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Join Platypus members this Wednesday, February 17th at 7:30pm for a teach-in on the Iranian Revolution and a discussion on the current situation in Iran led by Platypus Review editor Pam C. Nogales C.

This event will be held at the New School, 80 Fifth Avenue, Rm. 802

Undoubtedly, the Left today should demand the overthrow of theocratic regimes; the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is no exception. However, how the regime is overthrown, who participates in this act and how they understand their political practice, has irreversible effects. In 1977-79, the international Left overlooked this consideration by uncritically supporting those seeking to overthrow the Shah. In so doing, the Left helped a right-wing popular movement establish the theocratic dictatorial government the protesters fight against today. How are we as leftists to make sense of this political failure so as to help rebuild an emancipatory Left today? How do the current protests challenge the Islamic Republic? What are the prospects for overthrowing the Iranian regime and what would take its place?

1. Against the status quo: An interview with Iranian trade-unionist Homayoun Pourzad

2. The failure of the Islamic revolution: The nature of the present crisis in Iran

The Decline of the Left in the 20th Century Toward a Theory of Historical Regression THE ABANDONMENT OF EMANCIPATORY POLITICS in our time has not been, as past revolutionary thinkers may have feared, an abandonment of revolution in favor of reformism. Rather, because the revolutionary overcoming of capital is no longer imagined, reformism too is dead. As the task of achieving human society beyond capital has been abandoned, nothing worthy of the name of politics takes its place, nor could it. The project of freedom has now altogether receded from view. For, while bourgeois thinkers like Hegel were no doubt mistaken in their identification of capital with freedom, they nevertheless grasped that the question of freedom only poses itself with reference to the capital problematic.

The Platypus Affiliated Society presents
30 Years of the Islamic Revolution in Iran: The Tragedy of the Left
6:00pm Sunday, September 13, 2009
at The Brecht Forum 451 West St New York, NY

Persepolis is a film that does not take itself seriously enough. This is not a comment on the unadorned animation style. Nor am I referring to the narrative of the protagonist: a story of a girl raised in a left-wing milieu that succeeds in arousing quite a bit of empathy in the audience. It is the film’s treatment of depoliticization as a fait accompli and its persistent retreat to the safety of the personal that make it a fascinating symptom of politics today. Read politically, Persepolis is a trenchant, if unreflective, look into the fate of contemporary political life.