Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The tragedy of the left - a panel discussion in NYC

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

A panel discussion with:

Ervand Abrahamian
Professor of History at Baruch College, CUNY
and author of Iran: Between Two Revolutions, 1982

Siyaves Azeri
Head of the Committee of International Relations of
the Worker-Communist Party of Iran

Hamid Dabashi
Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature
at Columbia University

The Platypus Affiliated Society, established in 2006, organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and postpolitical (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today.

1 comment:

  1. 30 Years of the Islamic Revolution in Iran: The Tragedy of the Left

    By tailing after events, the Left betrays its revolutionary history. The Iranian election protests of the last three months have been no exception. Leftists have hailed the amorphous social upheaval in the streets of Tehran as a step towards the transformation and progressive “evolution” of Iranian society. Yet, however optimistic this position may sound, celebration without understanding only obfuscates our political situation. Undoubtedly, the Left today should demand the overthrow of theocratic regimes. But here is the importance of ideology: how the regime is overthrown — who participates in this act and how they understand their political practice — has real effects. In 1977-79, the international Left overlooked this problem 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? In the spirit of renewal, Platypus asserts that if the Left is to change the world, it must first transform itself!

    Past events: http://platypus1917.org/category/multimedia/

    Recommended Platypus Review articles:

    1. 30 Years of the Islamic Revolution: An Interview with Ervand Abrahamian

    2. The Failure of the Islamic Revolution: The nature of the present crisis in Iran