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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category LSE

Tuesdays
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
20 Kingsway
Room 2.02
(map)


I. What is the Left? – What is Marxism?


• required / + recommended reading

Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Room KSW2.02 | Oct. 1, 2019

Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762)

• Max Horkheimer"The little man and the philosophy of freedom" (1926–31)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by James Miller (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson), Karl Marxon "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche)

+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)

+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• Chris Cutrone"Capital in history" (2008)

Capital in history timeline and chart of terms

video of Communist University 2011 London presentation

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

• Cutrone"The Marxist hypothesis" (2010)

• Cutrone“Class consciousness (from a Marxist persective) today”

+ G.M. Tamas, "Telling the truth about class" [HTML] (2007)


Week 1.i. Radical bourgeois philosophy V. Kant and Constant: Bourgeois society | Room KSW2.02 | Oct. 8, 2019

• Immanuel Kant"Idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view" and "What is Enlightenment?" (1784)

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• Benjamin Constant"The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

+ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the origin of inequality (1754)

+ Rousseau, selection from On the social contract (1762)


Week 1.ii. Radical bourgeois philosophy VI. Hegel: Freedom in history | Room KSW2.02 | Oct. 15, 2019

• G.W.F. HegelIntroduction to the Philosophy of History (1831) [HTML] [PDF pp. 14-128] [Audiobook]

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 2. What is the Left? II. Utopia and critique | Room KSW2.02 | Oct. 22, 2019

• Max Horkheimerselections from Dämmerung (1926–31)

• Adorno“Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)

• Leszek Kolakowski“The concept of the Left” (1968)

• 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

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Room KSW2.02 | Oct. 29, 2019

• Marxselections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101

Commodity form chart of terms

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

• Marx and Friedrich Engelsselections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469-500

• MarxAddress to the Central Committee of the Communist League (1850), pp. 501–511


LSE Reading Week Break | Nov. 4 - 8, 2019


Week 4. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Room KSW2.02 | Nov. 12, 2019

• Marx, The coming upheaval (from The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847) and Class struggle and mode of production (letter to Weydemeyer, 1852), pp. 218-220

• EngelsThe tactics of social democracy (Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx, The Class Struggles in France), pp. 556–573

• Marxselections from The Class Struggles in France 1848–50 (1850), pp. 586–593

• Marxselections from The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), pp. 594–617


Week 5. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Room KSW2.02 | Nov. 19, 2019

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)

• MarxInaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519

• Marxselections from The Civil War in France (1871, including Engels's 1891 Introduction), pp. 618–652

+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)

• MarxCritique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541

• MarxProgramme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Week 6. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Room KSW2.02 | Nov. 26, 2019

The fetish character of the commodity is not a fact of consciousness; rather it is dialectical, in the eminent sense that it produces consciousness. . . . [P]erfection of the commodity character in a Hegelian self-consciousness inaugurates the explosion of its phantasmagoria.
— Theodor W. Adorno, letter to Walter Benjamin, August 2, 1935

Commodity form chart of terms

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Organic composition of capital chart of terms 

• Marxselections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 276–293 ME Reader pp. 276-281

• MarxCapital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 "The fetishism of commodities" (1867), pp. 319–329

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 7. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Room KSW2.02 Dec. 3, 2019

• Georg Lukács“The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)

Commodity form chart of terms

Reification chart of terms

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms

Organic composition of capital chart of terms

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 8. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Room KSW2.02 | Dec. 10, 2019

• Lukács“Class Consciousness” (1920), Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), History and Class Consciousness (1923)
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
Reification chart of terms
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302


Week 10. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Room KSW2.02 | Dec. 17, 2019

• Korsch“Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11

+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15

+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145


Winter break readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)

+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)

+ 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

+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)

+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)


Winter–Spring 2020

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

London 2019 Summer Reading Group: 30 years of 1989: What was Stalinism in power?

brodsky_leninsmolnypalace


Tuesdays 6pm-9pm, London School of Economics,

Room KSW1.01
20 Kingsway, London WC2A 2AE

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism


required / + recommended reading


Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Recommended winter break preliminary readings:

+ Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)
+ 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


Winter 2019

I. What is the "Left?" – What is "Marxism?"

Week 10. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Jan. 15, 2019

Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15
+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145


II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

Winter–Spring 2019

Week 11. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 22, 2019

• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915)
• J. P. Nettl, “The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)


Week 12. Reform or revolution? | Jan. 29, 2019

Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution? (1900/08)
+ Eugene Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)


Week 13. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 5, 2019

Spartacist League, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)


Week 14. What is to be done? | Feb. 12, 2019

• V. I. Lenin, What is to be Done? (1902)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 15. Break [ LSE Reading Week ] | Feb. 19, 2017


Week 16. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 26, 2019

Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)
+ Luxemburg, "Blanquism and Social Democracy" (1906)


Week 17. Permanent revolution | Mar. 5, 2019

• Leon Trotsky, Results and Prospects (1906)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)


Week 18. State and revolution | Mar. 12, 2019

Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)


Week 19. Imperialism | Mar. 19, 2019

Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)
+ Lenin, Socialism and War Ch. 1 The principles of socialism and the War of 1914–15 (1915)


Week 20. Failure of the revolution | Mar. 26, 2019

Luxemburg, “What does the Spartacus League Want?” (1918)
Luxemburg, “On the Spartacus Programme” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, "German Bolshevism" (AKA "The Socialisation of Society") (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “The Russian Tragedy” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
+ Eugene Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)


Week 21. Break Apr. 2, 2019 [Platypus international convention]


Week 22. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 9, 2019

Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)
+ Lenin, "Notes of a Publicist" (1922)


Week 23. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 16, 2019

Lukács, “The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.org: section 1 section 2 section 3
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Commodity form chart of terms
+ Reification chart of terms


Week 24. Lessons of October | Apr. 23, 2019

Trotsky, The Lessons of October (1924) [PDF]
Trotsky, "Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)


Week 25. Trotskyism | Apr 30, 2019

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
+ Trotsky, "If America should go communist" (1934)
Trotsky, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (1938)
+ Trotsky, "Trade unions in the epoch of imperialist decay" (1940)
+ Trotsky, Letter to James Cannon (September 12, 1939)


Week 26. The authoritarian state | May 7, 2019

• Friedrich Pollock, "State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" (1941) (note 32 on USSR)
• Max Horkheimer, "The Authoritarian State" (1942)


Week 27. On the concept of history | May 14, 2019

• 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 the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF]
Benjamin, Paralipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 28. Reflections on Marxism | May 21, 2019

• Theodor Adorno, “Reflections on Class Theory” (1942)
Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, Dedication, "Bequest", "Warning: Not to be Misused" and "Finale", Minima Moralia (1944–47)
+ Horkheimer and Adorno, "Discussion about Theory and Praxis" (AKA "Towards a New Manifesto?") [Deutsch] (1956)


Week 29. Theory and practice | May 28, 2019

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
+ Reification chart of terms
Adorno, “Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
Adorno, “Resignation” (1969)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, “Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?” (AKA “Is Marx Obsolete?”) (1968)
+ Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)
+ Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)
+ Adorno, Interview with Der Spiegel magazine (1969)


Teach-in on Trotskyism by Padraig Macguire, held at the London School of Economics on December 13, 2018. Part of a two-part series on "What is Marxism?"

Autumn/Winter 2018

Tuesdays 6pm-9pm, London School of Economics,

Room KSW1.01
20 Kingsway, London WC2A 2AE

 

check platypus1917.org/london for details, or facebook.com/platypusLSE

  • required/ + recommended reading

Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)

Week A. Introduction to Platypus | Oct. 2, 2018 | **Knights Templar 6-8pm**

 

 

Week B. Hegel: Freedom in History | Oct. 9, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

 

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

 

Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in History | Oct. 16, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

 

+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)
+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)
+ G.M. Tamas, "Telling the truth about class" (2007)

 

Week 2. What is the Left? II. Utopia and critique | Oct. 23, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

 

 

Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | October 30, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

Commodity form chart of terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4. Break [ LSE Reading Week ] | Nov. 6, 2017

 

 

Week 5. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 13, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

 

Week 6. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 20, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)

+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)

 

Week 7. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 27, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

Commodity form chart of terms

 

Week 8. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Dec. 4, 2018 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

Commodity form chart of terms

 

Week 9. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 11, 2018 | KSW1.01

+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition(1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302

 


Winter break readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)

+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)

+ 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

+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners(1980)

+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)   

 

 

Week 10. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Jan. 15, 2019 | KSW1.01 | 6-9pm

+ 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

+ Marx"Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145

 

  1. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism – Spring/Summer 2019

Jan 23 – June 6, 2018

[including texts by Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno]

all readings are available online: http://platypus1917.org/pedagogy