On February 7, 2020, at Boston College, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel titled "Freedom in the Anthropocene".
The Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen recently characterized the period marked by the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th Century to the present as a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. This periodization is meant to capture a change in the history of the planet, namely that for the first time in history its course will be determined by the question of what humanity will become.
A moderated panel discussion held January 29, 2020 at London School of Economics in the wake of the 2019 UK general election.
The movement around Jeremy Corbyn has been the centre of the British Left since 2015. A generation of activists have thrown themselves into the Labour party, some abandoning former organisations or anti-party (anarchist) political perspectives. But in the wake of the landslide victory of the Conservative Party in 2019, the goals of the Left seem unclear. It feels like we’ve been here before. How did we get to this point? How has the election changed the political arena? How should the Left relate to the Labour party going forward? Is the Left transforming Labour or is Labour transforming the Left? Is the goal of the Left socialism in the 21st century? If so, what is socialism and how can we achieve it? After the election, what's Left?
With the ousting of Morales in Bolivia, political repression in Hong Kong, and rising tensions with Iran, the question of Imperialism has posted itself with particular force in the last couple months.
Nevertheless, while all three have received much attention from the left, the commonality is not at all clear. What exactly is imperialism? And what constitutes (if at all) effective resistance to it? Finally how has the Left historically understood imperialism and has that understanding been lost?
This panel seeks to address these questions and more by bringing together both activists and academics. Q&A will follow the discussion.
The Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen recently characterized the period marked by the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th Century to the present as a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. This periodization is meant to capture a change in the history of the planet, namely that for the first time in history its course will be determined by the question of what humanity will become; the question of freedom.
Panel discussion on the topic of "Sex and the Left" at the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco on 8 Dec 2019, hosted by the Platypus Affiliated Society.
Moderator: William Lushbough
- Norma Gallegos (Freedom Socialist Party [FSP] and Bay Area Radical Women in SF)
- Lew Finzel (affiliated with News and Letters in Oakland with an interest in Charles Fourier and sexual utopias)
- Audrey Crescenti (Platypus Affiliated Society)
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?