RSS FeedRSS FeedLivestreamLivestreamVimeoVimeoTwitterTwitterFacebook GroupFacebook Group
You are here: Platypus /Archive for tag David Black

A book talk by David Black (International Marxist-Humanists), author of "The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism" on "Alfred Sohn-Rethel's Neo-Kantian Marxism: A Critique", held at the Inaugural European Conference of the Platypus Affiliated Society on Saturday, July 19th, 2014 at Goldsmiths College, London.

A moderated panel discussion hosted by the Platypus Affiliated Society on the interrelation of capital, history and ecology, held at Goldsmiths on November 20th, 2013.

Panelists:

- Andy Price (New Compass)
Dr Andy Price is Principal Lecturer and Subject Group Leader in Politics at Sheffield Hallam University. He has written articles on both Bookchin and social ecology and on contemporary radical movements for the academic and popular press. Andy joined Sheffield Hallam in September 2012 following two years as professor of political science at Saint Louis University in Madrid. During his time in Madrid, Andy spent time on the indignados camp and carried out research on the youth protest movement in Spain generally. His first book, Recovering Bookchin: Social Ecology and the Crises of Our Time was published in December 2012 by New Compass Press.

- Camilla Power (University of East London)
Camilla Power is an anthropologist and activist, interested in human origins, and specifically gender relations and ritual among egalitarian hunter-gatherers, with a view to learning how to reenact the human revolution.

- David Black (The Hobgoblin, International Marxist-Humanist Organisation)
David Black is a journalist and historian, who latest book, The Philosophical Roots of Anti-Capitalism: Essays on History, Culture, and Dialectical Thought, will be published in January 2014

Description:

The Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen recently characterized the period marked by the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th Century to the present as a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. This periodization is meant to capture a change in the history of the planet, namely that for the first time in history its course will be determined by the question of what humanity will become.

This panel will focus on different interpretations of why the Left has failed to deal with the deepening crisis of the Anthropocene through the 19th and 20th Centuries and how and if this problem is interrelated with the growing problems associated with ecological systems across the earth. While Karl Marx would note that the problem of freedom shifted with the industrial revolution and the emergence of the working class - the crisis of bourgeois society that Marx would term capital - the idea of freedom seemed not to survive the collapse of Marxist politics in the 20th Century. We seem to live in a world in which the fate of ecological systems seem foreclosed, where attempts at eco-modernization seem to emerge many steps behind the rate of ecological degradation. For many, degradation of the environment appears a permanent feature of modern society, something which can only be resisted but never transformed.

This panel will consider the relationship between the history of capital and the Left—and thus the issue of history and freedom - and how it may be linked to our present inability to render environmental threats and degradation visible and comprehensible, and by extension, subject to its conscious and free overcoming by society.

T. J. Clark, in “For A Left With No Future,” compares the “immobilized” state of the present-day Left with the impasse of Enlightenment radicals in the years between the Restoration of 1815 and the Revolutions of 1848. He argues that any “reconstruction of the project of the Enlightenment” for today requires a “deeper” look at the history of the Left, and for that, “[t]he book we need to be reading—in preference to The Coming Insurrection, I feel—is Christopher Hill’s The Experience of Defeat.”
THE FIRST EVER REACTION by the Victorian ruling class to “Marxism” is found in a London Times leader of September 2, 1851 on “Literature For The Poor,” “only now and then when some startling fact is bought before us do we entertain even the suspicion that there is a society close to our own, and with which we are in the habits of daily intercourse, of which we are as completely ignorant as if it dwelt in another land, of another language in which we never conversed, which in fact we never saw.”
DAVID BLACK’S VALUABLE COMMENTS and further historical exposition (in Platypus Review 18, December 2009) of my review of Karl Korsch’s Marxism and Philosophy (Platypus Review 15, September 2009) have at their core an issue with Korsch’s account of the different historical phases of the question of “philosophy” for Marx and Marxism. Black questions Korsch’s differentiation of Marx’s relationship to philosophy into three distinct periods: pre-1848, circa 1848, and post-1848. But attempting to defeat Korsch’s historical account of such changes in Marx’s approaches to relating theory and practice means avoiding Korsch’s principal point. It also means defending Marx on mistaken ground. Black considers that Korsch’s periodization—his recognition of changes—opens the door to criticizing Marx for inconsistency in his relation of theory to practice. But that is not so.