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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category 2022
Book review: Alex Hochuli, George Hoare, and Philip Cunliffe, The End of the End of History: Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Winchester, UK: Zero Books, 2021).
anel and roughly a decade before D. L. Jacobs. Like many active members at the time, regardless of our age, there was a great sympathy to Michael Harrington and the other DSA founders, especially about the strategy of realignment to shift the Democratic Party to the Left.
e 11th Annual Convention of the Platypus Affiliated Society at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to discuss the Chicago mayoral election and the politics of the DSA. What follows is an edited transcript of their discussion and the Q&A that followed.
he Italian Communist Party’s (PCI), the Eurocommunist, and then the academic): hegemony and war of position.

A series of 8 sessions introducing Platypus’s approach to the history of Marxism.


• required / + recommended [ / ++ supplemental ] readings

Essential background reading:

• Leszek Kolakowski, “The Concept of the Left


+ 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
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889-1914 (1966)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918-19 (1968)



Week 1

• Marx and Friedrich Engelsselections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469-500
• MarxTo make the world philosophical (from Marx’s dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
• MarxFor the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15


Week 2

• Screening: Margarethe von Trotta, dir., Rosa Luxemburg (1986 film)
• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915), and “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
• J. P. Nettl“The German Social Democratic Party 1890-1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
[ ++ James Joll, The Second International 1889-1914 (1966) ]


Week 3

• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)


Week 4

• Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate A&ZIntroducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 5

• Spartacist LeagueLenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)


Week 6

• Luxemburg“The Russian Tragedy” (1918), “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
[ ++ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918-19 (1968) ]


Week 7

• Tariq Ali and Phil EvansIntroducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)


Week 8

• 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, "Fire alarm" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
[JPG] [PDF]
+ Benjamin, "Experience and poverty" (1933)
+ Benjamin, Theologico-political fragment (1921/39?)
+ Benjamin on history chart of terms
Benjamin, "On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF]
Benjamin, Paralipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Benjamin, Arcades Project Convolute N, "On the theory of knowledge, theory of progress" (see especially p. 471 [N8,1] on Horkheimer on unredeemablility of past suffering)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms