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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)
+ 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

Film screenings: January 2017

Week 13. Revolutionary leadership | Jan. 30, 2017

Week 14. Reform or revolution? | Feb. 6, 2017

Week 15. Lenin and the vanguard party | Feb. 13, 2017

Week 16. What is to be done? | Feb. 20, 2017

Week 17. Mass strike and social democracy | Feb. 27, 2017

Week 18. Permanent revolution | Mar. 6, 2017

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

Week 19. State and revolution | Mar. 13, 2017

Week 20. Imperialism | Mar. 20, 2017

Week 21. Mar. 27, 2017 (spring break)

Week 22. Failure of the revolution | Apr. 3, 2017

Week 23. Apr. 10, 2017 [Platypus international convention]

Week 24. Retreat after revolution | Apr. 17, 2017

Week 25. Dialectic of reification | Apr. 24, 2017

Week 26. Lessons of October | Apr. 29, 2017

Week 27. Trotskyism | May 1, 2017

Week 28. The authoritarian state | May 8, 2017

Week 29. On the concept of history | May 15, 2017

Week 30. Reflections on Marxism | May 22, 2017

Week 31. Theory and practice | Jun. 29, 2017

The widely publicized killings of black men by police and the resulting movement with its slogan “Black Lives Matter” puts back on the agenda of a beleaguered American Left a seemingly perennial question, one that evokes a long history of struggle, longing, and disappointment. With a black president in the White House having survived or co-opted...

March 2nd, 2 PM, 214 Harriman Hall, Stony Brook University, New York
February 25, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM, School for Visual Arts, 133 West 21st Street, New York City
February 18, 6:00 pm, School of Visual Arts, 133 West 21st St, room 101C, New York City

February 19, 2:00 pm, Humanities Building, Room 2052, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

September 29, 7:30 PM, NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South



NYC, New School
6 E 16th St
Room 909


8 May 2013
7-9 pm


The Platypus Affiliated Society will be hosting a book chat with Richard Greeman, translator of Victor Serge’s Memoirs of a Revolutionary and Russia in Danger. This event will be hosted on 8 May 2013 at the New School, 6 E 16th St, NYC, from 7 to 9 pm in Room 909.

Victor Serge (1890–1947) was an international revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern as a journalist, editor and translator. He was critical of the Stalinist regime and remained a revolutionary Marxist until his death. Though scattered, his writings have been reassembled and translated and kept alive by a small group of radical devotees, most notably Peter Sedgwick and Richard Greeman.

Richard Greeman is a Marxist scholar long active in human rights, anti-war, anti-nuclear, environmental and labor struggles in the U.S., Latin America, France, and Russia. Greeman is best known for his studies and translations of the Franco-Russian novelist and revolutionary Victor Serge. Greeman also writes regularly about politics, international class struggles and revolutionary theory. Co-founder of the Praxis Research and Education Center in Moscow, Russia, Greeman is based in Montpellier, France, where he directs the International Victor Serge Foundation.




Recently, a series of exchanges between the Communist Party of Great Britain (PCC), the International Bolshevik Tendency, and the Platypus Affiliated Society has unfolded, mapping a field of positions and historical perspectives whose contours trace some of the most provocative contemporary perspectives on Marxism, socialism, and democracy.

With this public forum, speakers will take stock of the points of convergence and divergence that have emerged in order to push the conversation further on key issues such as Left unity, neo-Kautskyism, factionalism, Trotskyism, sectarianism, Leninism and Bolshevism, democratic organization and political program.


April 18, 2013 | 7:00-9:00pm


NYU Kimmel Center, Room 904 | 60 Washington Square South | New York, New York 10012


For the self-criticism, self-education, and, ultimately,
the practical reconstitution of a Marxian Left.