From the financial crisis and the bank bail-outs to the question of “sovereign debt”; from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street; from the struggle for a unified European-wide policy to the elections in Greece and Egypt that seem to have threatened so much and promised so little—the need to go beyond mere “protest” has asserted itself: political revolution is in the air, again.
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.
The Second International (1889-1914), The Russian Revolution (1917), The Old Left (1930s), The New Left (1960s).
Four sessions of readings focusing largely, although not exclusively, on content generated by the Platypus Review, the aim of these sessions is to provide attendees with a sense of the raison d’être of the Platypus project.
Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762)
Saturdays 1–4 PM School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) | 112 S Michigan Ave | 14th Floor Lounge Join Platypus for a five-week summer reading group as we explore the dynamic relationship between art and politics both present and past! • required / + recommended reading Required preliminary reading • Chris Cutrone, “The […]
Sundays 2-5 PM School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) | 112 S Michigan Ave | 14th Floor Lounge Join Platypus for a five-week summer reading group as we discuss Ernest Mandel’s seminal work, Late Capitalism (1972), and the four decades of Neoliberalism that have since followed. • required / + recommended reading […]
Platypus presents: “White-Skin Privilege”? Join Platypus in a discussion of the possible significance of the black question for the reconstitution of an American Left. As a prelude to a wider panel discussion, Mel Rothenberg will address the theoretical underpinnings of the white-skin privilege thesis originally formulated in the 1970s by the Chicago-based Sojourner Truth Organization, […]
Black Politics in the Age of Obama MICHAEL DAWSON | CEDRIC JOHNSON | MEL ROTHEMBERG An edited transcript of the event was subsequently published in issue 57 of the Platypus Review. A full recording of this event is available at our media website. Monday, May 6th at 6:30 PM University of Chicago | 1116 E 59th St Harper Memorial […]