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

From: dlaibman@JJAY.CUNY.EDU
Date: Sat Jan 21 2006 - 10:20:29 EST

Hi Jerry,
  Oh, not limitation of the imagination; only of space!  (I also left 
out Japan, as someone else pointed out.)  All those other revolutions 
will be made by all those young folks who listened to my (imaginary) 
lecture, and were inspired by it!
  Always dreamin',

----- Original Message -----
From: Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2006 8:43 am
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Red Butterflies Flap Their Wings
> 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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