PROMETHEUS IN DRIFT
an evening of modernist readings, featuring:
G o e t h e | H ö l d e r l i n | R e n a r d | K l e i s t | W a l s e r | V a l e r y | B e c k e t t | K a f k a | S t e v e n s | Y e s e n i n | B a u d e l a i r e | M y a k o v s k y | C e l a n
friday, 03.02, 7pm | nyu kimmel, rm 909, 60 washington sq s
if you would like to volunteer to read one of the selections or have any questions about the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live broadcast: www.livestream.com/platypus1917
Saturday, December 17, 2011
9AM U.S./Canada PST / 10AM MST / 11AM CST / 12PM EST;
and 17:00 London / 18:00 Frankfurt and Berlin /
19:00 Thessaloniki / 22:30 Delhi / 02:00 Seoul
If you are in Chicago:
Saturday, 11am | 17 December 2011 |School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 S. Michigan Ave. room 919
Please join Platypus for a brief introduction to and discussion about the relevance of Lenin today, in anticipation of our Winter-Spring 2012 primary Marxist reading group, on the history of revolutionary Marxism, centered on the writings of Lenin, Luxemburg, Trotsky, and Adorno.
The Encyclopedia Britannica's entry on Lenin states that,
"If the Bolshevik Revolution is -- as some people have called it -- the most significant political event of the 20th century, then Lenin must for good or ill be considered the century's most significant political leader. Not only in the scholarly circles of the former Soviet Union, but even among many non-Communist scholars, he has been regarded as both the greatest revolutionary leader and revolutionary statesman in history, as well as the greatest revolutionary thinker since Marx."
Lenin is the most controversial figure in the history of Marxism, and perhaps one of the most controversial figures in all of history. As such, he is an impossible figure for sober consideration, without polemic. Nevertheless, it has become impossible, also, after Lenin, to consider Marxism without reference to him. Broadly, Marxism is divided into avowedly "Leninist" and "anti-Leninist" tendencies. In what ways was Lenin either an advance or a calamity for Marxism? But there is another way of approaching Lenin, which is as an expression of the historical crisis of Marxism. In other words, Lenin as a historical figure is unavoidably significant as manifesting a crisis of Marxism. The question is how Lenin provided the basis for advancing that crisis, how the polarization around Lenin could provide the basis for advancing the potential transformation of Marxism, in terms of resolving certain problems.
The Frankfurt School Critical Theorist Theodor Adorno, in his 1966 book Negative Dialectics, wrote of the degeneration of Marxism due to "dogmatization and thought-taboos." There is no other figure in the history of Marxism who has been subject to such "dogmatization and thought-taboos" as much as Lenin.
It is important to note as well that Adorno himself sought to remain, as he put it, "faithful to Marx, Engels and Lenin, while keeping up with culture at its most advanced," to which his colleague Max Horkheimer replied, simply, "Who would not subscribe to that?"
Today, such a proposition seems especially implausible, in many ways. Yet perhaps the memory of Lenin haunts us still, however obscurely.
The discussion will be broadcast live on the web. Additionally, a recording will be made available after the event.
Recommended background readings:
|Antisemitism and the Left: A German-US comparison
Tuesday 6:00pm until 8:30pm
NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington
From accusations directed towards Occupy Wall Street to arson attacks in Brooklyn, antisemitism has reemerged as a concern of the left in recent months. This talk will look at the relationship between the left and antisemitism, giving an overview of different historical forms, analyzing divergent theoretical explanations, and comparing the U.S. and German cases. Special attention will be given to examining the particular relationship of antisemitism to political economy and critiques of capitalism, the political implicationst of viewing antisemitism as a form of prejudice versus an ideology, and left debates around antisemitism and Israel post-9/11.This event continues the transatlantic dialogue series initiated by the Platypus Affiliated Society which aims to rebuild an emancipatory internationalism.
Zeena Arnold is an activist and scholar from Germany researching perspectives on antisemitism within the U.S. left.
The Platypus Affiliated Society organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and post-political (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today.
An international forum on the
CRISIS OF THE LEFT
Chicago | NYC | Philly | Boston | Thessaloniki
Crisis: Pathol. The point in the progress of a disease when an important development or change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death. "...Existing strategies and theories seem inadequate in a bewildering contemporary political scene. Disparate groups have begun to show an interest in rethinking the fundamentals of Left politics..."
@New York: Wednesday, Nov. 16th, 7:00 - 9:30pm
Silver Center, Room 207
31 Washington Place, New York, NY