freedom in human history from the Platypus perspective?

In the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels famously observed that a "specter was haunting Europe: the specter of Communism". 170 years later, it is Marxism itself that haunts us, while capitalism remains.

What does it mean that Marx and Marxism still appeal, while political movements for socialism are weak or non-existent? What were Marxism's original points concerning radical possibilities for freedom that might still speak to the present?

Does Marxism even matter?

Friedrich Nietzsche, by Edvard Munch



28A Wilberforce Road, London, N4 2SW, United Kingdom (closest tube: Finsbury Park).

required + recommended

Winter preliminary reading

• Karl Korsch“Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

Week 1. Nietzsche I: Life in history | Dec. 28, 2019

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

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels), Karl Marxon "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on history)

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

"Revolution without Marx? Rousseau and his followers for the Left" panel at Left Forum, 6/9/13

Cutrone, Beyond history? Nietzsche, Benjamin and Adorno

Nietzsche on history chart of terms

Week 2. Nietzsche II: Asceticism of moderns | Jan. 4, 2020

• Nietzscheselection from On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

• NietzscheOn the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic (1887)

Human, All Too Human: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1999)

Week 3. Nietzsche III: Assorted articles | Jan. 11, 2020

Frankfurt School: Discussion of a Paper by Ludwig Marcuse on the Relationship of Need and Culture in Nietzsche (July 14, 1942) and its Introduction by Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School’s ‘Nietzschean Moment’

Cutrone, Ends of Philosophy

Cutrone, The future of socialism: What kind of illness is capitalism?

Sunit Singh, Nietzsche’s untimeliness

• Ethan Linehan, On the use and abuse of Nietzsche for the Left

On this episode of SPS, we discuss HBO's Euphoria, what it says about the emerging "Zoomer" culture, and whether Gen Z's cynicism should be taken for granted. Rose Freeman interviews Peter Tatchell, a human rights advocate and veteran activist of the LGBTQ movement. They discuss his experience on the left and his thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. On the second half of the episode, Pamela Nogales is joined by London Platypus members, Efraim C., Rory H., Dominic J. and fellow traveler, Rebekah P., at the London School of Economics. They discuss the latest on Brexit & the upcoming election, as well as what it means to vote Labour today.

The Platypus International Convention is on April 3-5 in Chicago. The theme is "Socialism in the 21st Century". We welcome ideas for panels! Send us your pitch to You can find audio/video record of past conventions on the Platypus website,

As always send us your questions & criticism, and if you are into the podcast, share it, & hook us up with a review.

Hosted by Pamela C. and Rose Freeman.

[archiveorg sexandtheleft2019 width=640 height=140 frameborder=0 webkitallowfullscreen=true mozallowfullscreen=true]

Panel discussion on the topic of "Sex and the Left" at the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco on 8 Dec 2019, hosted by the Platypus Affiliated Society.

Moderator: William Lushbough

- Norma Gallegos (Freedom Socialist Party [FSP] and Bay Area Radical Women in SF)
- Lew Finzel (affiliated with News and Letters in Oakland with an interest in Charles Fourier and sexual utopias)
- Audrey Crescenti (Platypus Affiliated Society)

What do we mean by a liberated sexuality? What are the bounds of sexual freedom available to us in capitalism? How do we imagine sexual liberation in socialism? Leftists have variously articulated phenomena such as same-sex marriage, sex work, abortion, gender fluidity and homosexuality as symptoms of economic austerity and/or of class privilege. How does economic life shape our imaginations of sexual freedom?

Why has the state historically intervened in private sexual life under capitalism, and under what circumstances, if any, should the Left support calls for state intervention in sexual life? Both historically and in the present, the Left has sought to lead the struggle for sexual rights within capitalism-- for same-sex marriage, abortion rights, the decriminalization of homosexuality and of sex work, etc.-- in society and/or by legislating via state power. How has the Left failed or succeeded to relate its civil-social and political efforts in the struggle for sexual liberation?

Teach-in by Efraim Carlebach of the Platypus Affiliated Society at the LSE SU Platypus Society on 5 December 2019, on the history of the Labour party and its relationship to the Left, and the December 2019 UK general election.