RSS FeedRSS FeedLivestreamLivestreamVimeoVimeoTwitterTwitterFacebook GroupFacebook Group
You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Archive for category Summer Reading Groups

The Black Question: From 1776 to #BLM

PAS Summer 2022 Reading Group

Dates: Thursdays, June 9 – July 28, 2021

Time: 2pm EST

Zoom link: https://bccte.zoom.us/j/92294820600
Meeting ID: 922 9482 0600

Week 1: From the Colonial Era to the Revolution

June 9

+Thomas Jefferson to John Lynch, January 21, 1811, Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-03-02-0243. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, vol. 3, 12 August 1810 to 17 June 1811, ed. J. Jefferson Looney. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006, pp. 318–320.]

+ Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes 4/22/1820, in The American Debate over Slavery, 1760–1865: An Anthology of Sources, ed. Scott J. Hammond, Kevin R. Hardwick, and Howard Lubert (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2016), 101–102.

+ Thomas Jefferson to Frances Wright, August 7, 1825, The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress, Series 1: General Correspondence. 1651-1827.

+ Thomas Jefferson to Henri Gregoire, February 25, 1809, from The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes. Federal Edition. Collected and Edited by Paul Leicester.

+ James Vaughn, “The Legacy of the American Revolution 1: (English) Colonial America” (06/12/20) in PlatypusLegacy of the American Revolution lecture series.

+ James Vaughn, “The Legacy of the American Revolution 2: The American Revolution” (06/19/20) in the PlatypusLegacy of the American Revolution lecture series.

+ James Vaughn, “1776 in world history: The American Revolution as bourgeois revolution” in The Platypus Review 62, December 2013–January 2014

+ Chris Cutrone, “The Jeffersonian Revolution” (06/26/2020) for the PlatypusLegacy of the American Revolution lecture series.

+ D.L. Jacobs and Luc Bronder-Giroux, “An interview with Gerald Horne” in The Platypus Review 129, September 2020

+ Keith Brooks, ”Would slavery have ended sooner if the British had defeated the Colonists’ bid for independence?” The Platypus Review 109, September 2018.

+ Wood, Revolutionary Characters Ch. 3 “The trials and tribulations of Thomas Jefferson” (2006), pp. 91–118.

+ Peter S. Onuf, “‘To Declare Them a Free and Independant People’: Race, Slavery, and National Identity in Jefferson's Thought” in Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring, 1998), pp. 1-46.

+ Peter Onuf, The Mind of Thomas Jefferson, esp. pp. 213–270.

+ Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics & Locke’s Two Treatises of Government

+ Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1944)

Films:

Week 2: The Slaveholders’ Rebellion: The American Civil War

June 16

Films:

  • Glory (1989)
  • Lincoln (2012)

Week 3: Early Twentieth Century Debates: Separatists, Communists, and Socialists

June 23

  • W.E.B. Dubois, “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others,” in The Soul of Black Folk (pp. 33–44)
  • Eugene V. Debs, The Negro in the Class Struggle (1903), Originally published in the International Socialist Review 4, no. 5 (November 1903): 257–60.
    Eugene V. Debs, The Negro and His Nemesis (1904), Originally published in the International Socialist Review 4, no. 7 (January 1904): 391–97.
  • Hubert Harrison, “Socialism and the Negro” (1912) (5pp. pdf)
  • Claude McKay, “Socialism and the Negro” in P. Heideman, Class Struggle and the Color Line: American Socialism and the Race Question 1900–1930 (Chicago: Haymarket, 2018). Originally published in Workers’ Dreadnought, January 31, 1920, 1–2.
  • John Reed, “The Negro Question in America” Speech at the 2nd World Congress of the Communist International, Moscow, July 26, 1920 in Second Congress of the Communist International: Minutes of the Proceedings (London: New Park Publications, 1977)
    Note: Please read the PDF version included in the Black-Question-texts folder. The version available at Marxist.org is incomplete.
  • Cyril Briggs, “The African Blood Brotherhood” Unsigned article published in The Crusader, vol. 2, no. 10 (June 1920), pp, 7, 22. Attributed to magazine editor and ABB founder Cyril V. Briggs.
  • Cyril Briggs, “The Negro Convention” published in The Toiler [New York], v. 4, whole no. 190 (Oct. 1, 1921), pp. 13-14.

+ Tim Barker, “Book Review: Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1882–1918 (2008)” in The Platypus Review 19 January 2010

+ “Report on the Black Question” Session 22 – 25 November 1922 in John Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922“ (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2012), pp. 800-811.

Note: Includes speeches by Otto Huiswoud (“Billings”), pp. 800–805 and Claude McKay, pp. 807–811, and Draft of the Theses on the Black Question, pp. 805–807.
+ “Theses on the Black Question” (1922) [Final Text] in John Riddell (ed.), Toward the United Front (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2012), pp. 947–951.
+ Trotsky, “A Letter to Comrade McKay,” (13 March 1923) in Trotsky, First Five Years of the Communist International, (Pathfinder Press, 1977) Vol. 2, pp. 476-479.

+ Sunit Singh, "Imperialism and the Left" in Platypus Review 128 (July 2020)

https://platypus1917.org/2020/07/01/imperialism-and-the-left/
+ Letter to Theodore Draper in New York from Cyril Briggs in Los Angeles, March 17, 1958 [Long extract], Document in the Theodore Draper Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Box 31. http://www.marxisthistory.org/history/usa/groups/abb/1958/0317-briggs-todraper.pdf

Note: First published in English March 13, 1923, International Press Correspondence, Vol. Ill, No. 25, p.197.

Films:

  • Rosewood (1997)
  • Reds

Week 4: The Old Left and the Black Question

June 30

  • Harry Haywood, “The Negro Problem and the Tasks of the Communist Party of the United States” (1928) in P. Foner and H. Shapiro, American Communism and Black Americans: A Documentary History, 1919-1929 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press 1991), pp. 172–178.
  • Max Shachtman, Communism and the Negro (Race and Revolution) (1933)

+ Benjamin Blumberg, “An Unmet Challenge: Race and the Left in America” in The Platypus Review 19, January 2010

+ J.P. Cannon, “The Coming of the American Revolution” (1946)

https://www.marxists.org/archive/cannon/works/1946/comamrev.htm

+”Theses on the American Revolution, Adopted by the Twelfth National Convention of the SWP”

(November 1946)

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/swp-us/misc-1/cannon.htm

+ On the United Front by the Spartacists League

https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/icl-spartacists/pamphlets/On_the_United_Front.pdf

Week 5: Black Skin, White Masks: Frantz Fanon Before the New Left

July 7

Week 6: The New Left and the Black Question, pt. 1

July 14

+Martin Luther King, "The Other America" (1967) (Video)

+ Richard Fraser, “Two lectures on the black question in America and revolutionary integrationism” (1953)

+ Coleman Hughes and Jim Creegan, “Bayard Rustin: Black Liberation and Socialism” The Platypus Review 131, November 2020

Films:

  • Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003)
  • All the Way (2016)

Week 7: The New Left and the Black Question, pt. 2: The Black Power Turn

July 21

+ Malcolm X., “And I Don’t Mean Bananas” (1964) (16 pp.)

+ Black Panther Party, “Ten-Point Program” (1966)

+ Audrey Crescenti, “The Black Panther Party and community organizing: An interview with Bobby Seale” in The Platypus Review 113, February 2019

+ Sophia Freeman, “The Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, and the question of revolutionary politics today: An interview with Kathleen Cleaver” in The Platypus Review 113, February 2019

Films:

Week 8: Platypus Hosts the Conversation: From Obama to #BLM
July 28

+“Black Politics in the Age of Obama” (Chicago, 2013)
Panelists: Cedric Johnson, author of Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics (2007) and The Neoliberal Deluge (2011); and Mel Rothenberg, veteran of the Sojourner Truth Organization and coauthor of The Myth of Capitalism Reborn (1980).

+ “Black Politics and State Violence” (2015)

School of Visual Arts (03/11/15) [Audio]
Panelists: Ben Blumberg (Platypus), Dread Scott (Artist), Eljeer Hawkins (Socialist Alternative/CWI)

+ Platypus at Left Forum NYC 2010: The American Left and the "black question:" from politics to protest to the post-political (2010) [Audio]
Panelists: Tim Barker, Columbia U.; Benjamin Blumberg, Platypus; PamelaNogales, Platypus; Chris Cutrone, Platypus
+ Platypus Public Panel Series: “Black Politics and State Violence” (2015)
University of Chicago (03/20/15) [Audio]
Panelists: Michael Dawson and Mel Rothenberg
+ Platypus Public Panel: “The American left and the ‘Black Question’: From politics to protest to the post-political” (Chicago, 2015)
Panelists: Toby Chow, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) and The People’s Lobby; Brandon Johnson, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU); August Nimtz, author of Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917 (2014); and Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era (1999).

“Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics that are either not found in the rest of the universe or are not found there in the same form." "Society is a sui generis being with its own special nature, distinct from that of its members, and a personality of its own different from individual personalities." — Emile Durkheim
Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, 2008.
Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, 2008.

“Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics that are either not found in the rest of the universe or are not found there in the same form."
"Society is a sui generis being with its own special nature, distinct from that of its members, and a personality of its own different from individual personalities."
-- Emile Durkheim


Fridays 6:30-8:30pm at the May Day Rooms in the "Reading Room"

88 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1DH

Join London Platypus or follow Platypus LSESU or Platypus at UCL on facebook for updates.

All welcome & no prior knowledge required.


( • required / + recommended readings)

Required background reading:
• Chris Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016)

Recommended supplemental parallel reading:
+ Adorno, "Static and Dynamic as Sociological Categories" (1961)
+ Adorno, Introduction to Sociology 1962 lectures
+ Adorno, Philosophical Elements of a Theory of Society 1964 lectures
+ Adorno, Philosophy and Sociology 1960 lectures

Preliminary readings:
• Adorno“Society” (1965)
• Benjamin Constant"The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

Charts of terms:
Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms


Week 1: June 10, 2022

• Gillian RoseHegel Contra Sociology (1981/95) selections: Preface for 1995 reprint, 1. The Antinomies of Sociological Reason, 7. With What Must the Science End?


Week 2: June 17, 2022

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels), Karl Marxon "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
• Max WeberThe Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) selections: Author's Introduction, Part I Chapters 1-3, Part II (+ Chapter 4,) Chapter 5


Week 3: June 24, 2022

• Auguste ComteIntroduction to Positive Philosophy (1830-42) I. The nature and importance of the positive philosophyThe Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte vol. III Bk. VI. Social Physics pp. 1-11, 199-216, 277-344; A General View of Positivism Ch. II. The Social Aspect of Positivism pp. 63-78, Ch. VI. The Religion of Humanity pp. 340-426


Week 4: July 1, 2022

+ Chris Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016) [audio]
• Herbert SpencerPrinciples of Sociology Vol. I Part I The Data of Sociology Ch. I-IV pp. 3-40 and Part II The Inductions of Sociology Ch. I-II pp. 447-462; On Social Evolution (Univ. Chicago selections): IV 15–16 Societal Typologies, Militancy and Industrialism and V 18–19 Ceremonial and Political InstitutionsThe Man Versus the State VI The Great Political Superstition


Week 5: July 8, 2022

• Emile Durkheim, Chapter 3. "The principles of 1789 and sociology" (1890); Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912) Introduction, selections V. Social Creativity Chapters 11-12, in On Morality and Society


Week 6: July 15, 2022

• Durkheim, Chapter 10. "The dualism of human nature and its social conditions" (1914), Chapter 4. "Individualism and the intellectuals" (1898); The Division of Labor in Society (1893) Introduction (pp. 1-10), selection IV. The Evolution of Morality Chapter 6, in On Morality and Society


Week 7: July 22, 2022

• DurkheimThe Division of Labor in Society (1893) selections IV. The Evolution of Morality Chapters 7-9, in On Morality and Society; Preface to the 2nd Edition (pp. xxxi-lix)


Week 8: July 29, 2022

• Frankfurt SchoolAspects of Sociology (1956) selections: Preface by Horkheimer and Adorno, Chapters I-VI, XII
• Adorno“Society” (1965)
+ Adorno, "Static and Dynamic as Sociological Categories" (1961)

Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, 2008.

“Society is a reality sui generis; it has its own characteristics that are either not found in the rest of the universe or are not found there in the same form."
"Society is a sui generis being with its own special nature, distinct from that of its members, and a personality of its own different from individual personalities."
-- Emile Durkheim

"Society is a concept of the Third Estate."
-- Adorno

( • required / + recommended readings)

Required background reading:
• Chris Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016) [audio]

Recommended supplemental parallel reading:
+ Adorno, "Static and Dynamic as Sociological Categories" (1961)
+ Adorno, Introduction to Sociology 1962 lectures
+ Adorno, Philosophical Elements of a Theory of Society 1964 lectures
+ Adorno, Philosophy and Sociology 1960 lectures

Preliminary readings:
Adorno, “Society” (1965)
• Benjamin Constant, "The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

Charts of terms:
+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms

Week 1: June 4, 2022

Adorno, “Society” (1965)
+ Chris Cutrone, "Gillian Rose's 'Hegelian' critique of Marxism" (2010)
• Gillian Rose, Hegel Contra Sociology (1981/95) selections: Preface for 1995 reprint, 1. The Antinomies of Sociological Reason, 7. With What Must the Science End?

Week 2: June 11, 2022

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels), Karl Marxon "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58)
• Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) selections: Author's Introduction, Part I Chapters 1-3, Part II (+ Chapter 4,) Chapter 5

Week 3: June 18, 2022

• Auguste Comte, Introduction to Positive Philosophy (1830-42) I. The nature and importance of the positive philosophy; The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte vol. III Bk. VI. Social Physics pp. 1-11, 199-216, 277-344 [PDF Positive Philosophy of Comte selections]; A General View of Positivism Ch. II. The Social Aspect of Positivism pp. 63-78, Ch. VI. The Religion of Humanity pp. 340-426 [PDF General View of Positivism selections]
+ Chris Cutrone, "Ends of philosophy" (2018)

Week 4: June 25, 2022

+ Chris Cutrone, "Back to Herbert Spencer! Industrial vs. militant society" (2016) [audio]
• Herbert Spencer, Principles of Sociology Vol. I Part I The Data of Sociology Ch. I-IV pp. 3-40 [PDF] and Part II The Inductions of Sociology Ch. I-II pp. 447-462 [PDF]; On Social Evolution (Univ. Chicago selections): IV 15–16 Societal Typologies, Militancy and Industrialism and V 18–19 Ceremonial and Political Institutions; The Man Versus the State VI The Great Political Superstition [PDF selection]

Week 5: July 2, 2022

• Emile Durkheim, Chapter 3. "The principles of 1789 and sociology" (1890); Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912) Introduction, selections V Social Creativity Ch. 11-12, in On Morality and Society

Week 6: July 9, 2022

Durkheim, Chapter 10. "The dualism of human nature and its social conditions" (1914), Ch. 4. "Individualism and the intellectuals" (1898); The Division of Labor in Society (1893) Introduction (pp. 1-10), selection IV The Evolution of Morality Ch. 6, in On Morality and Society

Week 7: July 16, 2022

Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (1893) selections IV. The Evolution of Morality Chapters 7-9, in On Morality and Society; Preface to the 2nd Edition (pp. xxxi-lix)

Week 8: July 23, 2022

Frankfurt School, Aspects of Sociology (1956) selections: Preface by Horkheimer and Adorno, Chapters I-VI, XII
Adorno, “Society” (1965)
+ Adorno, "Static and Dynamic as Sociological Categories" (1961)


Melbourne

Thursdays 6:30–9PM AEDT

The Clyde Hotel - 385 Cardigan Street, Carlton VIC

[time and location subject to change]

Contact: pas1917melbourne@gmail.com
On the web: Facebook Event

required / + recommended readings


Recommended background readings:

+ Chris Cutrone, "On anarchism and Marxism" (2008)
+ Trevor Bark, "Half-time team talk" (response to Cutrone) (2008)
+ Cutrone, "Against dogmatic abstraction" (2010)


Week 1 | Jun. 23, 2022

• Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property? (1840)
+ Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own (1845)


Week 2 | Jun. 30, 2022

• Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State (1871)
+ Bakunin, A Critique of the German Social-Democratic Program (1870)
+ Bakunin, Marxism, Freedom and the State (1872)
+ Ferdinand Lassalle, Open letter to the German workers’ movement (1863)


Week 3 | Jul. 7, 2022

• Peter Kropotkin, Anarchist Communism (1909)
+ Kropotkin, “The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Government” (1919)
+ Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread, especially Chapters 3, 11 and 12 (1906)


Week 4 | Jul. 14, 2022

• Errico Malatesta, Syndicalism and Anarchism (1926)
Malatesta and Nestor Makhno, About the Platform (1927-29)


Week 5 | Jul. 21, 2022

• Murray Bookchin, Listen, Marxist! (1969)


Additional Resources

Platypus Review

+ Herb Gamberg Anarchism through Bakunin: A Marxist Assessment (PR#64 March 2014)
+ Liam Swenson The Leninist Protests Too Much: A response to Herb Gamberg (PR#65 April 2014)
+ Wayne Price In defense of anarchism: A response to Herb Gamberg (PR#65 April 2014)
+ Herb Gamberg On Anarchism and Marxism: In response to Price and Swenson (PR#66 May 2014)

Panels

+ Christoph Lichtenberg, Alex Khasnabish, Chris Parsons, Eva Curry Radical ideologies today: Marxism and anarchism (PR#65 April 2014)

Anarchist Literature

Anarchism in Australia @ Red & Black Notes

Artwork from Clifford Harper