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Platypus Affiliated Society member Chris Cutrone on RT's Crosstalk, hosted by Peter Lavelle, on the global economic crisis.

“The IMF has released a report that predicts the hoped-for global economic growth is again endangered. Why is this happening? Why has the Great Recession come back so early? Did it ever end? Has austerity made things worse? And is there a way to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ issue in Washington? CrossTalking with Seijiro Takeshita (Mizuho International, London), Martin Hennecke (Tyche Group, Hong Kong) and Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute of Chicago).” The impasse of policy, stimulus vs. austerity, and the question of different models for capitalism and the need for socialism.

Sunday, May 20th, Platypus is meeting up at 11 am at Cafe Baci (20 N. Michigan) 1 hour before the beginning of the march to get organized, distribute signs and fliers. We are going to leave Baci at 11:30 to walk over to the rally at Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park

Platypus International Convention 2012

The 1990s-2000s: combined legacies of the recent history of the Left for today. 

The two decades of the 1990s 2000s form a cycle containing certain common as well as differing concerns. The second decade of the 21st century has begun under the mixed legacy of recent history, presenting important problems needing to be worked through, moving forward.

For Platypus’ 2012 international convention, two plenary panels will ask speakers from various perspectives to bring their experience of the Left’s recent history to bear on today’s political possibilities and challenges.

Registration $20
To register visit:



Friday, March 30 

Workshops: Differing Perspectives on the Left (2:30-5:30pm)

Opening Plenary: The ‘90s Left Today (7:00-9:00pm)

Saturday, March 31

Workshops: Differing Perspectives on the Left (10:00am-12:00pm)

Panel discussions: Lessons from the recent history of the Left (1:00pm-4:30pm)
- Panel 1: Defining Democracy: the Labor Movement and #Occupy
- Panel 2: Changes in Art and Society: A view from the present
- Panel 3: Politicizing G8 and NATO: Rulers, Domination, and Emancipation
- Panel 4: Whence Anarchism? The historical conjuncture of #Occupy

Closing Plenary: The ‘00s Left Today (7:30-9:30pm)

Sunday, April 1 

Platypus Plenary: Why I joined Platypus (11:00am-12:30pm)

Platypus President's Report: 1873-1973: The century of Marxism (1-1:30pm)


Live broadcast:

Saturday, December 17, 2011
9AM U.S./Canada PST / 10AM MST / 11AM CST / 12PM EST;
and 17:00 London / 18:00 Frankfurt and Berlin /
19:00 Thessaloniki / 22:30 Delhi / 02:00 Seoul

If you are in Chicago:
Saturday, 11am | 17 December 2011 |School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 S. Michigan Ave. room 919

Please join Platypus for a brief introduction to and discussion about the relevance of Lenin today, in anticipation of our Winter-Spring 2012 primary Marxist reading group, on the history of revolutionary Marxism, centered on the writings of Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky, and Adorno.

The Encyclopedia Britannica's entry on Lenin states that,

"If the Bolshevik Revolution is -- as some people have called it -- the most significant political event of the 20th century, then Lenin must for good or ill be considered the century's most significant political leader. Not only in the scholarly circles of the former Soviet Union, but even among many non-Communist scholars, he has been regarded as both the greatest revolutionary leader and revolutionary statesman in history, as well as the greatest revolutionary thinker since Marx."

Lenin is the most controversial figure in the history of Marxism, and perhaps one of the most controversial figures in all of history. As such, he is an impossible figure for sober consideration, without polemic. Nevertheless, it has become impossible, also, after Lenin, to consider Marxism without reference to him. Broadly, Marxism is divided into avowedly "Leninist" and "anti-Leninist" tendencies. In what ways was Lenin either an advance or a calamity for Marxism? But there is another way of approaching Lenin, which is as an expression of the historical crisis of Marxism. In other words, Lenin as a historical figure is unavoidably significant as manifesting a crisis of Marxism. The question is how Lenin provided the basis for advancing that crisis, how the polarization around Lenin could provide the basis for advancing the potential transformation of Marxism, in terms of resolving certain problems.

The Frankfurt School Critical Theorist Theodor Adorno, in his 1966 book Negative Dialectics, wrote of the degeneration of Marxism due to "dogmatization and thought-taboos." There is no other figure in the history of Marxism who has been subject to such "dogmatization and thought-taboos" as much as Lenin.

It is important to note as well that Adorno himself sought to remain, as he put it, "faithful to Marx, Engels and Lenin, while keeping up with culture at its most advanced," to which his colleague Max Horkheimer replied, simply, "Who would not subscribe to that?"

Today, such a proposition seems especially implausible, in many ways. Yet perhaps the memory of Lenin haunts us still, however obscurely.

The discussion will be broadcast live on the web. Additionally, a recording will be made available after the event.

Recommended background readings:


"Lenin's liberalism"

"Lenin's politics"

Platypus in Chicago will be giving a series of talks on The Relevance of Marxism Today at Occupy Chicago, look out for the banner, “The Left is Dead! Long Live the Left!”, and come join us for discussion.

Teach-in: Does Marxism Matter? 

In the mid-19th century, Marx and Engels famously observed in the Communist Manifesto that a ‘specter’ was haunting Europe—the specter of Communism. 160 years later, it is ‘Marxism’ itself that haunts us.
In the 21st century, it seems that the Left abandoned Marxism as a path to freedom. But Marx critically intervened in his own moment and emboldened leftists to challenge society; is the Left not tasked with this today? Has the Left resolved the problems posed by Marx, and thus moved on?

Does Marxism even matter?

Pamphlet: "Finance capital: Why financial capitalism is no more 'fictitious' than any other kind"