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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category European Conference
Freitag, 22 Januar und Samstag, 23 Januar

Teach-in by Boris Kagarlitzky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements) on the first year of Trump. Held February 18, 2018 from 13:00-14:30 in RHB 137a of Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Jerzy Sobotta.

Held on February 18, 2018 from 18:00-20:00 in RHB 137a at Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Pam Nogales.


Boris Kagarlitsky (Author; Institute of Globalization and Social Movements)
Alex Demirovic (University of Frankfurt; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
Mark Osbourn (Alliance for Workers Liberty)
Hillel Ticktin (University of Glasgow; Founding Editor, Critique)

Chris Cutrone (School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Platypus)


The recent polarisation of politics, in the UK manifested around Corbyn and Brexit, has led some commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. This undetermined moment has been welcomed variously as a potential opening for emancipatory politics, political engagement and a renewed imagination of 'socialism'. For others, it has been received with belligerence, as a turn toward a new, populist right. This panel discussion aims to clarify the range of Left perspectives on the question of the future of socialism today.


  1. Are we in a moment of stability or instability? How so? Can we talk, as CNN notes, of an upset equilibrium in the world? (CNN: “The Trump effect could be all the more pronounced because the political
    equilibrium of much of the world has been upset, straining institutions and assumptions in international relations that have endured for decades. To judge how much has changed, and why the prospects of 2017 look so uncertain, it's worth looking back a year.”)
  2. Is there a “re-politicisation of public life … reviving a culture of political participation and democratic debate”? If so, what kind of politics are emerging in this moment?
  3. Does the success of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders constitute a resurgence of socialists politics today? What is the character of these socialist politics?
  4. Do you see a future for socialist politics? In what way would this be a break from the history of previous attempts at socialism, for example the anti-war movement and the New Left? What are the political tasks socialists must face today?
  5. Do we still need the dictatorship of the proletariat? Why or why not?

Held 17 February 2018 from 14:00 -16:00 in RHB 137a of Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference. The discussion was moderated by Erin Hagood.


Roxanne Baker (International Bolshevik Tendency)
Judith Shapiro (London School of Economics)
Sarah McDonald (Communist Party of Great Britain; Weekly Worker)

Event Description

Feminism and the women's question has continually played an important role in the history of the Left. This workshop seeks to bring together feminists of different generations to discuss the changing meaning of the relationship between feminism and socialism, in order to begin to talk about what the struggle for women’s liberation might mean politically in the future.

Questions for panelists

  1. What is feminism? What is the struggle for women's emancipation?
  2. How should we interpret the greater separation of mainstream feminism from socialist politics and from Marxist politics over the 20th century?
  3. What is the relationship between the fight for women's freedom and the project of human emancipation?
  4. What do the seeming advancements and successes of feminism in recent decades tell us when considered in relation to the failure of the proletarian struggle?

Held 17 February 2018 from 11:00-13:00 in RHB 137a of Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the fourth annual Platypus European Conference, 50 Years After '68: Does Socialism Have a Future? The discussion was moderated by David Mountain.

Please note: The audio quality for the first few minutes is poor. This improves a couple of minutes into Simon's initial remarks.

Event Speakers:

Simon Elmer (Architects for Social Housing)
Matthew Lee (Stop the Elephant Development; UCL Cut the Rent)
Austin Williams (Future Cities Project; author, ‘China's Urban Revolution’)

Panel Description

In recent years, a significant current of Left activists and thinkers has sought to mobilise around issues relating to urban change, most notably housing provision. Much activity has involved resisting gentrification--the economic displacement of marginalised communities--and lobbying established political parties, such as Labour, for investment in social housing or for rent controls. Since Engels wrote about the housing condition of the English working class in the 1840s, political changes in capitalism have seen different forms of state management of the housing issue, yet it remains a symptom of the crisis of capitalism. How have these political struggles of the past--for better housing, more equitable planning, against neoliberalism and against gentrification--responded or related to the struggle for socialism and the pursuit of freedom? How could they advance the struggle for socialism and the pursuit of freedom in the present?

Questions for panelists:

  1. What is gentrification? How do you understand this term?
  2. What significance has it had and should it have for the Left?
  3. How do housing struggles in the present relate those of the past?
  4. Why does capitalism appear to produce a housing crisis? Can it be solved in capitalism? 
  5. How has the housing problem changed in the history of capitalism? How has the left changed in relation this history?
  6. In what way was the post-war provision of social housing and urban renewal--planning issues of slum clearance etc.--considered socialist?
  7. How and why did the New Left in the '60s and '70s take up urban geography and housing?
  8. How do campaigns around housing relate to the struggle for socialism? How does this task the Left today?