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You are here: Platypus /Archive for category 2019
On September 26, 2019, Matt Cavagrotti and Spencer A. Leonard of the Platypus Affiliated Society conducted an interview via email with Dan La Botz, a longtime labor union activist and the author of A Troublemaker’s Handbook: How to Fight Back Where You Work — And Win! (1991), Rank-and-File Rebellion: Teamsters for a Democratic Union (1991), and What Went Wrong? the Nicaraguan Revolution: A Marxist Analysis (2016). What follows is a transcript of their exchange.
WHEN CAPITALISM IS IDENTIFIED AS THE PRIMARY ILL facing society, the search for a time for it to be undone, exceeded or simply left behind, is inevitable. The idea of ‘no exit’ evokes a present that is both totalizing and enclosed, a kind of hall of mirrors found in classic horror films. Whichever way you turn, there is continuous multiplication, whether of space, objects or people. Without a potential escape, the critique of capitalism seems an argument without a conclusion.
On October 2, 2019, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion, Freedom in the Anthropocene, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Speaking at the event were Ashik Siddique (Democratic Socialists of America), Ethan Wright (Zero Hour), Mike Golash (Progressive Labor Party), and Wyatt Verlen (Platypus Affiliated Society). The panel was moderated by Ethan Linehan.
ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITALISM, WHICH HAD LONG BEEN DORMANT after the collapse of the Soviet Union, are now everywhere enjoying a resurgence. Extinction rebellions, black blocs and cooperatives everywhere are on the ascent, resisting neoliberal attacks on the poor with as much vigor as they resist those on the environment.
IN A SERVICE ECONOMY, where most workers are readily replaceable or completely superfluous, the old idea of wage claims arbitrated through the state is an increasingly hopeless proposition. The labor theory of value still holds but wages are artificially propped up, within definite limits,[1] to maintain the consumption of commodities, especially the consumption by the capitalist class of the wealth creating commodity labor-power (we need jobs and any jobs will do).