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On October 24, 2018, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a discussion on 50 years of 1968 at Berkeley City Community College. The discussion was moderated by Audrey Crescenti.

Description:

For half a century, 1968 has represented a high-water mark of social and political transformation, a year of social upheaval that spanned the entire globe. Ushered in by a New Left that sought to distinguish itself from the Old Left that emerged in the 1920s and ’30s, the monumental events of 1968 set the tone for everything from protest politics to academic leftism.

Today, with the U.S. entangled in a seemingly endless war in Asia and people calling for the impeachment of an unpopular president, with activists fighting in the streets and calling for liberation along the lines of race, gender, and sexuality, the Left’s every attempt to discover new methods and new ideas seems to invoke a memory of the political horizons of 1968. We can perhaps more than ever feel the urgency of the question, What lessons are to be drawn from the New Left, as another generation undertakes the project of building a left for the 21st century?

Panelists:

  • Bobby Seale (Black Panther Party)
  • Max Elbaum (Students for a Democratic Society)
  • Watson Ladd (Platypus Affiliated Society)

Held October 4, 2018 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Panelists:

John Abbott, Senior lecturer of history at UIC
John Bachtell, Chairman of the Communist Party USA
Fred Mecklenburg, News and Letters
David Faes, Platypus / Campaign for a Socialist Party

Panel Description:

The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?

Held September 27, 2018 at Oregon State University. Moderated by Andony Melathopoulos.

Speakers (in order):

- Mika Goodwin - Democratic Socialists of America (Corvallis)
- Paige Kreisman - Communist Party of Oregon (CPUSA)
- Douglas Lain - publishing manager Zero Books, author of Bash Bash Revolution 
- Christopher Nichols - History Department, OSU, author of Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age

Panel Description:

The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?

Hier findet ihr einen Audiomitschnitt zur Podiumsdiskussion "50 Jahre 68" vom 26.06.2018 in Frankfurt am Main.

Seit einem halben Jahrhundert kennzeichnet 1968 einen Meilenstein sozialer und politischer Umbrüche - ein Jahr sozialer Aufstände, die die ganze Welt umspannten. Eingeleitet von einer Neuen Linken, welche sich von der Alten Linken der 20er und 30er abzugrenzen suchte, legten die Ereignisse von 1968 den Grundstein für alles Folgende: von Protestpolitik bis hin zur akademischen Linken.
Heute, da die Vereinigten Staaten in einem scheinbar endlosen Krieg in Asien verwickelt sind, der Aufruf zur Amtsenthebung eines unbeliebten Präsidenten laut wird, und sich auf den Straßen Aktivisten um Forderungen nach Befreiung hinsichtlich Herkunft, Gender und Sexualität zum Kampf erheben, treten Ansprüche, in denen sich der politische Horizont von 1968 wiederspiegelt, in Erinnerung. Mit möglicherweise nie dagewesener Dringlichkeit müssen wir die Frage stellen: Welche Lehren sind aus der Neuen Linken zu ziehen, wenn eine andere Generation an den Aufbau einer Linken des 21. Jahrhunderts herantreten soll?

Mit:

Jonathan Klein (unter_bau)
Ines Schwerdtner (das Argument, Ada-Magazine)
Klaus Wallenstein (MLPD)

Held on September 8, 2018 at New York University. Moderated by Wentai Xiao.

Panelists:

- A.M. Gittlitz, contributor to the New Inquiry and co-host of the Antifada Podcast
- John Garvey, Editor of Insurgent Notes
- Richard Wolin, Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center

Description:

The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?