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A public interview with Herb Gamberg and Tony Thomson on the 1970s New Communist Movement in Halifax, held on March 1st, 2012.

The 1970s are usually passed over as the decade in which the social and political upheavals of the 1960s New Left were overwhelmed by a conservative tide. What is forgotten is that the 1970s were also a time of tremendous growth on the Left, most notably in the New Communist Movement. In Quebec thousands of members joined groups intent on forming a new national Communist party. In cities like Halifax and Vancouver activists formed smaller collectives in an effort to "get serious" about their Leftism. The period marked a reconsideration of Marxism and working class politics on a scale that has not been seen since.

What is the legacy of this movement today? Why did it emerge and what lead to its stunning decline in the early 1980s? As activist prepare for the next phase of Occupy is there anything to learn from this experience?

A Wind Blows from the East (Coast): The 1970s "New Communist Movement" in Halifax. A Public Interview with Herb Gamberg and Tony Thomson 

Audio link (click here)

Thursday 1 March 2012, Room 1020 Rowe Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Hosted by the Platypus Affiliated Society at Dalhousie

co-sponsored by NSPIRG and the Halifax Media Co-op

The 1970s are usually passed over as the decade in which the social and political upheavals of the 1960s New Left were overwhelmed by a conservative tide. What is forgotten is that the 1970s were also a time of tremendous growth on the Left, most notably in the New Communist Movement. In Quebec thousands of members joined groups intent on forming a new national Communist party. In cities like Halifax and Vancouver activists formed smaller collectives in an effort to “get serious” about their Leftism. The period marked a reconsideration of Marxism and working class politics on a scale that has not been seen since. 

What is the legacy of this movement today? Why did it emerge and what lead to its stunning decline in the early 1980s? As activist prepare for the next phase of Occupy is there anything to learn from this experience?

RSVP on Facebook (click here)

Background Reading:

New Infantilism: The "New Communist Movement" in Halifax (Halifax Study Group, 1978)

The Marxist turn: The New Left in the 1970s (Platypus Review)

Up in the air: The legacy of the New Communist Movement (Platypus Review)

 

 

 

Rosa Luxemburg
Dir. Margarethe von Trotta, Germany, 1986
Screening and Discussion
7PM Wednesday
8 February 2012

Rm 224 Student Union Building
Dalhousie University
Part of the Dalhousie Introducing Platypus Reading Group Series.

Cannes Palme D'Or nominee and Best Actress winner (for Barbara Sukowa's luminous performance), this is a sweeping biopic of radical socialist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919).

“Socialism is the first popular movement in world history that has set itself the goal of bringing  human consciousness, and thereby free will, into play in the social actions of mankind”.
- The Crisis of Social Democracy (1915)

The Platypus Affiliated Society at Dalhousie presents a public forum on:

The 3 Rs: Reform, Revolution, and "Resistance": The problematic forms of "anticapitalism" today.

Click link to download recording

Thursday, 19 Jan, 7 PM
Room 224, Student Union Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS

A moderated panel discussion and audience Q&A on problems of strategies and tactics on the Left today. Panelists: Eric Anatolik (Occupy NS), Jacques Beaudoin (Parti communiste révolutionnaire - Revolutionary Communist Party (Canada)) Howard Epstein (New Democratic Party MLA Halifax Chebucto), Max Haiven (Edu-Factory, Historical and Critical Studies NSCAD) and Andony Melathopoulos (Platypus) .

Part of the Occupy NS New Year's Revolution Series (occupyns.org). Co-sponsored by NSPIRG, International Development Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) and the Halifax Radical Imagination Project.

"After the failure of the 1960s New Left, the underlying despair with regard to the real efficacy of political will, of political agency, in a historical situation of heightened helplessness, became a self-constitution as outsider, as other, rather than an instrument of transformation. Focused on the bureaucratic stasis of the Fordist, late 20th Century world, the Left echoed the destruction of that world by the dynamics of capital: neoliberalism and globalization.

The idea of a fundamental transformation became bracketed and, instead, was replaced by the more ambiguous notion of 'resistance.' The notion of resistance, however, says little about the nature of that which is being resisted, or of the politics of the resistance involved.

'Resistance' is rarely based on a reflexive analysis of possibilities for fundamental change that are both generated and suppressed by the dynamic heteronomous order of capital. 'Resistance' is an undialectical category that does not grasp its own conditions of possibility; it fails to grasp the dynamic historical context of capital and its reconstitution of possibilities for both domination and emancipation, of which the 'resisters' do not recognize that that they are a part."

— Moishe Postone, "History and Helplessness: Mass mobilization and contemporary forms of anticapitalism" (2006)

The Platypus Review is a free monthly broadsheet produced and distributed that acts as an open forum for discussions about the left (full statement of purpose).

The Platypus Review is distributed in and around campus at the following locations:

1. NSPIRG Office (Dalhousie Student Union Building, Room 314)
2. Racks in the Courtyard of Dalhousie Killiam Library
3. Coburg Coffee, 6085 Coburg Rd
4. Entrance, King's University Library (University of King's College)
5. Outside Prince Dining Hall (University of King's College)
6. Literature racks outside SUNSCAD office (NS College of Art and Design)
7. NS College of Art and Design, Port Campus Enterance
8. Student Union Building, Saint Mary's University
9. Java Blend (6027 North Street)
10. Second Cup, Spring Garden Road (5425 Spring Garden Road)