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Every Sunday at 2 pm

Online via Zoom (https://georgetown.zoom.us/j/91479168608) / New North 214, as soon as Georgetown resumes in-person instruction

Georgetown University (37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057)

For regular updates, please follow our Facebook page: facebook.com/PlatypusGeorgetown


required / + recommended reading


Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Week 11. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Jan. 16, 2022

Karl Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Herbert Marcuse, "Note on dialectic" (1960)
+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11
+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15
+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145


Winter–Spring 2022

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

Week 12. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 23, 2022

• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915)
• J. P. Nettl, “The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)


Week 13. Reform or revolution? | Jan. 30, 2022

Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution? (1900/08)
+ Eugene Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)


Week 14. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 6, 2022

Spartacist League, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 15. What is to be done? | Feb. 13, 2022

• V. I. Lenin, What is to be Done? (1902)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 16. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 20, 2022

Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)
+ Luxemburg, "Blanquism and Social Democracy" (1906)


Week 17. Permanent revolution | Feb. 27, 2022

• Leon Trotsky, Results and Prospects (1906)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)


Week 18. State and revolution | Mar. 6, 2022

Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917)


Week 19. Imperialism | Mar. 13, 2022

“The bourgeoisie makes it its business to promote trusts, drive women and children into the factories, subject them to corruption and suffering, condemn them to extreme poverty. We do not ‘demand’ such development, we do not ‘support’ it. We fight it. But how do we fight? We explain that trusts and the employment of women in industry are progressive. We do not want a return to the handicraft system, pre-monopoly capitalism, domestic drudgery for women. Forward through the trusts, etc., and beyond them to socialism!”
— Lenin, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution (1916/17)

Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)
+ Lenin, Socialism and War Ch. 1 The principles of socialism and the War of 1914–15 (1915)


Week 20. Mar. 20, 2022 (spring break)


Week 21. Failure of the revolution | Mar. 27, 2022

Luxemburg, “What does the Spartacus League Want?” (1918)
Luxemburg, “On the Spartacus Programme” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, "German Bolshevism" (AKA "The Socialisation of Society") (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “The Russian Tragedy” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
+ Eugene Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)


Week 22. Apr. 3, 2022 [Platypus international convention]


Week 23. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 10, 2022

Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)
+ Lenin, "Notes of a Publicist" (1922)


Week 24. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 17, 2022

Lukács, “The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.org: section 1 section 2 section 3
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Commodity form chart of terms
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms + Organic composition of capital chart of terms
+ Reification chart of terms
+ Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)


Week 25. Lessons of October | Apr. 24, 2022

Trotsky, The Lessons of October (1924) [PDF]
Trotsky, "Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)


Week 26. Trotskyism | April 31, 2022

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
+ Trotsky, "If America should go communist" (1934)
Trotsky, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (AKA The Transitional Program and the Struggle for Socialism, 1938)
+ Trotsky, "Trade unions in the epoch of imperialist decay" (1940)
+ Trotsky, Letter to James Cannon (September 12, 1939)


Week 27. The authoritarian state | May 8, 2022

• Friedrich Pollock, "State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" (1941) (note 32 on USSR)
• Max Horkheimer, "The Authoritarian State" (1942) [PDF]
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 


Week 28. On the concept of history | May 15, 2022

• epigraphs by Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson) and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche) on the modern concept of history
+ Charles Baudelaire, from Fusées [Rockets] (1867)
+ Bertolt Brecht, "To posterity" (1939)
+ Walter Benjamin, "To the planetarium" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
+ Benjamin, "Fire alarm" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
[JPG] [PDF]
+ Benjamin, "Experience and poverty" (1933)
+ Benjamin, Theologico-political fragment (1921/39?)
+ Benjamin on history chart of terms
Benjamin, "On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF]
Benjamin, Paralipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Benjamin, Arcades Project Convolute N, "On the theory of knowledge, theory of progress" (see especially p. 471 [N8,1] on Horkheimer on unredeemablility of past suffering)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 29. Reflections on Marxism | May 22, 2022

+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
+ Benjamin on history chart of terms
• Theodor Adorno, “Reflections on Class Theory” (1942)
Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, Dedication, "Bequest", "Warning: Not to be Misused" and "Finale", Minima Moralia (1944–47)
+ Horkheimer and Adorno, "Discussion about Theory and Praxis" (AKA "Towards a New Manifesto?") [Deutsch] (1956)


Week 30. Theory and practice | May 29, 2022

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
+ Commodity form chart of terms
+ Reification chart of terms
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
+ Adorno's critique of actionism chart of terms
Adorno, “Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
Adorno, “Resignation” (1969)
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, “Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?” (AKA “Is Marx Obsolete?”) (1968)
+ Organic composition of capital chart of terms
+ Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)
+ Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)
+ Adorno, Interview with Der Spiegel magazine (1969)

Sundays, 12:00 - 3:00PM
Harper 135
1116 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637

Join at any time / no prior knowledge assumed

Find the Facebook Events for each session: @uchicagoplatypus

[Online weeks will take place Sundays, 5:00 - 8:00PM]

• required / + recommended reading


Recommended winter break preliminary readings:

+ Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1968)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)
+ Carl Schorske, The SPD 1905-17: The Development of the Great Schism (1955)
+ J.P. Nettl, Rosa Luxemburg (1966) [Vol. 1] [Vol. 2]
+ Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (1940), Part II. Ch. (1–4,) 5–10, 12–16; Part III. Ch. 1–6


I. What is the Left? What is Marxism?


Week 10. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Jan. 16, 2021 [ONLINE]

• Lukács“Class Consciousness” (1920), Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), History and Class Consciousness (1923)

Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Reification chart of terms

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

+ Herbert Marcuse, "Note on dialectic" (1960)

+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302


II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism


Week 11. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 23, 2021 [ONLINE]

• Rosa Luxemburg, “The Crisis of German Social Democracy” Part 1 (1915)
• J. P. Nettl“The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
• Cliff Slaughter, “What is Revolutionary Leadership?” (1960)


Week 12. Reform or revolution? | Jan. 30, 2021

• LuxemburgReform or Revolution? (1900/08)
+ Eugene Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)


Week 13. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 6, 2021

• Spartacist LeagueLenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 14. What is to be done? | Feb. 13, 2021

• V. I. LeninWhat is to be Done? (1902)
+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)


Week 15. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 20, 2021

• LuxemburgThe Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions (1906)
+ Luxemburg, "Blanquism and Social Democracy" (1906)


Week 16. Permanent revolution | Feb. 27, 2021

• Leon TrotskyResults and Prospects (1906)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)


Week 17. State and revolution | Mar. 6, 2021

• LeninThe State and Revolution (1917)


Week 18. Imperialism | Mar. 13, 2021

“The bourgeoisie makes it its business to promote trusts, drive women and children into the factories, subject them to corruption and suffering, condemn them to extreme poverty. We do not ‘demand’ such development, we do not ‘support’ it. We fight it. But how do we fight? We explain that trusts and the employment of women in industry are progressive. We do not want a return to the handicraft system, pre-monopoly capitalism, domestic drudgery for women. Forward through the trusts, etc., and beyond them to socialism!”
— Lenin, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution (1916/17)

• LeninImperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)
+ Lenin, Socialism and War Ch. 1 The principles of socialism and the War of 1914–15 (1915)


Week 19. Mar. 20, 2021 (spring break)


Week 20. Failure of the revolution | Mar. 27, 2021

• Luxemburg“What does the Spartacus League Want?” (1918)
• Luxemburg“On the Spartacus Programme” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, "German Bolshevism" (AKA "The Socialisation of Society") (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “The Russian Tragedy” (1918)
+ Luxemburg, “Order Reigns in Berlin” (1919)
+ Eugene Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)


Week 21. Apr. 3, 2021 [Platypus international convention]


Week 22. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 10, 2021

• Lenin“Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920)
+ Lenin, "Notes of a Publicist" (1922)


Week 23. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 17, 2021

• Lukács“The Standpoint of the Proletariat” (Part III of “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat,” 1923). Available in three sections from marxists.org: section 1 section 2 section 3
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
Commodity form chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms + Organic composition of capital chart of terms
Reification chart of terms
+ Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)


Week 24. Lessons of October | Apr. 24, 2021

• TrotskyThe Lessons of October (1924) [PDF]
• Trotsky"Stalinism and Bolshevism" (1937)


Week 25. Trotskyism | May 1, 2021

+ Trotsky, "To build communist parties and an international anew" (1933)
+ Trotsky, "If America should go communist" (1934)
• TrotskyThe Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (AKA The Transitional Program and the Struggle for Socialism, 1938)
+ Trotsky, "Trade unions in the epoch of imperialist decay" (1940)
+ Trotsky, Letter to James Cannon (September 12, 1939)


Week 26. The authoritarian state | May 8, 2021

• Friedrich Pollock"State Capitalism: Its Possibilities and Limitations" (1941) (note 32 on USSR)
• Max Horkheimer, "The Authoritarian State" (1942) [PDF]
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 


Week 27. On the concept of history | May 15, 2021

• epigraphs by Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson) and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche) on the modern concept of history
+ Charles Baudelaire, from Fusées [Rockets] (1867)
+ Bertolt Brecht, "To posterity" (1939)
+ Walter Benjamin, "To the planetarium" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
+ Benjamin, "Fire alarm" (from One-Way Street, 1928)
[JPG] [PDF]
+ Benjamin, "Experience and poverty" (1933)
+ Benjamin, Theologico-political fragment (1921/39?)
Benjamin on history chart of terms
• Benjamin"On the Concept of History" (AKA "Theses on the Philosophy of History") (1940) [PDF]
• BenjaminParalipomena to "On the Concept of History" (1940)
+ Benjamin, Arcades Project Convolute N, "On the theory of knowledge, theory of progress" (see especially p. 471 [N8,1] on Horkheimer on unredeemablility of past suffering)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 28. Reflections on Marxism | May 22, 2021

Capital in history timeline and chart of terms
Benjamin on history chart of terms
• Theodor Adorno“Reflections on Class Theory” (1942)
• Adorno“Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, Dedication"Bequest""Warning: Not to be Misused" and "Finale"Minima Moralia (1944–47)
+ Horkheimer and Adorno, "Discussion about Theory and Praxis" (AKA "Towards a New Manifesto?") [Deutsch] (1956)


Week 29. Theory and practice | May 29, 2021

+ Adorno, “On Subject and Object” (1969)
Commodity form chart of terms
Reification chart of terms
Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
Adorno's critique of actionism chart of terms
• Adorno“Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
• Adorno“Resignation” (1969)
Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Adorno, “Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?” (AKA “Is Marx Obsolete?”) (1968)
Organic composition of capital chart of terms
+ Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)
+ Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)
+ Adorno, Interview with Der Spiegel magazine (1969)

On this episode of SPS, Sophia and Pamela sit down with Spencer L., founding member of Platypus and historian of imperialism, to discuss the Rittenhouse trial and the “Left’s” response. They clear up the confusion around the Second Amendment among todays leftists, address the anti-racism of progressive liberals, and take up responses by Daniel Lazare (Weekly Worker) and the Bolshevik Tendency. In the second part of the episode, Andreas W. and Platypus Melbourne member, Ryan M., interview Sue Bolton (Socialist Alliance) on the protests against the Australian vaccine mandate, including the September attack on the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) offices. Union leadership was under attack by union members for their complicity with state measures, which prevented a return to work without vaccination. Andreas and Ryan ask, how should the left respond? Are these protests simply cannon fodder for the right? How should socialists understand this discontent in civil society?

SEGMENT I Links
>The “Left” on Rittenhouse

Daniel Lazare, “Rittenhouse and White Backlash” in the Weekly Worker, issue 1373 (25 November 2021)
weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1373/rit…white-backlash/
“...The idea that good guys need guns to defend themselves against bad guys is asinine, since it is often far from clear in a shootout which is which. It is a determination that cannot be made individually on the spur of the moment, but can only be made deliberately and collectively, which is why democracy requires judges, courts and other such apparatus.”

Milwaukee DSA Statement on Rittenhouse Verdict, (22 November 2021)
milwaukee.dsawi.org/milwaukee-dsa-s…nhouse-verdict/
“It is no coincidence that Rittenhouse wants to be a police officer when he grows up. The US injustice system was developed to enshrine white supremacy at the expense of those who work to undo it. As those in power continue to build upon the fascist foundations of our nation, it becomes ever-clearer that abolition of police and the carceral state at large is the only path forward.”

Bolshevik Tendency, “Killer Rittenhouse Goes Free—Fascists Celebrate”
bolsheviktendency.org/2021/11/27/kil…sts-celebrate/
“Decent people do not recognize the “right” of fascists and their various ultra-rightist friends and associates to mobilize—nor do we recognize their right to “defend” themselves against attempts to disarm them, which is what Rittenhouse’s victims were seeking to do. While the latter’s tactics were obviously seriously deficient, their intent was commendable.”

>Education on Liberalism & Constitutional Rights
Ira Glasser, Free Speech and the ACLU, an interview by Glenn Greenwald
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGI4fc_VB7c
Platypus Public Fora Series: The Second Amendment and the Left
Platypus Review 110 (October 2018): platypus1917.org/2018/10/01/the-s…nt-and-the-left/
June 9, 2018, University of Houston: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaaAqAm6oAw

SEGMENT II Links
Sue Bolton's article in Green Left, Socialist Alliance's publication: www.greenleft.org.au/content/behind…k-cfmeu-office
The other Green Left article Andreas quotes, by Dave Kellaway: www.greenleft.org.au/content/italy-…-confederation
Socialist Alliance's website: socialist-alliance.org/

Hosted by Sophia F., Pamela N. and Andreas W., with original tracks by Tamas Vilaghy, and editing assistance by Michael Woodson and Tamas Vilaghy. To learn more about Platypus, go to platypus1917.org/.

brodsky_leninsmolnypalace

Coffee breaks: weekly informal discussion

For in-person conversation, please join our coffee breaks. Information on time and place upcoming!

Our weekly Coffee Breaks are a great way to meet Platypus members and fellow travelers, and to get to know the Platypus project. It’s an opportunity to discuss issues raised in the latest issue of the Platypus Review, consider the state of the Left, and just hang out with people who have similar political interests.

Reading group: Introduction to Revolutionary Marxism

Tuesday at 6-8pm on Zoom https://zoom.us/j/95543514692

Everybody welcome! No prior experience required.

Topic: Platypus Manchester | Primary reading group
https://zoom.us/j/95543514692 (permanent URL)

Meeting ID: 955 4351 4692
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 955 4351 4692
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/auHswe8kL


• required / + recommended reading

Marx and Engels readings pp. from Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader (Norton 2nd ed., 1978)


Week I. Radical bourgeois philosophy IV. What is the Third Estate? | Sep. 28, 2021

• Abbé Emmanuel Joseph SieyèsWhat is the Third Estate? (1789) [full text]

+ Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees (1732)


Week J. Radical bourgeois philosophy V. Kant and Constant: Bourgeois society | Oct. 5, 2021

• Immanuel Kant"Idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view" and "What is Enlightenment?" (1784)

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

+ Kant's 3 Critiques [PNG] and philosophy [PNG] charts of terms

• Benjamin Constant"The liberty of the ancients compared with that of the moderns" (1819)

+ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the origin of inequality (1754)

+ Rousseau, selection from On the social contract (1762)


Week K. Radical bourgeois philosophy VI. Hegel: Freedom in history | Oct. 12 2021

• G.W.F. HegelIntroduction to the Philosophy of History (1831) [HTML] [PDF pp. 14-128] [Audiobook]

Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms


Week 1. What is the Left? I. Capital in history | Oct. 19, 2021

• Max Horkheimer, "The little man and the philosophy of freedom" (1926–31)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by Louis Menand (on Marx and Engels), Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on history)

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) chart of terms

• Chris Cutrone, "Capital in history" (2008)

+ Capital in history timeline and chart of terms

+ video of Communist University 2011 London presentation

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Cutrone, "The Marxist hypothesis" (2010)

Cutrone, “Class consciousness (from a Marxist persective) today” (2012)

+ G.M. Tamas, "Telling the truth about class" [HTML] (2007)

+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)

+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)


Week 2. What is the Left? II. Utopia and critique | Oct. 26, 2021

• Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (1926–31)

Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944–47)

• Leszek Kolakowski, “The concept of the Left” (1958)

• Herbert Marcuse, "Note on dialectic" (1960)

Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11

Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 3. What is Marxism? I. Socialism | Nov. 2, 2021

Marx, selections from Economic and philosophic manuscripts (1844), pp. 70–101

+ Commodity form chart of terms

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), pp. 469–500

Marx, The coming upheaval (from The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847), pp. 218–19


Week 4. What is Marxism? II. Revolution in 1848 | Nov. 9, 2021

Marx, Address to the Central Committee of the Communist League (1850), pp. 501–511 and Class struggle and mode of production (letter to Weydemeyer, 1852), pp. 218–220

Engels, The tactics of social democracy (Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx, The Class Struggles in France), pp. 556–573

Marx, selections from The Class Struggles in France 1848–50 (1850), pp. 586–593

Marx, selections from The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), pp. 594–617


Week 5. What is Marxism? III. Bonapartism | Nov. 16, 2021

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)

Marx, Inaugural address to the First International (1864), pp. 512–519

Marx, selections from The Civil War in France (1871, including Engels's 1891 Introduction), pp. 618–652

+ Korsch, Introduction to Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)

Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, pp. 525–541

Marx, Programme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Week 6. What is Marxism? IV. Critique of political economy | Nov. 23, 2021

The fetish character of the commodity is not a fact of consciousness; rather it is dialectical, in the eminent sense that it produces consciousness. . . . [P]erfection of the commodity character in a Hegelian self-consciousness inaugurates the explosion of its phantasmagoria.
— Theodor W. Adorno, letter to Walter Benjamin, August 2, 1935

+ Commodity form chart of terms

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

+ Organic composition of capital chart of terms 

+ Marx on surplus-value chart of terms

Marx, selections from the Grundrisse (1857–61), pp. 222–226, 236–244, 247–250, 276–293 ME Reader pp. 276–281

Marx, Capital Vol. I, Ch. 1 Sec. 4 "The fetishism of commodities" (1867), pp. 319–329

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 7. What is Marxism? V. Reification | Nov. 30, 2021

• Georg Lukács, “The phenomenon of reification” (Part I of “Reification and the consciousness of the proletariat,” History and Class Consciousness, 1923)
+ Commodity form chart of terms
+ Reification chart of terms
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms
+ Organic composition of capital chart of terms
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms


Week 9. What is Marxism? VI. Class consciousness | Dec. 7, 2021

Lukács, “Class Consciousness” (1920), Original Preface (1922), “What is Orthodox Marxism?” (1919), History and Class Consciousness (1923)
+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 
+ Reification chart of terms
+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms
+ Herbert Marcuse, "Note on dialectic" (1960)
+ Marx, Preface to the First German Edition and Afterword to the Second German Edition (1873) of Capital (1867), pp. 294–298, 299–302


Week 10. What is Marxism? VII. Ends of philosophy | Dec. 14, 2021

Korsch, “Marxism and philosophy” (1923)

+ Capitalist contradiction chart of terms 

+ Being and becoming (freedom in transformation) / immanent dialectical critique chart of terms

+ Herbert Marcuse, "Note on dialectic" (1960)
+ Marx, To make the world philosophical (from Marx's dissertation, 1839–41), pp. 9–11

+ Marx, For the ruthless criticism of everything existing (letter to Arnold Ruge, September 1843), pp. 12–15

+ Marx, "Theses on Feuerbach" (1845), pp. 143–145


Winter break readings

+ Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate / A&Z, Introducing Lenin and the Russian Revolution / Lenin for Beginners (1977)
+ Sebastian Haffner, Failure of a Revolution: Germany 1918–19 (1968)
+ Tariq Ali and Phil Evans, Introducing Trotsky and Marxism / Trotsky for Beginners (1980)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)
+ Carl Schorske, The SPD 1905-17: The Development of the Great Schism (1955)
+ J.P. Nettl, Rosa Luxemburg (1966) [Vol. 1] [Vol. 2]
+ Edmund Wilson, To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History (1940), Part II. Ch. (1–4,) 5–10, 12–16; Part III. Ch. 1–6

Winter–Spring 2022

II. Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

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On this episode of SPS, Pamela and the Platypus Review Editor-in-Chief, Lou S. chat about the recent NBA crack-up over vaccine skepticism and discuss the articles in the new issue of the Platypus Review. Andreas, our EU correspondent, reports from the frontlines of a protest camp in the North East of Vienna. And, in the last segment, Andreas sits with our German members, Tobias, Tom and Anna, to reflect on the recent Bundestag election. They discuss the past and future of Die Linke, the upset by the Greens & the collapse of the left/right distinction within the Green Party, and the future of a post-Merkel, post-Neo-liberalism Germany.

Latest Issue of the Platypus Review: - platypus1917.org/platypus-review/

SPS on the DSA: - Platypus-affiliated-society – Ep22 - Platypus-affiliated-society – Ep8 - and on the DSA & Seth Ackerman: Platypus-affiliated-society – Ep3

Platypus Panels: - Panel Series “What does Climate Change?": platypus1917.org/international-se…-climate-change/ - Die Linke Panel (in German): platypus1917.org/2021/06/02/podium-linkspartei/ - Greens Panel (in German): platypus1917.org/panel-gruene/

Platypus on the Death of the Millennial Left: - Chris Cutrone article from 2017, platypus1917.org/2017/10/01/millennial-left-dead/ - Public Panel on “What was the Millennial Left?" during the Platypus 2021 International Convention: tinyurl.com/5a5uktsf - Chris Cutrone teach-in on the death of the millennial left from 2018: tinyurl.com/3sftxpfn

Hosted by Sophia F., Pamela N. and Andreas W., with original tracks by Tamas Vilaghy, and editing assistance by Michael Woodson and Tamas Vilaghy. To learn more about Platypus, go to Platypus1917.org.