Re: [OPE-L] Red Butterflies Flap Their Wings

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Jan 21 2006 - 08:43:49 EST

Yes, David L, we are entitled to dream.   I couldn't help
noting, though, that in your "optimism of the imagination"
alternative historical narrative, there were revolutions and
socialist republics and federations formed in every part of
the world _except_:
o   Europe, outside of Northern Europe;
o   Africa, outside of Southern Africa;
o   the Middle East
o   North America.

Why was that?   You allow for how revolutions can help
to bring about radicalizations and revolutionary upsurges
in other parts of the world, and even allow for mass
movements in the US (e.g. the Peoples' Communist Party)
and the defeat of fascism in Germany by a communist-
socialist coalition,  but there are no revolutionary
transformations in these regions.  Have I got too much
imagination or have you too little?

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: a reminder of a revolution in Europe which has
inspired revolutionaries since.  Shouldn't our optimism of
the imagination allow for another workers' revolution in
France?  I expect to be spending most of today watching
the following movie.  Perhaps I'll see you there?





Rare Showing Includes Commentary by Dr. Joan Wallach
Scott, Princeton University

La Commune (Paris 1871), by filmmaker Peter Watkins is
a masterful and revolutionary work of art.

The Professional Staff Congress, the CUNY faculty
union, is offering an opportunity to watch the film in
a labor setting with discussion led by noted historian
of France, Joan Wallach Scott.  The story of the
socialist uprising of the Parisian population against a
centralized and militaristic government is recreated in
Watkins' blending of documentary, political, historical
and post-modern film genres in this exceptionally
critical and effective narrative.  The film presents
'breaking news' from the 1871 battle lines, as well as
distinctive 'you are there' media coverage from both
Socialist and Royalist TV stations. La Commune
represents a workers' government facing injustice,
violence and collective amnesia.

A six-hour film, La Commune is rarely screened; this
showing includes the added feature of commentary and
audience discussion led by Dr. Joan Wallach Scott, the
important historian of France and writer of feminist
theory.  Dr. Scott is the Harold F. Linder Professor
in the School of Social Science at the Institute for
Advanced Study.   Her books include:   The
Glassworkers of Carmaux: French Craftsmen and
Political Action in a Nineteenth-Century City (1974),
Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only
Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of
Man (1996), and Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis
of French Universalism (2005).

The film has a six-hour running time and will begin at
1:00PM on Saturday, January 21st at the Center for
Worker Education (CUNY), 99 Hudson Street, 6th Floor
(1/2 to Franklin Street or A/C to Chambers).   An
intermission is scheduled and refreshments will be
served.  Dr. Scott's presentation and Q&A will follow
the film.

PSC's Labor Goes to the Movies Film Series

La Commune (Paris 1871) is the first screening of the
spring semester of the PSC's film series Labor Goes to
the Movies.   Based on the Argentinean concept of
'Third Cinema,' Labor Goes to the Movies explores how
cultural work can be used as an organizing tool, and
how culture itself can be re-thought in a union
context.  Visit for more information.
Jonathan Buchsbaum, a media studies professor at Queens
College, is available for interviews.

All proceeds from this screening will go to the
Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) at NYU.

for more information on the Labor Goes to the Movies
series, go to

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