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

Wednesdays
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
20 Kingsway
Room KSW1.01
(map)


• required / + recommended reading


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


Week 1. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Jan. 22, 2020

Catching up with last term.

• 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


II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism


Week 2. Revolutionary leadership | Feb. 5, 2020

• 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 3. Reform or revolution? | Feb. 12, 2020

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


Week 4. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 19, 2020

• Spartacist LeagueLenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 5. LSE Reading Week | Feb. 24 - 28, 2020


Week 6. What is to be done? | Mar. 4, 2020

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


Week 7. Mass strike and social democracy | Mar. 11, 2020

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


Week 8. Permanent revolution | Mar. 18, 2020

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


Week 9. State and revolution | Mar. 25, 2020

• LeninThe State and Revolution (1917)


Week 10. Imperialism | Apr. 1 2020

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


Week 11. Platypus international convention | Apr. 3 - 5, 2020


Week 12. Failure of the revolution | Apr. 8, 2020

• 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 13. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 15, 2020

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


Week 14. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 22, 2020

• Lukács“The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.orgsection 1 section 2 section 3
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Commodity form chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms + Organic composition of capital chart of terms
Reification chart of terms
+ Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)


Week 15. Lessons of October | Apr. 29, 2020

• TrotskyThe Lessons of October (1924) [PDF]
• Trotsky"Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)


Week 16. Trotskyism | May 6, 2020

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
+ Trotsky, "If America should go communist" (1934)
• TrotskyThe 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 17. The authoritarian state | May 13, 2020

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


Week 18. On the concept of history | May 20, 2020

• 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 history chart of terms
• Benjamin"On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF]
• BenjaminParalipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Benjamin, Arcades Project Convolute N, "On the theory of knowledge, theory of progress" (see especially p. 471 [N8,1] on Horkheimer on unredeemablility of past suffering)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 19. Reflections on Marxism | May 27, 2020

Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Benjamin on history chart of terms
• 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 20. Theory and practice | Jun 3, 2020

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
Adorno's critique of actionism 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)
Organic composition of capital chart of terms
+ 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 by Efraim Carlebach of the Platypus Affiliated Society at the LSE SU Platypus Society on 5 December 2019, on the history of the Labour party and its relationship to the Left, and the December 2019 UK general election.

On 10 October, 2019, the Platypus Affiliated Society at Goldsmiths University hosted a panel on 'Sex and the Left'.

Panelists:
- Jeanie Crystal (Artist)
- Peter Tatchell (British Human Rights Campaigner, best known for his work with LGBT movements)
- Rachel Holmes (Historian and author of Eleanor Marx: A Life, published by Bloomsbury Publishing)
- Zack Murrell-Dowson (Researcher into Trans Liberation)

What do we mean by a liberated sexuality? What are the bounds of sexual freedom available to us in capitalism? How do we imagine sexual liberation in socialism? Leftists have variously articulated phenomena such as same-sex marriage, sex work, abortion, gender fluidity and homosexuality as symptoms of economic austerity and/or of class privilege. How does economic life shape our imaginations of sexual freedom?

Why has the state historically intervened in private sexual life under capitalism, and under what circumstances, if any, should the Left support calls for state intervention in sexual life? Both historically and in the present, the Left has sought to lead the struggle for sexual rights within capitalism-- for same-sex marriage, abortion rights, the decriminalization of homosexuality and of sex work, etc.-- in society and/or by legislating via state power. How has the Left failed or succeeded to relate its civil-social and political efforts in the struggle for sexual liberation?

Teach-in hosted by Platypus at London School of Economics introducing the Platypus project: "On Surviving the Extinction of the Left".

What is the Left? – What is Marxism?

Every Tuesday | 7pm | Above the Refectory, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths University

Week 1 (part 1) What is the Left? Capital in History | Oct. 8, 2019

• Max Horkheimer“The little man and the philosophy of freedom” (pp. 50–52 from selections from Dämmerung,1926–31)
• Louis Menandon Marx and Engels as philosophes of a Second Enlightenment
• Karl Marxon “becoming” (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 1 (part 2) What is the Left? Capital in History | Oct. 15, 2019

• 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“Class consciousness (from a Marxist perspective) today” (2012)


Week 2 (part 1) What is the Left? Utopia and Critique | Oct. 22, 2019

• Leszek Kolakowski“The concept of the Left” (1968)
• MarxFor the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843)


Week 2 (part 2) What is the Left? The Marxist Hypothesis | Oct. 29, 2019

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
• Cutrone“The Marxist hypothesis” (2010)

Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Nov. 5, 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


Week 4. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | 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 | 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 | 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 | Dec. 03, 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 | 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 9. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | 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