Teach-in at Aarhus by Platypus member Victor Cova.
The contemporary left seems weaker than ever. Compared to the uprisings of the 1960s, to say nothing of the world revolution of the 1920s, the events that followed the 2008 crisis (#Occupy, Arab revolutions, Movement of the Squares, Black Lives Matter...) were nothing short of disappointing. Marxism had inspired many of these earlier revolutionary attempts, but now seems hopelessly obscure. Where left-wing movements continue to talk about "capitalism", "class", and "revolution", it is rarely clear what they mean by these words.
What is capitalism? What is capital? Why did Marx write a critique of political economy? How did this contribute to a world revolutionary movement? What has the failure of this world revolution meant for the Left? Is Marxism about revealing relations of domination that are concealed by ideology?
Sarah Henderson - Author of Building Democracy in Contemporary Russia
Adam Lunceford - Heart of the Valley Democratic Socialists of America
GL Morrison - Oregon Communist Party
William Smaldone - Author of European Socialism: A Concise History
1989 is largely remembered as a decisive close to the Cold War contest between communism and capitalism—with the victory of the latter casting a seemingly damning verdict against Marxism as a form of politics. The planned economies based on collectivized property of these states were indicted as failures, and their totalitarian regimes called into question the very notion of working class rule. The fall of communism thus profoundly affected the Left’s ability to imagine the overcoming of capitalism, and the possibility of a classless society beyond it. But in passing into history, the meaning of 1989 can also be reconsidered. The panel will use this anniversary to reassess the question of how 1989 weighs on the present. What is the significance of 1989 in its historical context, and what is its relevance for Left politics today?
Teach-in, veranstaltet von der Platypus Affiliated Society im Café C.I. - Club International in Wien am 11. Oktober 2019.
„In den 1980er Jahren verabschiedete sich eine ganze Generation Intellektueller im Zeichen der Postmoderne von jeglicher Utopie. Doch bereits zuvor war die Neue Linke in den 60er und 70er Jahren mit ihrer Rückkehr zu Marx gescheitert. Aus Sicht von Althusser inszenierten die Studenten weltweit 1968 eine „ideologische Revolte“. Sie revolutionierten den kulturellen Überbau, aber nicht die sozialen und politischen Verhältnisse. Er bemerkte damit das Ende der Neuen Linken, die sich dafür entschied, Politik gegen Protest einzutauschen. Das politische Scheitern der Neuen Linken 1968 ebnete sowohl der Post-Moderne als auch dem Post-Marxismus den Weg. Ihre historischen und intellektuellen Ursprünge kreuzen sich.“