Time to praise Alexander Bogdanov’s geniuine contribution to the radical imagination of global systemic emancipatory change, that we call revolution!

There may be one person, probably the one and only in human history, who could manage to get such widely recognized achievements in all of the mentioned fields (of arts, philosophy, politics, technology, and science) and being a polymath scientist at the same time.

Since I was a little kid, have I been amazed by biographies of important personalities and started to read as many of them as I could. Stories of the known real persons who achieved great mastery and delivered majestic work especially in five major fields of philosophy, art, politics, science, and technology, thus contributing to the common heritage of  several dozens millennia year old humanity has been a guiding light for many. Biographies of those names from Homer to Plato and Aristoteles, from Buddha to Confucius, from Bruno to Vinci and Rumi, from Queen Victoria to Mozart, from Goethe to Hegel and Marx, from Mach and Einstein to Merlyn Monroe and Maradona, from Elvis to Hawking and Beatles, from Churchill, to Stalin, Lenin, and Mao and so on so forth got written, collected, achived, and listed for already hundereds of years. The following link provides a great (may be a bit Western centric) but sort of a global compilation of such biographies (amongst them 100 Famous Women, Famous Historical Figures, 100 most influential people in the world).

It is a striking statistic of these lists that amongst the most influential people, the most well-known and impactful ones are those who are/were able to combine being a polymath (which means a person who is trained in several scientific disciplines) and achieving success in more than one major fields mentioned above (art, science, technology and inventions, politics, philosophy -this includes religion and ideology/discourse too, and then politics). After scanning my memory again, and again, and again, and then testing my memory against the backdrop of above lists I could not find (may miss one or two but could not encounter) one single personality, who did demonstrate major and recognized achievements in all of these fields, and plus being a polymath at the same time.

To my knowledge however, there is one person, probably the one and only in entire human history, who could actually managed to get major achievements in all of the mentioned fields (of arts, politics, technology, philosophy, and science), being a polymath scientist at the same time. Yet it his name has been missing in all of the above lists, and probably from others. It is highly probabley that his name is missing in your list too. The name is Alexander A. Bogdanov, does it ring any bells? I would ont think so.



Probably the reason is because he was the editor of the second Russian translation of Das Capital of Karl Marx which become standard edition; he was the author of the first Marxist political economy study-book; the author of the first book on the emergence of social-class consciousness, ideological and cultural hegemony -long before Lucaks, Gramsci and others; the inventor of philosophical approach ‘Empriomonism’ which was updating dialectical materialism for 20st century, and he was the most prominent leader amongst Bolsheviks after Lenin; he was the founder of the first communist party schools in Capri and Bologna; the author of first Bolshevik utopian novel Red Star which became the symbol of the idea of global revolution; he was the founder and leader of the Proletarian Culture movement (ProletKult); and he was also a polymath scientist, founded the first Blood transfusion institute and recognized as the founding father of Cybernetics and General Systems Theory with his magnum opus Tektology: General Science of Organisation.

The name of Bogdanov may not be counted in conventional lists of famous influential peoples, who have come to be seen as those who made somehow large impact on the course of development of human history. Yet as the only person who could get major achievements in (several fields of) sciences and technology, but also in politics, arts, and philosophy; it is most likely and highly possible that he has also made the largest and most invisible impact on our development as the humankind. It is time to get a grip and discover that impact and to fill a gigantic gap that remained in the common heritage of humanity, leaving it incomplete for almost a century.

Here is where one could find a great amount of work to start with. And here, Historical Materialism Book Series’ project of Alexander Bogdanov Library which is earning most of his writings into English language.



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