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Tag: Lenin

Karl Korsch (1886-1961)

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“Marxism as an historical phenomenon is a thing of the past. It grew out of the revolutionary class struggles of the first half of the nineteenth century, only to be maintained and re-shaped in the second half of the nineteenth century as the revolutionary ideology of a working class which had not yet regained its revolutionary force. Yet in a more fundamental historical sense, the theory of proletarian revolution, which will develop anew in the next period of history, will be an historical continuation of Marxism. In their revolutionary theory, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gave the first great summarization of proletarian ideas, in the first revolutionary period of the proletarian class struggle. This theory remains for all time the classical expression of the new revolutionary consciousness of the proletarian class fighting for its own liberation.” – The Crisis of Marxism, 1931

Books (pdfs):

Marxism and Philosophy (1923) – by Karl Korsch

Karl Marx (1938) – by Karl Korsch

Karl Korsch: Revolutionary Theory – edited by Douglas Kellner (1977)

Karl Korsch: A Study in Western Marxism – by Patrick Goode (1979)


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Western Marxism and the Soviet Union (2007)

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A Survey of Critical Theories and Debates Since 1917

by Marcel van der Linden

Translated by Jurriaan Bendien

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The ‘Russian Question’ was an absolutely central problem for Marxism in the twentieth century. It was, as Castoriadis put it, ‘the touchstone of theoretical and practical attitudes which lay claim to revolution’. For that reason, it is all the more astonishing that, until this very day, not one scholar has tried to portray the historical development of Marxist thought about the Soviet Union since 1917 in a coherent, comprehensive appraisal. Quite possibly, this lacuna in the literature has less to do with the specific topic area than with the underdeveloped historiography of Marxist theories generally. Anderson concluded years ago in his Considerations on Western Marxism that ‘the causes and forms of [Marxism’s] successive metamorphoses and transferences remain largely unexplored’. Likewise, in the history of ideas Marxist theories have not received the attention they deserve.

How to Parent Like a Bolshevik

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Young actors in “The Blue Bird” in 1911.CreditHulton Archive/Getty Images

 Red Century

by Yuri Slezkine

The original Bolsheviks expected Communism in their lifetime. When that began to appear unlikely, they moved the deadline to the lifetime of their children.

“Fire cannot be contained,” Nina Avgustovna Didrikil, an employee at the Lenin Institute, wrote in her diary in 1920. “It will burst forth, and I am certain that if it does not burst forth within me, it will do so through my children, who will make me immortal.”

The path to the parents’ immortality was the children’s happiness. “You are happy, and you will be even happier when you realize just how happy you are,” wrote Didrikil in 1933 to one of her daughters on her 17th birthday. “You are the youngest and strongest, and the whole life of your society is young and strong. My wish for you, in your 17th spring, is that you continue to move closer and closer, in all your interests, feelings, and thoughts, to the camp of the youngest and strongest: to Marx, Engels, Lenin and all the true Bolsheviks.”

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Revolutionary Hangover

MV5BMjA0Njg4MzQyNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjAyNzkxMzE@._V1_ by Rosa Luxemburg, 1909

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History does not pamper the proletariat. Now, when under the undivided rule of counter-revolutionary violence the open performance of the broad mass became almost impossible, when revolutionary work again has been driven underground, the participation of the proletarian Social-Democratic deputies in the State Duma is the last strong ‘legal’ post of class struggle, the Duma tribune – the last tribune, in which it is possible to more or less openly proclaim the slogans of this struggle. And then it appears that even this last legal representation of the proletariat by far does not stand at the height of its tasks, that the Social-Democratic faction very often makes mistakes, that the Duma tribune is insufficiently used for the systematic upholding of the principles of class struggle, for revolutionary critique of all bourgeois parties and their counter-revolutionary games, for political enlightenment of the labouring mass, but frequently is an arena of indecisive action and vacillation on the side of the proletarian deputies, vacillation, excluding a sustained political line and sometimes directly contradictory to the demands of proletarian politics. If one evaluates similar facts ‘on the surface’, not delving deeper in their background, then one can call the present condition of the Duma representation of Social Democracy quite sad. But to say only this would be to observe a truth, undoubtedly, cheaper, than fruitful.

However, no less incandescent (нечален) in its symptomatic significance is also that result, which the weakness of our Duma representation call forth among the ranks of the party in the form of a current, proclaiming openly or secretly the recall of the Social-Democratic faction as the sole exit from the sad situation. The activity of the faction in the third Duma proved its unfitness as a weapon of class struggle – consequently, one needs to recall the faction. So reason some Russian comrades, taking, evidently, this stirring simplicity and direct political reasoning for truly revolutionary decisiveness and solidity in putting the question. For better or for worse, revolutionary proletarian politics does not boil down to such simplified method of thought, – it must be based, in the given case, as also always, first of all on the deeper analysis of objective conditions of struggle of the proletariat and on the dissection of those dialectical inter-relations, in which lies also the true source of difficulties, experienced by Social Democracy, and the true road for the exit from these difficulties.

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Decommunization

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A statue of Vladimir Lenin in Odessa, Ukraine, has been refashioned into Darth Vader. A Ukrainian artist, Alexander Milov, whose work appeared at Burning Man this year, transformed the statue in response to recent decommunization laws, which require the removal of Communist symbols in Ukraine.

Lenin’s face has been covered by Darth Vader’s mask, and his coat has been turned into a cape. The helmet also reportedly serves as a Wi-Fi hot spot.

“I wanted to make a symbol of American pop culture which appears to be more durable than the Soviet ideal,” Mr. Milov told the BBC.

The decommunization law was passed in April by the Ukrainian Parliament following Russian military aggression into the country.

Berlin lizards impede Lenin’s resurrection

The head of Berlin’s largest statue of Lenin is about to be dug up after almost a quarter of a century – if a local colony of lizards cooperates. David Crossland reports from Berlin.

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Lenin has lain in a sandpit at the southeastern edge of Berlin since 1991 when the city, desperate to rid itself of the painful reminders of its division, cut the 19-meter (62-foot) statue into more than a hundred pieces and buried them.

Now, after administrative battles with reluctant authorities and grumbling from Berliners who thought they had got rid of the old communist forever, a museum plans to resurrect the 3.5-ton, 1.70-meter head this summer for a planned museum of disgraced monuments from the city’s tumultuous history.

There’s just one little problem left to solve before it can finally glimpse the light of day: lizards. Sand lizards, to be precise, strictly protected by European wildlife conservation rules.

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