McKenzie Wark: Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene (2015)

14 May 2016, dusan

“In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark creates philosophical tools for the Anthropocene, our new planetary epoch, in which human and natural forces are so entwined that the future of one determines that of the other.

Wark explores the implications of Anthropocene through the story of two empires, the Soviet and then the American. The fall of the former prefigures that of the latter. From the ruins of these mighty histories, Wark salvages ideas to help us picture what kind of worlds collective labor might yet build. From the Russian revolution, Wark unearths the work of Alexander Bogdanov—Lenin’s rival—as well as the great Proletkult writer and engineer Andrey Platonov.

The Soviet experiment emerges from the past as an allegory for the new organizational challenges of our time. From deep within the Californian military-entertainment complex, Wark retrieves Donna Haraway‘s cyborg critique and science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s Martian utopia as powerful resources for rethinking and remaking the world that climate change has wrought. Molecular Red proposes an alternative realism, where hope is found in what remains and endures.”

Publisher Verso, London and New York, March 2015
ISBN 1781688273, 9781781688274
xxiv+280 pages

Reviews: Slavoj Žižek (Verso 2015, Wark’s response), John Beck (Radical Philosophy 2015), Mark Rappolt (ArtReview 2015), Maria Chehonadskih (Mute 2015, Wark’s response), Two Grenadiers (2015), Pieter Vermeulen & Tom Chadwick (nY 2016), Jim Harper (LSE Review of Books 2016).
Commentary: Joe Guinan (Renewal 2015), Jernej Kaluža (Radio Student 2019, SL).

Video lecture (Concordia U, Apr 2015)


See also Molecular Red Reader compiled by Wark (PDF).

Lucien Goldmann: Cultural Creation in Modern Society (1971/1976)

2 May 2014, dusan

These six essays offer an excellent overview of Goldmann’s philosophy and sociology. They include not only some of his last writings on mass media and mass culture, new forms of literary creativity, and avant-garde theatre and cinema, but also some of his last thoughts on the problems of social change and political organization in advanced capitalist society. (from the Introduction)

Also included are commentaries on Goldmann’s work by Jean Piaget and Herbert Marcuse.

Originally published as La Création culturelle dans la société moderne, Denoel, Paris, 1971
Introduction by William Mayrl
Translated by Bart Grahl
Bibliography and Appendices compiled by Ileana Rodriguez and Marc Zimmerman
Publisher Telos Press, St. Louis, MI, 1976
ISBN 0631182209
173 pages
via fading aesthetic

Commentary (Miriam Glucksmann, New Left Review, 1969)

Google books

PDF (updated to an OCR’d version on 2014-5-8 via Marcell Mars)

Alexander Bogdanov: Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia (1908–) [FR, EN, DE]

1 December 2013, dusan

A communist society on Mars, the Russian revolution, and class struggle on two planets is the subject of this arresting science fiction novel by Alexander Bogdanov (1873–1928), one of the early organizers and prophets of the Russian Bolshevik party. The red star is Mars, but it is also the dream set to paper of the society that could emerge on earth after the dual victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions. While portraying a harmonious and rational socialist society, Bogdanov sketches out the problems that will face industrialized nations, whether socialist or capitalist.

The book also includes Engineer Menni, a historical novel about the social revolution on Mars, first published in 1913, and the poem A Martian Stranded on Earth, first published as a supplement to the second edition of Red Star in 1924, about a Martian who has reached Earth but is unable to return to his native planet. where mankind has attained a superior level of communist civilization.

Edited by Loren R. Graham and Richard Stites
Translated by Charles Rougle
Publisher Indiana University Press, 1984
ISBN 0253173507, 9780253173508
257 pages

Reviews: Andy Cunningham (Socialist Review), Paul Josephson (Technology and Culture).

Wikipedia (EN)
Publisher (EN)

L’Étoile rouge (French, 1913-14, HTML, added on 2014-3-27)
Red Star (English, trans. Charles Rougle, 1984)
Der rote Planet (German, undated, HTML, added on 2014-3-27)

See Monoskop wiki for further writings of Bogdanov.