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The Platypus Society organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and post-political (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today. We ask what the Left has been, and what can it yet become? Through our public fora and journalism, we bring together various tendencies, groups and individuals to host the absent but necessary conversations about the death of the Left, to consider its possible reconsitutiton today.
In our reading group we explore the question of "What is the Left?" and "What is Marxism?" reading thinkers such as Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Benajmin Constant, and Nietzsche, to Marx and Engels themselves, to the development of Marxism in the 19th century, to its crisis in the early 20th century, through to Frankfurt School critical theory and its precursors (Reich, Kracauer, Benjamin, Adorno and Horkheimer), to thinkers of the 1960's New Left, as well as the historian of German social democracy J. P. Nettl, and political theorist Leszek Kowalkowski.
We also participate in social events such as coffee breaks, pub nights and group trips to radical, Marxist, socialist and anarchist political events.
For the 2017-2018 school year, our readings groups are Tuesdays in the Lakatos Building library on Floor 4 from 6-9pm, and our coffee breaks are Sundays at Espresso Room on Holborn from 2pm-3pm.
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Charity Number (Registered Charity: Charity Commission): 1143103; Company Number (Company Limited by Guarantee): 7710669; We are a London Living Wage employer.
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