On July 22, 2023, Platypus Affiliated Society members Efraim Carlebach and D. L. Jacobs interviewed Lars T. Lih, the author of Bread and Authority in Russia: 1914–1921 (1990), Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context (2006), Lenin (2011), and the forthcoming What was Bolshevism?. An edited transcript follows.
The renewed interest in “socialism” has stimulated plenty of debate about what this term means in a 21st-century context, and that discussion, of course, requires knowledge of socialist history about which most people in the United States know little. That is why Marius Ostrowski’s able translation of Eduard Bernstein’s works on the German Revolution of 1918–19 is so important.
On May 30, 2022, Platypus Affiliated Society member Kathrin D. interviewed Vlad (27), a member of the Marxist group KyrgSoc (КыргСоц) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, about the legacy of the Soviet Union in Central Asia and resulting challenges for the Kyrgyz Left. Vlad is dedicated to the rebuilding of a living Left tradition in the former Central Asian Soviet Republic.
On March 9, 2023, Platypus Affiliated Society member Will Stratford interviewed German public intellectual and labor activist Wolfgang Streeck, former professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Cologne, author of several books on the political economy of capitalism, and current emeritus director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. They discussed a variety of issues confronting the German Left, including neoliberalism, the Aufstehen (“Stand Up”) movement, the German Left’s alienation of AfD voters, the war in Ukraine, and both the degeneration and prospects of Leftist politics today. An edited transcript follows.
TERENCE RENAUD IS A LECTURER in Humanities and History at Yale, and his book New Lefts is an excellent intellectual and political history that is both universalistic yet grounded in its universalism in a deep and careful study of a particular political milieu, that of the New Beginnings socialist group in Germany from the 1920s to the emergence of the European New Left that culminated in the French student uprising of 1968.