On May 9, 2018, Spencer A. Leonard interviewed Gregory Claeys, historian of socialism and author of Machinery, Money and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism, 1815–1860 (1987), Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire, 1850–1920 (2010), Marx and Marxism (2018), among others. The day after recording the interview it was broadcast on “Radical Minds” on WHPK–FM (88.5 FM) in Chicago. What follows is an edited version of the interview.
MARXISM CONSIDERED PHILOSOPHY as “bourgeois ideology.” This meant, first and foremost, radical bourgeois philosophy, the modern philosophy of bourgeois emancipation, the thought of the revolt of the Third Estate. But pre-bourgeois philosophy, traditional philosophy, was also addressed as bourgeois ideology, as ideology. But ideology is a modern phenomenon. There’s little point in calling either Aristotle or Augustine “ideology.” It is when philosophy is invoked in bourgeois society that it becomes ideological. (Religion, too!)
Presented at the Left Forum 2018 on the panel “Has ‘the Left’ Accommodated Trump (and Putin)? A Debate,” with Ravi Bali, Brendan Cooney, Anne Jaclard, Daphne Lawless and Bill Weinberg, organized by the Marxist-Humanist Initiative at John Jay College in NYC on June 2, 2018.
On April 6, 2018, the Platypus Affiliated Society hosted a panel discussion, Fifty Years of 1968, as the opening plenary of its 10th International Convention, 1918–2018: A Century of Counterrevolution, held in Chicago. Speaking at the event were Abdul Alkalimat, professor of African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champagne, and author of numerous books, including Malcolm X for Beginners; Joseph Estes, a member of Platypus and of the Campaign for a Socialist Party; Johnny Mercer, a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain and an artist working in Chicago; and Mitchel Cohen, pamphleteer, poet, and founder of the Red Balloon Collective at SUNY Stony Brook in 1969. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation.
On February 17, 2018, at the 4th Platypus European Conference, the following panel discussion was held at Goldsmiths University London, with Simon Elmer (Architects for Social Housing), Matthew Lee (Stop the Elephant Development; University College London Cut the Rent) and Austin Williams (Future Cities Project; author, China's Urban Revolution).