EVENTS IN CATALONIA in the last two months represent the biggest challenge ever faced by the Spanish regime since its establishment in 1978. The explosion of the masses on to the scene has acquired at points insurrectionary features. Where does this movement come from? What is its character and how can it move forward in the face of Spanish state repression?
On November 2, 2017, Chris Mansour interviewed Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked! and a panelist on a conversation that took place the night before entitled Is the Left Eating Itself?, part of an international discussion linked to Spiked!’s Unsafe Space Tour, which aimed to tackle issues such as campus culture, free speech, and Title IX. A recording of the conversation can be found at
THE EVENTS OF OCTOBER 2017 and the subsequent election held on December 21st have done little to resolve the issue of Catalan independence, which has now escalated into a regional and national crisis marked by political gridlock and polarization among the Catalan people. This polarization has taken a particular toll on the Catalan left as well as on the region’s labor movement, allowing the bourgeoisie to remain in power and further its own agenda by exploiting the issue while the Left remains fractionalized and at odds about the way forward.
On October 14, 2017, Efraim Carlebach interviewed Ian Birchall at Birchall’s home in Edmonton, north London. In 1962, Birchall joined the International Socialists, a tendency led by Tony Cliff and the organizational forerunner of the extant Socialist Workers Party (UK), founded in 1977. Though he is no longer a member of the Socialist Workers Party, Birchall has remained a leading figure of the International Socialist tendency for over half a century. He is the author of numerous publications including the 2011 biography, Tony Cliff: A Marxist For His Time[i]. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
On May 11, 2017, Stefan Hain and Sebastian Vogel of the Platypus Affiliated Society conducted an interview with Sascha Staničić of the Sozialistische Alternative [SAV] and author of Anti-Sarrazin: Argumente Gegen Rassismus, Islamfeindlichkeit und Sozialdarwinismus (2011). What follows is a translation of the edited transcript of their conversation as published in the sixth issue of Die Platypus Review.
In an interview he gave to discuss his new book, October, China Mieville observed that to his surprise, there has been comparatively little published on the centenary of the Russian Revolution. This means that public commentary and reflection on the revolution is inevitably poorer as a result, and that more expectation is piled onto those books that have come out. Unfortunately neither Mieville’s October nor Tariq Ali’s The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution are politically or intellectually sufficient to occupy even a small part of that gaping expanse resulting from the absence of wider discussion.
No act during the Bolshevik Revolution is more controversial than the decision to suppress the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. A century later, no question is politically more relevant.
On October 12, 2017, Erin Hagood interviewed Mark Bray, a participant in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, lecturer at Dartmouth and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, to discuss the relationship of the anti-fascist movement to the Left and the challenges it faces in the age of Trump. The interview was aired during an episode of “Radical Minds” on WHPK-FM 88.5 Chicago. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
IN HIS LATEST BOOK Continuity and Rupture (2016), professor of philosophy at York University Josh Moufawad-Paul argues that the science of revolution has undergone a qualitative change in its epistemological foundation. What was taken as truth in the theory of Marxism-Leninism needs to be reconsidered in the light of the continual unfolding of history. The contradictions of Leninism can no longer be ignored, both in the light of the wealth of 20th century Marxist philosophy as well as the concrete experiences of class struggle.