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Tag Archives: bolshevism

Russian Revolution

THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION IN PROSPECT AND RETROSPECT

A new book in the Historical Materialism Book Series

http://www.brill.nl/october-revolution-prospect-and-retrospect

The October Revolution in Prospect and Retrospect: Interventions in Russian and Soviet History
John Eric Marot, Keimyung University, Korea

In a series of probing analytical essays, John Marot tracks the development of Bolshevism through the prism of pre-1917 intra-Russian Social Democratic controversies in politics and philosophy. For 1917, the author presents a critique of social historical interpretation of the Russian Revolution.

Turning to NEP Russia, the author applies Robert Brenner’s analysis of pre-capitalist modes of production and concludes that neither Bukharin nor Trotsky’s NEP-premised programs of economic transformation and advance toward socialism were feasible. At the same time, he rejects the view thatStalinism was pre-destined to supplant NEP. Instead, he hypothesises that the superior alternative to Stalinism was NEP without collectivization and the Five-Year Plans – a outcome that would have been possible had Bukharin and Trotsky joined forces to stop Stalin.

Biographical note
John Eric Marot, Ph.D. (1987), University of California, Los Angeles, teaches History at Keimyung University in Korea. He has published many articles on Russian and Soviet History, notably ‘Class Conflict, Political Competition, and Social Transformation: Critical Perspectives on the Social History of the Russian Revolution’ (Revolutionary Russia, 1994) and ‘Trotsky, the Left Opposition, and the Rise of the Stalinism: Theory and Practice’ (Historical Materialism, 2006).

Readership
This work will appeal to those interested in the fate of the October Revolution.

Table of contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction

1. The Peasant-Question and the Origins of Stalinism: Rethinking the Destruction of the October Revolution

2. Trotsky, the Left Opposition and the Rise of Stalinism: Theory and Practice

3. Class-Conflict, Political Competition and Social Transformation: Critical Perspectives on the Social History of the Russian Revolution

4. Political Leadership and Working-Class Agency in the Russian Revolution: Reply to William G. Rosenberg and S.A. Smith

5. A ‘Postmodern’ Approach to the Russian Revolution? Comment on Ronald Suny

6. Alexander Bogdanov, Vpered, and the Role of the Intellectual in the Workers’ Movement

7. The Bogdanov Issue: Reply to Andrzej Walicki, Aileen Kelly and Zenovia Sochor

8. Marxism, Science, Materialism: Toward a Deeper Appreciation of the 1908-1909 Philosophical Debate in Russian Social Democracy

9. Politics and Philosophy in Russian Social Democracy: Alexander Bogdanov and the Socio-theoretical Foundations of Vpered

References
General Index

 

**END**

 

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

 

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

 

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Rosa Luxemburg

IN THE STEPS OF ROSA LUXEMBURG

Please get your library to order this book!

http://www.brill.nl/steps-rosa-luxemburg

In the Steps of Rosa Luxemburg
Selected Writings of Paul Levi
Paul Levi. Edited and introduced by David Fernbach

Paul Levi remains one of the most interesting and controversial figures in the early history of the Communist movement. As leader of the KPD after the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, he successfully built up a party of a third of a million members, but by 1921 Comintern pressure for ‘Bolshevisation’ forced Levi’s resignation and expulsion. Until his early death in 1930 he remained ‘a revolutionary socialist of the Rosa Luxemburg school’ (Carl von Ossietsky), and was described by Albert Einstein as ‘one of the wisest, most just and courageous persons I have come across’. The first English edition of Levi’s writings fills a long-standing gap in the documents of German Communism.

Biographical note
David Fernbach, studied at London School of Economics. Freelance writer, editor and translator. Publications include the three-volume edition of Karl Marx’s Political Writings (Penguin 1973-4, reissued Verso 2010), and The Spiral Path: a gay contribution to human survival (1981). Translations include Marx’s Capital Volumes Two and Three, and works by Georg Lukacs, Rudolf Bahro, Boris Groys, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Bourdieu, Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière.

Readership
People interested in Communist history from either an academic or an activist perspective.

Table of contents

Introduction

Part One: Leading the KPD
Address to the Founding Congress of the KPD
Letter to Lenin (1919)
The Munich Experience: An Opposing View
The Political Situation and the KPD (October 1919)
The Lessons of the Hungarian Revolution
The World-Situation and the German Revolution
The Beginning of the Crisis in the Communist Party and the International
Letter to Loriot

Part Two: The March Action
Our Path: Against Putschism
What Is the Crime? The March Action or Criticising It?
Letter to Lenin (1921)
The Demands of the Kommunistische Arbeitsgemeinschaft

Part Three: The Soviet Question
Letter to Clara Zetkin
Introduction to Rosa Luxemburg’s pamphlet The Russian Revolution
Introduction to Trotsky, The Lessons of October
The Retreat from Leninism
After Ten Years
Approaching the End
Return

Part Four: The German Republic
The Murder of Erzberger
The Needs of the Hour
Why We Are Joining the United Social-Democratic Party
The Assassination of Rathenau  
The Situation after Rathenau’s Death
The Reich and the Workers
The Defenders of the Republic
After the Oath

References
Index

 

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Utopia

THE FUTURE PRESENT

 

Critical Marxist Review of Class and Society

145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY, United Kingdom

Email: editortfp@aol.com

Dear Friends and Comrades,

I am writing to you with regard to a new project I have undertaken to appeal for help.

The Future Present is a critical Marxist journal will be launched shortly.  Though published in London, England The Future Present is being published in close cooperation with comrades from as far apart as Ukraine, Russia, Bosnia and Scotland.  We are pleased to have the extensive participation of Marxists from Ukraine, and also other countries of the former USSR and Yugoslavia and future issues we will  give voice to the discussions and debates of these comrades who are struggling to overcome the legacy of Stalinism.

In the pilot issue of The Future Present we publish for the first time in English a range of articles both contemporary and historical. These address a number of questions of fundamental importance.  The includes reclaiming communism for today, the national question and possibility of a global revolutionary strategy in the 21st century.

In the pilot issue is published an exclusive translation of the essay by the Russian Marxist theorist Aleksandr Tarasov World Revolution 2.  This is accompanied by a range of articles on the question of communism and the national question with publication for the first time in English of articles by Lev Yurkevych and his polemics with Lenin from 1914 and 1917.  

In forthcoming issues we shall continue this work with including an examination of the problem of counter revolution arising from within the revolution itself.  Work has already begun on new translations of rare texts by Volodymyr Vynnychenko, The Revolution in Danger (1920) and Bolshevist Bonapartism by Ivan Maistrenko (1948).  It is hoped also to include English translations of the documents of the opposition Democratic Centralist faction in the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks). 

HELP!

The Future Present is an initiative which depends entirely on its readers and supporters.  It is in serious need of funds to ensure the new initiative gets going and can sustain itself.  Please show your solidarity with The Future Present by making a donation, no matter how small it can help a great deal with this new journal of critical Marxism and contributing towards a new emancipatory communism for the 21st century. 

A cheque can be made to The Future Present at the above address or for transfers account details can be supplied on request.  Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Yours in solidarity

Chris Ford

Editor

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Fanaticism

ALBERTO TOSCANO ON ‘FANATICISM’ – TALK IN NEW YORK

Alberto Toscano, “Fanaticism: The Uses of an Idea”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Humanities Initiative at NYU, 20 Cooper Square East, 5th Floor

Details: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/events/2010/9/28/237740/alberto_toscano%2C_%26quot%3Bfanaticism_the_uses_of_an_idea%26quot%3B

 

About this Event:

Alberto Toscano, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths in London, speaks on the concept of fanaticism to coincide with Verso’’s publication of his new book: “Fanaticism: The Uses of an Idea.” Fanaticism is usually seen as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs. Drawing a straight line from the Peasant Wars to Bolshevism, this view of fanaticism is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling counter-history explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed.

Book info:

FANATICISM: ON THE USES OF AN IDEA, by Alberto Toscano

Verso Books, distributed by W.W. Norton

Publication Date: May 24, 2010 / Price: $26.95 PB / ISBN: 978-1-84467-424-4  

To buy the book, go to Amazon.com 

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No Future

NO FUTURE

NO FUTURE: AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Durham University, UK
25-27 March 2011

First Call for Papers

From biblical apocalypse to the nihilism of the late nineteenth century, from the Enlightenment invention of progress to the counter-cultures of the late twentieth century, from technological utopianism to contemporary anticipations of environmental catastrophe, western civilization has been consistently transfixed by the figurative potential of the future. ‘No Future’ seeks to connect and inter-animate these disparate ways of thinking about the future, while at the same time questioning the basis of the various discourses of futurity they have produced, and which have proliferated in recent years. ‘No Future’ thus also implicitly questions what it is – other than the preoccupations of the present – that is invoked when we talk about the future.

The conference aims to stage a series of inter-disciplinary encounters around these different senses of ‘No Future’, and to examine the value and implications of adopting a ‘futurist’ position across and between a range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Contributions may take retrospective form, re-assessing significant moments in past discourses of futurity such as apocalypticism, Enlightenment ideas of progress, the persistence of the apparent dialectical unity of utopia/dystopia, the constructions of Modernism and the Historical Avantgarde, the symbolic projections of psychoanalytic theory. Others might examine the disciplinary shifts that have displaced or dispersed avantgardism in postmodernity, opening out onto such themes as transhumanism, post-postmodern reinflections of the dialectic, and various forms of contemporary utopianism. All of these are related to the central question of the ideological and aesthetic implications of any appeal to futurity, at the heart of which lies the tension between the future as rhetorical evasion and the future as the most persistent and deeply embedded of all heuristic devices.

Keynote speakers:
Mikhail Epstein (Emory)
Jean-Michel Rabaté (Pennsylvania)
Patricia Waugh (Durham)

Plenary panels:

Apocalyptic Futures
Lenin and Futurity
Bloch and Utopian Futures

Proposals for individual papers or integrated panels that engage with any aspect of the central theme are invited. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration to allow adequate time for discussion, and proposals for integrated panels should comprise a chair and three speakers.

Proposals that specifically engage with any of the following themes are particularly welcome:

Ontologies of the Future
Forms of Utopia
Dystopian Futures
Aesthetics and Technology
Eco-criticism and Ecotopia
Gendered Futures
Transhumanism
Futurism(s)
Futures of Freud
Dialectics of the Future
The Future of Theory

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and should be submitted as an attachment to: alastair.renfrew@durham.ac.uk by Friday 2nd July 2010.

Further information will be available in due course at the conference web-site: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/research/nofuture

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Fanaticism

FANATICISM

On the Uses of an Idea

By ALBERTO TOSCANO

Published 7h June 2010

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EVENTS:

Thursday 3 June, 1pm at the RSA, London: A special introduction to Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea. For more information and book your free place: http://www.thersa.org/events/our-events/fanaticism-on-the-uses-of-an-idea

Friday 2 July, 2-3.30pm at the Marxism 2010 Festival in London, Room 3E at ULU, 2-3.30. For more information and to book:  https://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2010/bookonline.html

Thursday 8 July, 6.45pm: Launch talk at the ICA. Further details to be announced here: http://www.ica.org.uk/7945/Talks/Talks-listings.html

Monday 11 October, 6.30 -8.00pm at the LSE, Wolfson theatre as part of the Forum for European Philosophy talks. Further details to be announced here:http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/forumForEuropeanPhilosophy/events/Default.htm

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“A tour de force in every sense – Toscano wipes the smug smiles off the self-righteous faces of the New Philosophers.” Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

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Fanaticism is usually seen as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs. Drawing a straight line from the Peasant Wars to Bolshevism, this view of fanaticism is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling counter-history explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed. 

Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants’ War of early sixteenth-century Germany, to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of “reasonableness” and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.

The ‘fanatic’ is the figure that we are all scared of – whether it’s the Islamic fundamentalist primed for a suicide bombing or the Christian anti-abortionist planning to murder a doctor. The fanatic is a whirl of contradictions: at once cold-blooded and insanely passionate, opportunistic but principled, backward and yet technologically sophisticated, murderous and prepared to risk everything to human rights. He or she is driven by abstract principles, whether religious or secular, that threaten the very basis of a pragmatic liberal democracy. But are these oppositions really the way to understand the conflict between religion and state, terror and democracy?

In this tour de force examination of political and philosophical rhetoric through the ages, Alberto Toscano examines the use of the term ‘fanatic’. Following its use by Martin Luther in the Reformation, the rationalists in the Enlightenment, and liberals in the Cold War and the present day, he finds our understanding of it dictated by the prejudices of the day.

Toscano argues that there is an unsettling intimacy between political behaviour regarded as fanatical, and rational, emancipatory politics: supposedly liberal political projects are also marked by fanaticism. Moreover, while a liberal would claim that passion and abstract principles (such as universal rights) are the jurisdiction of the fanatic and have no place in rational politics, we should seek to reclaim a place for these supposedly negative terms at the heart of contemporary politics. For example, finding that nineteenth century slavers called abolitionists fanatics for their ‘mad’ adherence to the Rights of Man, he asks us to reconsider who we regard as a fanatic.

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ALBERTO TOSCANO is a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Theatre of Production, translator of Alain Badiou’s The Century and Logics of Worlds and co-editor of, among others, Alain Badiou’s Theoretical Writings and Antonio Negri’s Political Descartes. He has published numerous articles on contemporary philosophy, politics and social theory, and is an editor of Historical Materialism.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 424 4 / $26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50 / 304 pages

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/tuvwxyz/tuv-titles/toscano_alberto_fanaticism.shtml

To buy the book in the UK:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674244/Fanaticism

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744261&sr=8-1

To buy the book in the US:

http://www.amazon.com/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744586&sr=1-1

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