So all these big developed countries, they
have their own protection measures to face globalization. But a country
like us, we are so naive, so innocent, so young. We are a developing
country. We don’t have expertise in making this kind of regulation.
Indonesia in the end becomes the target market. We have to open [our
market], people come in. Some investments come in because our labor is
very cheap. But in the end of the day, what happens? They’re selling
their products here, mostly, and we don’t have any protections.
The quotation above is taken from one of the interviews I conducted with top managers at two companies in Indonesia. Interestingly, the opinion expressed by this interviewee, a representative of capital from the global South, is predicated on the persistence of the hierarchical world economy, a phenomenon that is recognized by all classes in the South, but which has recently been the subject of a renewed debate among Western scholars, including those on the left.
There’s a movement building within tech. Workers are
demanding higher standards from their companies — and because of their
unique skills and talent, they have the leverage to get attention.
Walkouts and sit-ins. Picket protests and petitions. Shareholder
resolutions, and open letters. These are the new tools of tech workers,
increasingly emboldened to speak out. And, as they do that, they expose
the underbellies of their companies’ ethics and values, or perceived
lack of them.
In this episode of IRL, host Manoush Zomorodi meets with Rebecca
Stack-Martinez, an Uber driver fed up with being treated like an
extension of the app; Jack Poulson,
who left Google over ethical concerns with a secret search engine being
built for China; and Rebecca Sheppard, who works at Amazon and pushes
for innovation on climate change from within. EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn explains why this movement is happening now, and why it matters for all of us.
Kendini Marksist olarak tanamlayan bir çok düşünür, yazar veya militan, genellikle Lenin’in hışmına uğramış isimleri öğrenmekle veya bunların yazdıklarını okuyarak zaman kaybetmek istemez. Bunun nedeni açıktır. Rus Devrimi sonrasında Lenin’in Marksizm versiyonunu, Marx’ın düşüncesini pratiğe geçirmiş olandır. Bundan dolayı onu felsefi ve bilimsel anlamda en iyi anlayan ve belki de aşan yorum varsa eğer bu onunki olmalıdır. Haliyle onun eleştirdiği diğerleri de geçersiz olmalıdır. Her şekilde Rus Devriminin gerçekleşmesi, kendisini Kautsky ve Plehanov’un Marksizmini aşan o konuma yerleştiren Lenin’in Marksizm anlayışının da en doğru ve otorite konuma ulaşan versiyon oluğunu iddia etmeye olanaklı bir ortam yarattı. Yani Gramsci’nin daha sonra geliştirdiği anlamında sol üzerinde bir hegemonya kurmaya. Böylece Lenin’in Marksizmi aynı zamanda onun liderlik otoritesinin de doğal kaynağı olarak kabul görerek Sovyetler Birliği Komünist Partisi (Bolşevik) çatısı altında kurumsallaşmıştır. Lenin’in Kautsky ve Plehanov’a devrimden önce gerçekleştirdiği şiddetli eleştiri, devrimden sonra (1917-1925 arası) kollektif bir şekilde, parti politikası olarak ve Komintern eliyle ulusal ve uluslararası alanda en geçerli Marksizm olarak ‘Leninizmin’ adı altında doktrinerleştirilmiştir. Daha sonra Trotsky, Zinovyev, Kamenev ve diğerleri, ve hatta Buharin’in kendisi de, bu doktrinerleştirme sürecinde rol alarak Lenin’den sonra Leninizm’in varisi olmaya aday birer fraksiyona dönüşecektir. Fakat bu süreci Stalin’in 1925 tarihli The Short Course (Parti Tarihi Hakkında Kısa Kurs) kitabı noktalamış, bu kitapla Stalin Leninizmin Marx’ı da aşan bir doktrin olduğunu ilan ederek Stalinizmin de zamanı gelince Leninizm’in yerine geçebilmesine zemin hazırlamıştır. Böylelikle Marx-Engels-Kautsky-Plekhanov ve Lenin çizgisi, Stalin’in bu kitabıyla dogmatik ve skolastik bir Marksizm düşüncesine dönüştürülmüş ve dondurulmuştur.
Lenin’nin eleştirel oklarına hedef olup daha sonra Marksist düşünce ve politika alanından dışlanan veya Ortodoks Marksizm kilisesinden aforoz edilenler arasında en yaygın olarak bilinenler yine sırasıyla Kautsky, Plehanov ve Bukharin’in isimleridir. Bunların aksine 1930-1950 arasını kapsayan Stalinist dönem sonrasında yeniden hatırlanması ve keşfedilmesi en uzun süreyle geciken isim ise Alexander Bogdanov olmuştur ve bunun bir nedeni vardır. Aşağıda bu neden üzerinde durmadan önce şunu hatırlatmak istiyorum ki Bogdanov’un tekrar keşfi zamanlama olarak Gramsci’nin yeniden keşfiye (Hapishane Defterleri’nin ortaya çıkmasıyla) örtüşür. Unutluşunun nedeni Bogdanov gibi Lenin’in gazabı değil de Mussolini’nin zindanları olan Gramsci Hapishane Defterleri’nin İngizlice çevirilerinin yapılması ile 1970’lerden itibaren dünya çapında tanınırlık kazanmış ve 20. Yüzyıl’ın en önemli düşünürleri arasına girmiştir. Buna karşın Bogdanov’un, Lenin ve Plehanov karşı duran ve Gramsci’yi de derinden etkileyen düşüncesi ancak günümüzde o da kısıtlı olarak gün ışığına çıkabilmiştir. Lenin’in Bogdanov’a karşı olan hasmaniyetinin yaptığı etkiyi Gramsci’nin 1922-1924 yıllarında Moskova’da Bogdanov’un Kızıl Yıldız romanını gizlice, sevgilisi ve daha sonra karısı olacak olan Julia Schucht ile beraber İtalyanca’ya çevirişinin hikayesinde görebiliyoruz (Ghetti, 2016). Gramsci Julia’ya gönderdiği notta, 1923 Eylül’ünde Bogdanov’un parti ve devrim karşıtı aktivitelerde bulunma suçlaması ile tutuklanmasına atıfla, artık kendisinin de bir karşı devrimci olduğunu hicvetmektedir. Gramsci bu hicvi yaparken o sırada henüz tamamladıkları anlaşılan Kızıl Yıldız romanının çevirisine gönderme yapar. Bu notu kendisinin Bogdanov’un fikirlerini yakından takip ettiğinin gizli kalmış bir kanıtı olarak okuyabileceğimiz Gramsci, biliyoruz ki 1919’da L’Ordine Nouvo’da yayınlanmak üzere Bogdanov’un devrimci sanat üzerine yazdığı iki makalesini İtalyanca’ya çevirmiş ve bunları yayınlamıştı. Kızıl Yıldız’ın Gramsci ve Juila trafından yapılan çevirisiyse, Gramsci metni yine gizlice Rusya’dan çıkarmaya çalışmışsa bile, İtalya’ya dönüşünde hapse atılması ve bunu takiben İtalyan Komünist Partisi’nin kontrolünün Stalin’in desteklediği Togliatti’ye geçmesiyle ortadan kaybolmuş ve asla yayınlanamamıştır. Bunun dışında biliyoruz ki 1921 yılında Gramsci ve yoldaşları, Moskova’da 1917 Ekim devriminden bir hafta önce Bogdanov ve Lunacharsky önderliğinde kurulan Proleter Kültür organizasyonunun İtalya şubesini Turin şehrinde açmışlardı. Noemi Ghetti’nin tesedüfen gün ışığına çıkan Gramsci’nin bu notlarından derlediği bilgiler ışığında yeniden değerlendirebiliyoruz ki Gramsci’nin ideoloji, kültür ve kültürel hegemonya konularındaki orjinal düşünceleri Bogdanov tarafından 1900’lerin başında dile getirilen ve 1910’larda geliştirilen düşünceler ile neredeyse bire bir paralellik göstermektedir. Yani Bogdanov’un düşüncesinin Gramsci’nin öncüsü olduğunu görmek artık mümkündür. Gramsci’nin düşüncelerinin savaş sonrası dönemde marksizm ve eleştirel toplumsal düşünce tartılmaları üzerinde yaptığı etkiyi göz önüne aldığımızda, onu derinden etkileyen Bogdanov’un çalışmalarının 1900-1920 yılları arasında devrim Rusya’sında gerçekleşen belki de en önemli ve en zengin Marksizm içi tartışma ile beraber unutulmuş olmasının ne anlama geldiğini daha iyi anlaşılabilir.
Ne Bogdanov adının ve düşüncesinin başına gelenler ne de Lenin’in Bogdanov’a karşı husumeti sadece onun en şiddetli Lenin eleştirmenlerinden biri olmasıyla ilgili değildir. 1903-1904 sürecinde Menşevik-Bolşevik ayrımında Lenin ile beraber Bolşevik grubun en önemli ismi olan Bogdanov, aynı zamanda 1905’de Lenin sürgündeyken, St. Petersburg merkezli olmak üzere tüm Rusya’da Bolşevik kanadın çalışmalarını da yürüten isim olmuştur. Yani, 1905 devrimi sırasında Bolşevik hareketin kontrolü pratikte Bogdanov’un elindedir. Bu gerçek inanılmaz şekilde Sovyet döneminde yazılan 1905 Devirm tarihi çalışmalarından neredeyse tamamen silinmiştir. Bunun yanında, Lenin’in temsil ettiği otoriter-liderlik pratiğine karşı duran, politik pratik ile derin bir felsefi ve bilimsel birikimi sentezleyen Bogdanov, felsefe alanında da Menşevik kanadın liderleri, Plehanov ve en başta Axelrod – Ortodoks olmak üzere onun takipçileriyle, şiddetli bir polemik yürütmektedir. Yani bir yandan Bolşevizmin Rusya içindeki önderi konumundadır diğer yandan da anti-Plehanovcu bir Marksizm inşa etmektedir. Böylece aslında topyekün Bolşevizmi temsil etmeye aday bir lider olarak yüksemektedir. Bu durum Bogdanov’u Lenin’in gözünde açık bir tehdit haline getirmiştir. 1905’i izleyen baskı ve gerileme sürecinde, kurulacak Devlet Dumasına parti temsilcilerinin (RSDLP) katılıp katılmaması hakkında yapılan tartışmada Lenin, Bogdanov’un önerdiği boykot konumu arkasında birleşen tüm diğer Bolşevikler’i karşısına alır ve Menşevik kanat ile yan yana durarak Duma’ya katılımı savur. Böyle bir manevra açıktır ki Lenin’in Bolşevik liderlik için Bogdanov’u açıkça rakip olarak ilan etmesi ve ona rest çekmesi anlamındadır. O yıllarda Lenin, daha sonra dönek ve şövenist olarak saldıracağı Plekhanov’u ‘Rus Marksizminin Babası’ ve kendi ideolojik hamisi olarak kabul etmekteydi. Bogdanov ise, yukarıda değinildiği gibi, Plekhanov çizgisini Rus Marksizmi okullarından sadece bir tanesi olarak görüyor ve eleştiriyordu. Rus Marksizmi okullarından diğer bir tanesi de kendisi ve yoldaşlarından oluşan eleştirel çizgisiydi. Bu grupta Bogdanov dışında Gorki, Lunacharsky ve Bazarov gibi, Boşevik kanat içinde veya onu destekleyen etkili isimler bulunuyordu. Plekhanov’un Bogdanov ile girdiği polemikten yenilerek çıkması, onu kendi teorik babası ve Bogdanov’u da en ciddi rakibi olarak gören Lenin için alarm zillerinin çaldığı an olmuş olmalı. Zira Lenin’in Bogdanov’u ilk önce politik alandan daha sonra da tarih sahnesinden silecek ve Lenin’in ölümüne kadar sürdüreceği saldırıları tam da 1907-1908 itibariyle başlayacaktır. Bu yıllarda yazdığı ve yayınladığı fakat o dönemde ilgi görmeyen Materyalizm ve Empriokritisizm kitabını Lenin, Bogdanov düşüncesini ve politik kişiliğini iğdiş etmeye adamıştır. Lenin’in kitabı, Bogdanov’un Plehanov’dan talep ettiği ve Plehanov’un asla girişemediği cevap olarak tasarlanmıştır. Bu hamleyi takiben Lenin 1909’da, elindeki fonları kullanarak Bolşevik kanadın yayın organı Proletarya (Proletarii) dergisinin genişletilmiş yayın kurulunu Paris’de toplar ve Bogdonov’un editoryal gruptan ve Bolşevik merkezden dışlamasını sağlar. 1910’da toplanan Plenium’da ise Bogdanov çevresinde toplanan Vpered (İleri) grubu da parti içi bir fraksiyon olarak tanınır. Buna rağmen, Vpered grubu 1911’de dağılır ve Bogdanov bu olaydan sonra parti-politikasından tamamen koparak kendisini bilimsel ve kültürel çalışmalara verir.
Plehanov’un bu dönemde başlayan şoven tutumu 1914’de savaş yanlısı bir tutuma dönüşünce Lenin bu sefer ona karşı saldırgan bir posizyon alacak ve 1914-15’de meşhur Hegel ve diyalektik okumlarına girişecektir. Bu okumalar sonucunda kaleme aldığı Felsefe Defterleri’nde Lenin Plehanov’un felsefi otoritesini alaşağı ederek onu ve kendisi de dahil hiç bir Rus Marksistinin Hegel’i, diyalektiği ve dolayısı ile Marx’ı hiç bir zaman anlamamış olmadığını ilan eder. Bir anlamda kendisini Kaustky ve Pekhanov’un takipçisi olma zincirinden kurtarmaktadır Lenin. Düşüncesindeki dönüşümü aldığı notlara açıkça yansıtan Lenin bu notları asla yayına hazırlamayacaktır. Bunun nedeni bu notlarının Lenin’in kendi Marksist geçmişini de şüphe altında bırakmasıdır, özellikle de Materyalizm ve Empriokritisizm’i yazarken ki bilgisizliğini gözler ününe sermektedir Lenin (Anderson, 2014). Yine de, bu okumalarla yeniden şekillenen düşüncelerini o dönemde Plehanov’a ve diğer ‘sosyal şoven’ döneklere karşı geliştirdiği eleştirilerinde ve temel analizlerinde kullanır. Ekim Devrimi sonrasındaysa Lenin’in prestiji, tanınırlığı ve politik etkisi sınırsızca artmıştır. Böyle bir ortamda Bogdanov bir kez daha, bu sefer hızla büyüyen Proleter Kültür hareketinin önderi olarak çıkar Lenin’in karşısına. Lenin’in takip eden hamlesiyse, hakkındaki görüşleri ve felsefi konumu tamamen değişmesine rağmen, 1918’de ölen Plehanov’u Rus Marksizminin Babası olarak kutsamak ve 1921’de Materyalizm ve Empriokritisizm’in ikinci baskısını, yeni bir Bogdanov karşıtı kampanya çerçevesinde yayınlamak olur. İlk baskısı okunmayan ve hatta Lenin’in Felsefe Notdefterleri’nde kendisinin bile aciz bulduğu kitabının ikinci baskısı hem Rusya içinde hem de uluslararası alanda büyük bir etki yapar. Lenin’in tamamen polemik amacıyla yazılmış ve felsefi bir değer taşımadığı görüşü genel kabul gören bu kitabı, SKP(b) yayın organları tarafından Sovyet-Rus Devrimin liderinin muazzam felsefi eseri olarak lanse edilir. Lenin’in Bogdanov’a vurduğu en kalıcı de darbe bu olur. Bundan sonraki kuşaklar Bogdanov’u bu kitap üzerinden okuyacak ya da daha çok okumayacaktır. Örneğin Karl Korsch, Anton Pannekoek, Louis Althusser gibi etkili Marksist düşünürler, Stalin’e ya da yeni-Hegelciler’e karşı Lenin tarafında olduklarını iddia ederlerken Bogdanov’u okumadan ona Lenin’in Materyalizm ve Empriokritisizm’i üzerinden saldırırlar. Stalin ise kendi döneminde rakiplerini ortadan kaldırmak ve tarih kayıtlarından silmek için Lenin’in Bogdanov’a olan husumetini referans alır. Buharin’e karşı yürüttüğü kampanyada örneğin Stalin Buharin’in Marksizmden sapan bir Bogdanovcu olarak suçlar. Stalin döneminde Sovyet rejimine karşı kapitalist dünyadan gelen dış tehdit, İkinci Dünya Savaşı ve sonrasında Soğuk Savaş’a dönüşen ortam Lenin-Stalin çizgisinin etkisini ve Bogdanov’un unutulmuşluğunu pekiştirmiştir.
Bogdanov üzerindeki Lenin sansürü o kadar vahim bir düzeye ulaşmıştır ki Kautsky, Bernstein, Luxemburg, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Buharin, Plehanov, gibi Marksizmin tüm diğer önemli isimleri hakkında yayınlanan çok sayında biyografiye karşılık, Bogdanov’un ilk İngilizce biyografisi ancak geçtiğimiz yıl, 2018’in Aralık ayında basılabilmiştir. Ne yayınevleri, ne sosyalist ve komünist partiler, ne de diğerleri yüz yıl boyunca Bogdanov davası konusuna girmek ve onun hakkında yorum yapmak istememiştir anlaşılan. Bir ömür boyu süren çalışmalarının sonucunda usta tarihçi James D. White tarafından kaleme alınan Kızıl Hamlet: Alexander Bogdanov’un Hayatı ve Fikirleri bu nedenle sadece bir kişisel biyografi olmanın ötesine geçer. Aynı zamanda 20. Yüzyıl Marksizmini anlama ve yerli yerine oturtma anlamında bir boşluğu doldurmaktadır Kızıl Hamlet. Kitap ayrıntılarıyla ortaya koymaktadır ki, Bogdanov ve yoldaşlarının temsil ettiği Marksizm yorumu birçok anlamda, 1945 sonrasında, Batı’da ve Doğu’da, gelişen yaratıcı ve üretken Marksizmlerin öncülüğünü yapmış çok önemli ve değerli bir birikimdir; böylesine bir kaynak neredeyse bir asır boyunca gözlerden uzak kalmıştır. Böylelikle eşitlik, özgürlük ve kardeşlik adına, kurtuluş adına yeni kuşaklar ondan yararlanamamış, küresel kapitalizm onun yokluğunda kök salmış, komünizm fikri neredeyse bütün mevzilerini kaybetmiştir. 1950’lerden bu yana, ilk olarak Sovyetler Birliği’nde ortaya çıkan Sibernetik tartışmaları çerçevesinde gündeme gelen, giderek de dünya çapında gelişen Alexander Bogdanov’un rehabilitasyonu süreci James White’ın bu çalışması ile taçlanmıştır diyebiliriz. İroniktir ki, ortaya çıkan tablo bize, Marx’tan sonra onun düşüncesini gerçek anlamda ileriye taşıyan en önemli düşüncelerin, bir asırdır sanıldığının aksine, Lenin değil onun ezeli rakibi olan Bogdanov tarafından geliştirdiğini göstermektedir. Okadar ki, bugüne değin Bogdanov’un ötesine geçen tutarlılık ve kapsamda yapıtlar ortaya koyabilen eleştirel bir düşünce akımı ve teorisyenin çıkmamış olduğunı görüyoruz. İster istemez akıllara ya yüz yıl önce öyle olmasaydı sorusunu geliyor, bir de ya bu yüz yıl farklı olursa sorusu. Kızıl Hamlet Marksizmin yeni bir re-konstrüksiyonu için zamanın geldiğini haber vermektedir.
Anderson, K. B. (2014) “Revisiting Lenin’s Hegel
Notebooks, 100 Years Later” (Lenin’in Hegel Notdefterleri’ni 100 Yıl Sonra
Yeniden Ziyaret Etmek), Socialism and Democracy, Vol. 28: 1 (2014)
Ghetti, N. (2016) La Cartolina di Gramsci: A Mosca, tra politica e amori 1922-1924 (Gramsci’nin Kartpostalı: Moskova’da siyaset ve aşk arasında 1922-1924), Donzelli editore.
White, J. D. (2018) Red Hamlet: The Life and Ideas of Alexander Bogdanov (Kızıl Hamlet: Alexsander Bogdanov’un Hayatı ve Fikirleri), Historical Materialism Book Series, Brill.
Following the 9/11, the West, led by the US and the UK states, governments and ruling classes, the Europeans and many local elites hanging in the tail, has launched a war on democracy. Neo-cons and Zionists have names this endless war they kicked off “war on terror” which is composed of illegal occupations, covert operations, organized coups and civil wars that disintegrated series of sovereign states; turning them a source of real terror, slavery, and barbarism, as in Iraq, Libia, and Syria. This war on democracy based on lies, threats, corruption, and manipulations. From the beginning of the war democracy and ‘liberalism’ got undermined at home (in the West) and globally, and the rise of more terrorism, more wars and fascisms guaranteed. The revaluations of the real nature of this war by Manning and Snowden, publicized by Wikileaks with Assange, caused and become a symbol of broader counter organizing and resistance to the rising global fascism. Most of the mainstream liberal media and academia was cowardly silent. In passing weeks the 18 years loop was closing. In the wake of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning’s and Julian Assange’s arrests, terrorist Netanyahu was re-elected in Israel as prime minister. While this was happening, one of the top global political economists, Kees Van der Pijl was being targeted by the Zionist Israeli lobby, since he was tweeting about US gov. zionist Isreali gov. involvement in 9/11. Previously such accusation was successfully avoided, by pressures and threats on academia and media, and turned into a conspiracy, mainly feeding into the resurgence of the extreme right wing. This time, by highlighting capitalist-zionist ruling class base, backed by scientific research, in such a conjuncture Van der Pijl’s analysis put forwards the naked truth. It becomes clear today that fascism emerged and it is irreversable with the means of democracy. Manning and Assange’s arrests signify a historical turning point. If we give Manning and Assange silently to these monsters it will take a revolution to get him back.
In 1927 German professor Johann Plenge (1874-1963) did publish his review of the first edition of the German translation of Alexander Bogdanov’s Tektology: General Science of Organisation (1926). The very same year Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, who would later be known as the founder of the General Systems Theory (German Allgemeine Systemlehre), completed his dissertation in which he developed his initial ideas. The following year, in 1928, Bogdanov died as a result of a blood exchange experiment he conducted on a student, who survived from Malaria at the end, and Von Bertalanffy published his new study titled Kritische Theorie der Formbildung (Critical Theory of Development), in Berlin.
Plenge’s review of Tektology was negatively critical. He thought of
Bogdanov and his bold attempt as flawed. To him, Bogdanov was
intoxicated by Marxism and Marxist ideology and his Tektology was
dismissing all the differences amongst the vast variety of types of
organizations and degree of complexity amongst systems under
investigation. He also highlighted Bogdanov’s own claim to be “distant
from morality as mathematics” in order to warn the reader that such an
approach has the potential to generate an ethicless total-control
mechanism -similar to the one indeed created by Stalin later on.
However, Bogdanov himself made his warnings public about the dystopian
future applications of such science with much emphasis, especially in an
authoritarian framework like of Lenin’s creation. Bogdanov also gave a
lifelong struggle against Lenin’s authoritarian politics which gave way
to rise of the personal cult of Lenin after the Revolution, and
Stalinism after Lenin died. The result of this was Bogdnaov’s
political demise and removal of his name from the official Russian
historiography (White, 2018). Whereas Plenge did dedicate his work to
create his own personality cult. And later Hayek would accuse Plenge of
inspiring the national-socialist ideology (Hayek, 1944). What is
important to note here is that while Plenge was complaining about
Bogdanov’s Tektology of not recognizing the differences in forms and
contents between varieties of ‘organizations’ of systems for instance by
conscious man or self-organization in nature etc., he was missing all
the point Tektology was making: the argument for the need and actually
building unified, non-reductionist meta-science that is investigating
possible generalizations, common organisational patterns and
principles to all complex wholes, no matter physical, material, social
or psychic or otherwise. Exactly this has later become the main promise
of the GST as proposed by Von Bertalanffy. Beyond that, most of the
principles proposed by Von Bertalanffy between 1927-1950s can indeed be
found in almost word-to-word identical fashion in Bogdanov’s Tektology,
which was delivered between 1911-1928 in its original Russian. Milan
Zelený quotes from N. N. Mosieev, in his 1988 article titled Tectology:
“All systems problematic, undertaken by L. von Bertalanffy and his
followers, is contained, practically in toto, within the theory
of organizations of A. A. Bogdanov, but not vice versa. For these
reasons, it seems to me that the “general systems theory” represents a
significant step backward in comparison with Bogdanov’s “Tektology”
which, after its author’s death, was unfortunately never reissued in the
Russian language. [This should certainly be corrected in 1989-90,
M.Z.]” (note is original by Zelený). Sadovsky, Gorelik, Zelený, Dudley,
Gare, and others have shown the similarities between GST and Tektology,
and to what extend Tektology exceeded the GST. According to this
“Bogdanov’s work anticipated the (entire) systems quest of the
twentieth century” (Dudley, 1996). Indeed all piecemeal developments and
discoveries of systems concepts, mechanisms, and principles: like
open-closed systems, bifurcation, emergence, self-organization,
self-regulation or feedback mechanism, autopoiesis as well as a concrete
methodology for studying the variety of systems were addressed and
explicitly described in Tektology.
In pursuing his negative critique, Plenge was also
joining the term ‘general systems’ science/theory/doctrine’ for the
first time, suggesting as a replacement for ‘tektology’. The term
‘system’ is used 23 times in that article and several times to
redescribe Tektology as a general science of systems of reality (Plenge,
1927). Plenge was the first to join the term ‘general systems’ to refer
Tektology in his 1927 paper however the term
later come to be solely associated solely with Von Bertalanffy’s work
(Boulding, 1956/2004; Hofkrichner, 2005 and 2010). This requires
historians to reconsider the entire intellectual history of the GST. Moreover
the issue of Bogdanov’s influence on GST needs a clarification. It is a
fact that both Tektology and Plenge’s review of it got published in Von
Bertalanffy’s own native German, and this happens at the time he was on
top of the topic; studying and developing his initial ideas of ‘general
systems theory’ since 1926. Moreover between 1924 and 1926 Von
Bertalanffy studied at the University of Vienna, where he completed his
Ph.D. dissertation titled (translation) “Fechner and the Problem of Integration of the Higher Order”
(BCSSS archive). When he was studying biology here “five hours a week
he went to the lectures of Moritz Schlick (1882-1936) on “Logic and
Epistemology” and took part in a seminar organized by this
neo-positivist philosopher and founder of the famous “Vienna Circle” in
1929.” (Pouvreau, 2009). According to Zelený Moritz Schlick, “… the
author of General Theory of Knowledge (Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre) in
1918”, “.. was backing Bogdanov in his lectures..” (1988, p. 332). The
fact that Von Bertalanffy’s teacher at Vienna University, on
epistemology knew about Bogdanov and Tektology and was talking about it
in his lectures minimizes the chance that Von Bertalanffy did miss it
and not picked it up. Especially if we consider that he took part in a
seminar organized by Schlick. Von Bertalanffy
published his first book in two years after completing his doctoral
dissertation and the publisher was located in Berlin, where Tektology
was published too. That year the second edition of the German
translation of Tektology’s came out and Bogdanov died.
Von Bertalanffy was so fresh in his studies on the
idea so closely following the debates related to ‘unity of science’
movement, which was popular in Vienna and Berlin circles to both of
which both Bogdanov and Plenge were known figures. Hayek devoted an
entire chapter on Plenge in his Road to Serfdom to which Von Bertalanffy
refers in his “An Outline for the General Systems Theory” (1950). Hayek and Bertalanffy also met at the 1960 Symposium on Principles of Self-Organization, organized by Heinz von Foerster, a relative of Hayek and Wittgenstein. These
connections increase the chance that Bertalanffy knew Plenge, and
decrease the chance that he did develop his ideas totally independently
from those of Bogdanov’s. Although it seems almost impossible for Von
Bertalanffy to miss neither the German translation of Tektology, of
which the second edition came out just in two years nor a review by
someone like Plenge, especially also hearing about it from his teacher
Moritz Schlick. Yet still, he did never refer or credit his precursor,
even after the rediscovery of Tektology in the 1960s in Russia
(Pouvreau, 2009) Von Bertalanffy, who was explicitly anti-ideological
(especially in terms of Marxism), remained silent on the issue. After
Von Bertalanffy died in 1972, Bogdanov and Tektology gained wider
international recognition as the forerunner and precursor of systems
thinking and cybernetics. Yet to a large extent because of Von
Bertalanffy’s silence this recognition remained rather limited. In the
end, Von Bertalanffy and his GST still gets most credits even today as
the founder of the Systems Thinking and he enjoys such recognition against
the historical facts and new generations still takes Von Bertalanffy’s
foundership status as granted. We will never know how would have Von
Bertalanffy reviewed Tektology if he had lived through the 70s and 80s. When
suggesting to see Tektology as an attempt to build a general system
science (Allgemeine Systemtlehre) Plenge was also offering another,
shorter, term general “systematology” to use instead of tektology. It is
very ironic that a similar term ‘systemology’ is being suggested 80 years later, by new generation systems scholars (Pouvreau and Drack, 2007) to replace the term with Bertalanffy’s GST, celebrating it as a full-fledged science of systems.
All in all, taking together the fact that the terms ‘general systems theory’ (Allgemeine Systemslehre)
and ‘general science of systems’ were already coined in the 1920s by
Johann Plenge in describing Bogdanov’s Tektology, and the fact that
Tektology was inclusive of almost all (and identical) terms and
principles suggested by Von Bertallanfy and presented more (Dudley,
1996) we finally have to conclude that it was not Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
and his GST but Bogdanov and his Tektology was the real moment of
emergence of the new world view that called later in the 20th century
systems and later complexity thinking. What emerged as Tektology, in its
original form, however, was a critical and historical unified science,
serving for building new systems and eventually a world to be replaced
with capitalism; instead of a tool-box for solving its problems, or
change management technology for managerial and ruling classes’ use. As a
promise of new world-view (as picked up by Von Bertalanffy), it meant
to be developed by, from the point of view, and the for the purpose of
the ruled and oppressed (the part left out by Von Bertalanffy). This
latter aspect was the main characteristic of Bogdanov’s work and meant
to take social power relations and inequality at the core -as the main
characteristic of the epistemology that lied underneath all enterprise.
It meant also taking social classes as the parts forming the societal
whole ontologically. These main aspects of Bogdanov’s Tektology were
unsurprisingly shaved off (or totally missed) in Von Bertalanffy’s
Since the early 2000s, there emerged
a discussion on the nature of the development of the systems paradigm,
and made calls for understanding the reasons behind its relative failure
-in becoming a genuinely general / universal science with a clear and
unifying methodology and principles, as it was promised yet not
delivered by Von Bertalanffy and his colleagues like Boulding
(1956/2004). Thus leading figures in systems thinkers community have
started to debate and invite their colleagues and for a return to
origins and re-evaluation (Rousseau et. al. 2016). Rousseau and at. al.
even developed a proposal for such a model for ‘really’ general General
Systemotology (2018). Yet although they do themselves make the call to
the original sources where they return at best is again to the work of
Von Bertalanffy, and those came after him. Even though ‘the emergence
phenomena’ is one of the key topics for the scholars and experts of
system and complexity thinking it is a serious contradiction that these
thinkers insist on referring Von Bertalanffy as the founder and the
inventor of the GST and skipping to engage the general and unifying
methodology proposed already by Bogdanov in Tektology.
Even if there was no case of plagiarism whatsoever
to talk about for Von Bertalanffy’s work there is an urgent need for
broader recognition of and engagement with Bogdanov’s work and his
Tektology as the precursor of the GST -as well as Cybernetics, OR, etc.
The current situation is misleading and promoting a wrong conception of
‘the emergence of systems/complexity thinking itself’, and as a result,
new researchers are missing an important source of inspiration. Even
more ironically, Marxian and post-Marxian scholars and theorists who
were inspired and influenced by systems thinking do not know about and
recognize Bogdanov and Tektology; amongst them worldwide recognized
scholars and philosophers such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Jurgen Habermas,
Gilles Deleuze, Jaques Derrida, Michael Foucault, Ernesto Laclau and
Chantal Mouffe, Bob Jessop, Antonio Negri, so on so forth. This must
change and it is high time to turn from a historical mistake and make
Hofkirchner, W. (2005) “Ludwig von Bertalanffy. Forerunner of Evolutionary Systems Theory”, in: Gu, J., Chroust, G. (eds.) The New Role of Systems Sciences For a Knowledge-based Society,
Proceedings of the First World Congress of the International Federation
for Systems Research, Kobe, Japan, CD-ROM (ISBN 4-903092-02-X), 6
Prouveau, D. (2009) The Dialectical Tragedy of the Concept of Wholeness: Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Biography Revisited, ISCE Publishing.
Pouvreau, D. and Drack, M. (2007) “On the history of Ludwig von
Bertalanffy’s “General Systemology”, and on its relationship to
cybernetics”, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 36 No. 3 June 2007, pp. 281-337.
Rousseau, D. et. al. (2018) General Systemology: Transdisciplinarity for Discovery, Insight, and Innovation, Spingler.
Rousseau, D., Bellingham, J., Wilby, J., & Blachfellner, S. (2016) “In Search of General Systems Theory”, Systema, pp. 76-99.
Susiluoto, I. (1982) The Origins and Development of Systems Thinking in the Soviet Union, Dissertationes Humanarum Litteratum no. 30, Academia Scientarium Fennica, Helsinki, 1982.
White, J. (2018) Red Hamlet: The Life and Ideas of Alexander Bogdanov, Historical Materialism Book Series, Brill.
Zelený, M. (1988) “Tectology”, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 14, No. 4, 331-342.
A. Short Course of Economic Science. Moscow, 1897; St. Petersburg,
1899; 1905; Moscow, 1920; 1922; 1923; 1924; Petrograd, 1922; 1923;
Kharkov, 1922; 1923; Kursk, 1922; Novgorod, 1922; [15 editions]
Bogdanov A. Key Elements of Natural Studies. St. Petersburg, 1899
Bogdanov A. Cognition from Historical Point of View. St. Petersburg, 1901
Bogdanov A. On Psychology of Society (Articles of 1901-1904). St. Petersburg, 1904; 1906
Bogdanov A. (as Ryadovoy). Olminsky M. Our Misunderstandings. Geneva, 1904
Bogdanov A. Empiriomonısm: Articles on Philosophy. Vol. 1. Moscow, 1904; Vol. 2. Moscow, 1905; Vol. 3. Moscow, 1906
Bogdanov A. Red Star: Novel-Utopia. St. Petersburg, 1908; Moscow — Leningrad, 1924; 1929; [6 editions]
Bogdanov A. Destruction of a Great Fetishism. Faith and Science. St. Petersburg, 1910
A., Stepanov N. Course of Political Economy. Vol. 1. St. Petersburg,
1910; Vol. 2. Moscow-Prague, 1919-1920; 1925; [3 editions]
Bogdanov A. Cultural Task of the Present. St. Petersburg, 1911
Bogdanov A. Engineer Menni . Fantastic Novel. St. Petersburg, 1912; Moscow, 1918
Bogdanov A. General Science of Organisation. Tektology. Vol. 1, 2. St. Petersburg, 1913; Berlin — Petrograd, 1922; 1927; Vol. 3. Berlin — Petrograd, 1922; 1925; 1929; [3 editions]
Bogdanov A. Philosophy of Alive Experience: Essays. St. Petersburg, 1913; Moscow, 1920; 1923
Bogdanov A. Introduction in Political Economy (in Questions and Answers). St. Petersburg, 1914; Moscow, 1917
Bogdanov A. Science about Common Consciousness. Moscow, 1914; 1918; 1923
Bogdanov A. Question of Socialism. Moscow, 1918
Bogdanov A. (as Werner N.) For What does Society Develop? Vyatka, 1918
A. Introductory Course of Political Economy. Moscow, 1918; 1920; 1924;
Kazan, 1918; Tashkent, 1918; Tyumen, 1920; Kharkov, 1921;
Yekaterinoslav, 1921; Ryazan, 1923; Saratov, 1923; [11 editions]
Bogdanov A. The Elements of Proletarian Culture in Development of Working Class. Moscow, 1920
Bogdanov A. Essays on General Science. Tektology. Samara, 1921
Bogdanov A. On Proletarian Culture: 1904 — 1924. Leningrad — Moscow, 1924
Bogdanov’s books in English:
Bogdanov A. A Short Course of Economic Science. Ed. by S. M. Dvolaitsky. London: Communist Party of Gr. Britain, 1923; 1927
Bogdanov A. Essays in Tektology. The General Science of Organization. Transl. by George Gorelik. Seaside California, 1980
Bogdanov A. Tektology: The General Science of Organization. Transl. by George Gorelik, 1989
Bogdanov A. BOGDANOV’S TEKTOLOGY Book 1 Ed. by Peter Dudley, 1996
A. Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia. Ed. by Richard Stites, Ann
Arbor: Ardis Publishers, 1982; Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1984; 2006
Bogdanov A. The Struggle for Viability: Collectivism Through Blood Exchange, 2002
Bogdanov A. The Philosophy of Living Experience, 2016
Bogdanov’s books in German:
Bogdanow A. Die Kunst das Proletariat. Leipzig Wolgast, 1918
Bogdanow A. Uber der Kunstnachloss; Die Kritik des Prolet. Kunst. Leipzig, 1919
Bogdanow A. Was ist proletarische Dichtung. Berlin: Seenol, 1920
Bogdanow A. Die Wissenschaft und die arbeiter Klasse. Berlin— Wilmersdorf: Dia Diaktica, 1920
Bogdanow A. Algemeine Organisationslehre (Tektologie). Bd. I. Berlin, 1926; Bd. II. Berlin: Hirzel, 1928
Bogdanow A. Ruga Stelo. Fantasia romano. Leipzig, 1929
Bogdanow A. Sowjetphilosophie. Darmstadt: Hrsg. W. Goerdt, 1980
the above list itself, it becomes crystal clear that it was not Ernst
Bloch, Karl Korsch, Gregory Lukács nor Antonio Gramsci, nor the early
Frankfurt school philosophers, nor Althusser who did produce the first
systematic Marxist work on ideology, consciousness, cognition, and
culture. It was Bogdanov who opened the path, starting from 1897 and
developing his ideas in more than 6 books focusing on cognition,
culture, and ideology both in an integral way to the critique of
political economy and as an autonomous field of inquiry.
This fact alone makes Bogdanov the most important Russian follower of Marx, Engels, and Dietzgen, who upgraded historical materialism for the 20th century and shattering the myth of ‘critical’ ‘cultural’ ‘Western’ Marxism. This makes Bogdanov the precursor of all the others, who were aware of Bogdanov and his work, as Gramsci who secretly translated Bogdanov’s Red Star (see Ghetti, 2016) during his time in Moscow in a collaboration with his wife Iulia.
To remember, and put in perspective, Bogdanov’s major contributions are: 1. Production of first vernacular study book on Marxian political economy. 2. Production of the standard version of the Russian translation of Marx’ Capital. 3. Production of first systematic work on ideology, culture, cognition, consciousness. 4. Production of the first communist utopian novels: Red Star and Engineer Menni 5. Production of the meme of Red Star, as the symbol of future communist, collectivist, comradely society. 6. Production of Tektology, as the emancipatory alternative to reactionary Cybernetics, General Systems Theory, Chaos and Complexity Sciences. 7. Production of the first form of “Input-output” analysis, as the core of the democratically planned economy.
contemporary Marxian, or radically critical thinker and militant
should, therefore, be questioning and knowing very well how about of the
demise of such an important figure and work, by conscious and
continuous efforts of the ‘makers’ and ‘the leaders’ of the
‘revolution’, Lenin first and Stalin after him, those who made gods and
prophets of emancipatory praxis out of their personal cults, which has
became one of the major religions of modern times, as the main cause of
the great failure of emancipatory praxis before capitalism. Similarly,
it is essential to see how this massive body of forgotten work, offering
a revolutionary new paradigm have preceded and exceeded those
Westerners like German critical theorists and French post-structuralist,
both influenced and manipulated by the development Cybernetic
apparatus, developed by US imperial army, and became part of it in the
post-War and Cold War era.
A new theory, science, and practice; a
praxis of revolution, which is capable of simultaneously building
cultural, political, economic hegemony and alliances, is on the rise as
an inevitable and unstoppable force.
The world is going through an unprecedented crisis engendered by a dominant regime that has resulted in deepening inequalities, increasing and new forms of deprivation, the destruction of ecosystems, climate change, the tearing off of the social fabric and the dispossession of all living beings with immense violence. However, the past two decades have witnessed the emergence of an immense variety of radical alternatives to this dominant regime and to its roots in the capitalist, patriarchal, racist, statist, and anthropocentric forces. These range from initiatives in specific sectors such as sustainable and holistic agriculture, community-led water/energy/food sovereignty, solidarity and sharing economy, worker control of production facilities, resource/knowledge commons, and inter-ethnic peace and harmony, to more holistic or rounded transformations such as those being attempted by the Zapatista and the Kurds in Rojava, to the revival of ancient traditions or the emergence of new worldviews that re-establish humanity’s place within nature and the values of human dignity, equality and the respect of history.
The Global Tapestry of Alternatives is an initiative seeking to create solidarity networks and strategic alliance amongst all these alternatives on local, regional and global levels. It starts in the local interaction among alternatives, to gradually organize forms of agreement at the regional, national and global scale, through diverse and light structures, defined in each space, horizontal, democratic, inclusive and non-centralized, using diverse local languages and other ways of communicating. The initiative has no central structure or control mechanisms. It spreads step by step as an ever-expanding, complex set of tapestries, constructed by already existing communal or collective webs, organized as alternatives to the dominant regimes, each of them autonomously weaving itself with other such webs.
It organizes mechanisms of interaction between those regional and national structures and with the societies, in which they exist, in diverse languages and different means, promoting periodically regional, national and global encounters, when the conditions allow for them, as well as close and synergistic linkages with existing organizations, like the World Social Forum. The Global Tapestry of Alternatives is about creating spaces of collaboration and exchange, in order to learn about and from each other, critically challenge each other, offer active solidarity to each other whenever needed, interweave the initiatives in common actions, give them visibility to inspire other people to create their own initiatives and to go further along existing paths or forge new ones that strengthen alternatives wherever they are, until the point in which a critical mass of alternative ways can create the conditions for the radical systemic changes we need.
A small group of activists from several regions of the world started the initiative, which community-led its structure as it takes shape in different parts of the world. The initial group will continue supporting the initiative as long as necessary. It has some sponsors, who subscribe to this document and will try to weave itself with similar initiatives around the world. Anyone interested in following the evolution of the initiative or participate in it may write a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A call out from the gilets jaunes (yellow vests), for solidarity actions everywhere.
On Saturday the 15th of December 2018.
It began as anger against neoliberal climate policies, a revolt againstunfair petrol taxes that pass on the cost to working people ratherthan the rich and the very multinationals most responsible for polluting our planet. Now four weeks later, it has become a popularuprising for dignity, a rebellion against the elite and their world,a cry for equality. It has evolved into a powerful refusal ofrepresentation, of spokes people, political parties and unions. Wehave all been overtaken by what has been happening, everyone hasbecome more than themselves; because we areimpossible to define, the only code we have is a colour code, all theother codes are broken. We are too diverse and decentralized to becalled a movement, too different to be categorized, let’s simply saywe are an uprising ! Some in Europe have tried to turn this into anemblem of ideas from the extreme right, attempting to instrumentaliseour heterogenity..The yellow vests was at first a piece ofroad safety equipment, now it become an unprecedented event whichopens up the fault line that charts our future, a chasm we mustbridge, between social and environmental justice. It invites us allto make a choice between the political classes and the people,between closing borders and opening possibilities, between despairand hope.
This Saturday 15th of December, will be a key moment, ACT
5. Each Saturday has been called an act, an acknowledgment that the most
beautiful popular theatre takes place in the streets, when we are
dressed in costumes of fluorescent yellow, swarming like disobedient
bees. During the week days, our call has been to block the flow of the
economy – roads, oil refineries, factories etc. Already the minister of
the economy is saying that more than 10 billion euros have been lost and
that France’s economic growth will be affected. Every Saturday the
instruction is to shut down consumption – supermarkets and malls – and
to gather around symbols of state power – the president’s palace in
Paris and the prefectures in the regions. Whilst all the world’s cameras
have been focused on the capital’s Champs-Elysee, our swarm of yellow
vests does not come from the metropolises, but from the forgotten
peripheries, and the uprising continues with blockades in villages and
towns up and down the country. Those of us who cannot spend our days and
nights in the makeshift cabins that have popped up on occupied the
roundabouts, or join those shutting down motorway toll gates, bring
cakes, palettes for firewood, hot morning coffee or legal advice to
those who have never disobeyed a law before.
In theatre, Act 5 is the final one, it either ends with catastrophe
or victory. This Saturday the future of this rebellion is in the
balance, this is why we are calling on you, across the world and beyond,
to join us, to put on your yellow vests and take action in solidarity.
In the past, France has already provided the spark that set light to the
powder keg of history, and today’s sparks needs the breath from afar to
keep it alight. This Saturday we need to show that Act 5 is not the
last one and that we are still writing the script and becoming actors of
our own lives.
In the lead up to Act 4, last Saturday (8th December), the
French state tried to put out the fire with the weapon of fear, “people
are going to come with guns…they are ready to kill” the Minister of
Interior told the cameras. He announced France’s biggest police
mobilisation since May 68 – 89,0000 officers across the country, twelve
armored vehicles in Paris, helicopters firing tear gas, water cannons.
“The republic is safe” he reassured the nation. Then they began to
arrest and humiliate high school students rising up against the reform
of the school system and people who had made call outs on the social
media networks which have been the lifeblood of this uprising. But it
did not work, we did not stay at home, tens of thousands of us came out
for Act 4, and continued to call for Macron’s destitution. 1700 of us
were arrested (hundreds as preventative arrests), over 200 injured, some
journalists stopped from doing their work by the police and riots
breaking out in several cities.
The elite, and their live TV channels are dumb struck, they try to
label, to understand, they search for spokes people, a representative,
clear demands. But they are looking for the old world, we are making the
new one. Their greatest fear is that despite their attempts to split
us, to claim we are far right, or far left, ‘violent hooligans’,
‘professionals of chaos’, the population remains with us, 72 percent,
whilst only 18 percent are in favor of Macron, according to recent
polls. To their ridiculous fantasy labels, many of us reply we are
simply revolutionaries, we are those who were once nothing in the eyes
of power, and now make it tremble.
On Monday night, President Macron, whose deep contempt has poured
fuel on the fire, broke his aloof silence, 23 million watched him live
as he tried do fein authority and calm the anger. He promised things he
had promised never to fold on two days earlier: a small raise in minimum
wage, no tax on overtime. (The petrol tax was already cut last week).
He never mentioned the word ecology and made sure that the rich and
capital would not be taxed. But few were duped by the crumbs he threw
us, as the yellow jackets watched, every announcement was booed: “He
doesn’t give a shit about us… Macron has not grasped the extent of what
was happening,” said one to the press “we are now asking to change the
Huddling around a bonfire in the middle of a roundabout, one of us
reminded everyone about the force of friendship we have made this month,
“We meet, we kiss. Our silence killed us.” he says “We’ve been silent
too long. We were invisible. Yellow saved us.” Meanwhile scrawled on the
walls and chanted everywhere are the words “we do not just want to
survive, but to live”.
Last Saturday in Paris a cop, told one of us: “If you want to stay
alive, go home.” His chilling words simply echo the violence that all
governments are prepared to use when they feel like the people have
become ungovernable. The yellow vest was once an everyday symbol of
safety, a colour to avoid danger, now it has become a magic cloak of
visibility, a fluorescent force that asks who will be in charge of
safeguarding our fragile future, either those who see it as an
opportunity to make money, increase their control of the population, or
We were once invisible, just nothing, we are now everywhere…
Saturday 15 December, ACT 5 this time it’s intergalactic, block
everything (especially French multinationals, symbols of the French
state and banks in your territories).
La Maison du Peuple St Nazaire
As we finish this call to action, we hear that Egyptian authorities
have ordered commercial outlets to restrict the sale of the yellow vests
fearing that Egyptian protesters might copy us, especially in light of
the eighth anniversary of the 2011 spring…
Since the 1960s and 70s Marxian thinkers came to believe that it was Gramsci who developed the first systematic ideas and concepts, building on Marx and Lenin’s ideas, on the issues of ideology and culture, and developed a unique conceptualization of hegemony, as an integral part of a theory of state and civil society. The influential contributions based on Gramsci readings of Althusser, Laclau, and Mouffe, Miliband, Poulantzas, Anderson, Frankfurt School theorists, cultural studies of Stuart Hall, French post-structuralists have come to inform the most important debates on the state, classes, ideology, MNCs, social movements, new imperialism so on.
However, below quotation from the preface to the English translation of the first ever Marxian Political Economy study book, by Alexander Bogdanov, shows clearly, that 30-40 years prior to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, there emerged the first-ever systematic study of ideology, culture, and social consciousness, both as an integral analysis or critique of the political economy, and as an independent study titled: The Science of Social Consciousness. Bogdanov’s conceptualization and the strategy of cultural hegemony and revolution clashed with Lenin’s concept and strategy of political hegemony and revolution. Anderson mistakenly identified that Lenin’s conceptualization and strategy, based on political dominance as the main influence on the ideas Gramsci later developed. However, it has become obvious since the 80s that Bogdanov’s work, which caused the notorious strategical rivalry with Lenin, actually was the main influence on Gramsci’s thought and conceptualizations.
“The chapters on ideology in this and the other courses by no means serve as supplements to the main subject. Ideology is an instrument for organizing economic life an is consequently an important condition in economic development. Only within these limits and in this connection is it touched upon here. It is dealt with independently in a special textbook “The Science of Social Consciousness” which is written in a form similar to this.”
Unions and collectives from Sweden, UK, Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Spain, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czech Republic have confirmed their presence. Please in order to take part in the meeting fill in this registration form: https://goo.gl/forms/MKJnOiKzRZA3GqMI2
The walkout, which was organized by seven Google employees, was a response to a New York Times report on the multimillion-dollar payouts offered to high-level employees who had been accused of sexual misconduct. Some protesters carried signs that read, “Happy to quit for $90m,” a reference to the exit package Google gave Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, who was forced to leave the company in 2014 after an employee accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him. “What do I do at Google? I work hard every day so the company can afford $90,000,000 payouts to execs who sexually harass my coworkers,” read another.
“A company is nothing without its workers,” the organizers wrote in a piece for the Cut. “From the moment we start at Google, we’re told that we aren’t just employees; we’re owners. Every person who walked out today is an owner, and the owners say: Time’s up.”
Some of the employees who chose to speak with me about why they protested asked to be referred to by a pseudonym and to not specify which campus they work at, but felt that it was important to come forward. Two of the three people who agreed to speak with me are men, as are nearly 70 percent of all Google employees, according to the company’s annual diversity report.
All of them emphasized that despite enjoying their jobs, they felt responsible for creating an environment where anyone could thrive, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, and where no one was afraid to report harassment or assault. They also referred to past Google controversies, like the sexual harassment reported by former Google software engineer Kelly Ellis, who quit the company in 2014 because of its “sexist culture”; and the fact that internal company communications, including a video from an all-hands meeting, were leaked to the right-wing website Breitbart.
Despite the massive size of the protests and the fact that Google sanctioned the walkout, support for it wasn’t universal. One employee told me that there were “people in the company who are against the walkout” and disagree with the organizers’ demands. (It’s worth noting that James Damore, the author of an “anti-diversity” manifesto who was fired in 2017, had plenty of ideological allies at the company.) Those who did participate in the walkout, though, view it as a necessary step in the ongoing fight toward equity and transparency at one of the world’s biggest companies.
Their responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.
The huge crowds brandished colourful banners that read, “Change the system, not the climate” and “#ThereIsStillTime”.
An estimated 10,000 people took to the streets in eastern city of Lyon, while between 2,000 to 3,500 marched in southwestern Bordeaux. In Lille, the protest drew “more than 3,000”, according to police.
“The public outrage is justified because so many warnings are being ignored by governments around the world,” Rajendra Shende, chairman of the environmental organisation TERRE, told FRANCE 24.
“Bogdanov imagined pulling out his revolver and shooting his heart.Then he would have tied the anchor to the corpse, he would have knocked it overboard, and he would have thrown the gun behind his body. The stories of Leonid Voloch would be lost forever at the bottom of the gulf. His journey on the socialist planet would have died with him.A philosophical story. A novel of science and fantasy that no one would ever read “.
Moscow, 1927. Let your stories mingle with reality to the point where you come to life: is not this the secret dream of every narrator? This is what happens to Aleksandr Bogdanov, writer of science fiction, but also revolutionary, scientist and philosopher. While preparations are under way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution and the showdown between Stalin and his opponents is approaching, the author of the famous Red Star receives a visit from a character who seems to have come straight out of the pages of his novel. It is an opportunity to retrace the steps of a life lived on the edge of the abyss, between insurrections, exile and wars, chasing the ghost of an old lost companion along the way. A search that will deeply shake the convictions of a lifetime. “They head to the exit, passing between the models on display. The different rockets seem to reveal the provenance of their designers. That of Max Valier, South Tyrolean, is a spindle of metal and German will, with two stubby wings, similar to arms, each ending in a pointed missile. The spaceship of Federov is a tin whale, full of mysterious diverticula and extroflexed trumpets, which one imagines to navigate melancholy and Russian to other galaxies. Goddard’s lunar torpedo is a giant, no-frills, pragmatic, and Yankee bullet. The Esnault-Pelterie aircraft are butterflies of French elegance, while the four-stage rocket engine with a double reaction engine, of the Italian Gussalli, is baroque from the name ».
Original Italian text follows (above is Google translated)
The Class Strikes Back examines a number of radical, twenty-first-century workers’ struggles. These struggles are characterised by a different kind of unionism and solidarity, arising out of new kinds of labour conditions and responsive to new kinds of social and economic marginalisation. The essays in the collection demonstrate the dramatic growth of syndicalist and autonomist formations and argue for their historical necessity. They show how workers seek to form and join democratic and independent unions that are fundamentally opposed to bureaucratic leadership, compromise, and concessions.
Specific case studies dealing with both the Global South and Global North assess the context of local histories and the spatially and temporally located balance of power, while embedding the struggle in a broader picture of resistance and the fight for emancipation.
Contributors are: Anne Alexander, Dario Azzellini, Mostafa Bassiouny, Antonios Broumas, Anna Curcio, Demet S. Dinler, Kostas Haritakis, Felix Hauf, Elias Ioakimoglou, Mithilesh Kumar, Kari Lydersen, Chiara Milan, Carlos Olaya, Hansi Oostinga, Ranabir Samaddar, Luke Sinwell, Elmar Wigand.
Welcome to the official homepage of the YouTubers Union!
We are a community based movement that fights for the rights of YouTube Creators and Users. Our core demands are:
Monetize everyone – Bring back monetization for smaller channels.
Disable the bots – At least verified partners have the right to speak to a real person if you plan to remove their channel.
Transparent content decisions – Open up direct communication between the censors (“content department”) and the Creators.
Pay for the views – Stop using demonetized channels as “bait” to advertise monetized videos.
Stop demonetization as a whole – If a video is in line with your rules, allow ads on an even scale.
Equal treatment for all partners – Stop preferring some creators over others. No more “YouTube Preferred”.
Pay according to delivered value – Spread out the ad money over all YouTubers based on audience retention, not on ads next to the content.
Clarify the rules – Bring out clear rules with clear examples about what is OK and what is a No-No.
Everyone is welcome to join – we need you! No matter if you are PewDiePie or just a user. You don’t have to pay any money and you have zero obligations.
You can join us simply be becoming a member of our Facebook group and/or by joining our forum.
United We Stand!
– Initiator –
On 2nd March 2018 Jörg Sprave released a video entitled “Creators, Users… To Arms! Join the YouTubers Union.” The Youtube union was Born, It was created as a way to give Youtube creators a voice. The goal being to encourage, or force Youtube to consider the opinions or creators and recognise their important contribution to the platform. When Jörg first announced his intention to form a union there was a flood of support from large and small creators as well as viewers. The main purpose of the Union is to give creators a voice which is loud enough to matter to Youtube, one that is loud enough that it cannot be ignored.
Jörg has made it clear that he intends to run the Union as a democracy, operating as it’s leader only for as long as it is required to facilitate the Union’s foundation. Afterwards there would be a leadership vote and decisions made on a management structure as the need arises. In the short term it is far more important that we recognise the need to talk with one voice, rather than deciding the specifics of our goals. Jörg did lay out some goals as a starting point in his original video in order to get the ball rolling and he has bee instrumental in both organising the formation of the union and encouraging participation and discussion as we move forward in deciding the next steps to take.
Post-financial crisis, many have bemoaned the demise of labour as a political force given relentless globalization and the increased insecurity and precarious nature of employment for many workers. In his new book, Ronaldo Munck challenges this view and heralds a new era in which a new global working class and their organizations can resist capitalism’s onslaught. Join us for a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for workers in the UK and worldwide. Contributions from the floor are encouraged and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
RONALDO MUNCK is Head of Civic Engagement at Dublin City University and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the University of Liverpool and St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia. He has authored or edited more than 30 books on topics related to globalization, international development and social movements, including Contemporary Latin America, Marx 2020: After the Crisis and ‘Rethinking Global Labour’ (Agenda Publishing, 2018)
REBECCA GUMBRELL-MCCORMICK is Senior Lecturer in Management, Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author, with Richard Hyman, of ‘Trade Unions in Western Europe: Hard Times, Hard Choices.’
Rethinking Global Labour was published in September 2018. It is part of the ‘Building Progressive Alternatives’ series from Agenda Publishing.
‘A much needed book … should be read by everyone interested in understanding and building a truly international labour movement.’ – Melanie Simms, University of Glasgow
‘A remarkable book. It is a powerful call for labour to return to its social movement origins and fulfil its historic role in a post-globalized world.’ – Edward Webster, University of Witwatersrand
‘A wide-ranging, multidimensional and thoughtful discussion of the future for the workers of the world.’ – Goran Therborn, University of Cambridge
From the Introduction:
‘Traditionally, both industrial relations theory and the somewhat pessimistic tradition of Western Marxism have a tendency to view workers as passive and trade unions as purely reactive organizations. Yet all the factors that have led to a decline in labour’s power in developing countries – such as offshoring, restructuring and lean production – have also led to a recomposition of labour on an international scale and the creation of new forms of organization that challenge and resist the worst of capitalism’s onslaught.
Today – as workers, – be they settled or migrants, rural or urban – face an economic order that has had no clear strategy since the 2007-2009 crisis, they are forced increasingly to seek alliances across geographical regions and gender, age, race and ethnic divides. By joining together, not only do they stand to lose their chains but they can also be part of constructing another more humane world.’
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China’s move into a “mixed economy” has created a wealth inequality crisis to rival any nation’s; wildcat workers’ strikes (aided by Young Communist movements) have become increasingly common, though they are not often reported in the news (it helps that Chinese state media and the country’s official censors suppress these reports).
The Hong Kong-based China Labor Bulletin maintains a map of all these strikes, which you can drill down into for news and other detail. As Naked Capitalism notes, it’s instructional to view the map as a time-series by filtering it by year; looking at the rise and rise of strikes from 2011 to 2018 paints a picture of a country in real upheaval.
You can also export the data from the map in a structured format, which should be very useful for a certain kind of scholar or activist.
Employees at Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech companies are discovering their power to bend the trajectory of multibillion-dollar corporations.
When news broke in December 2016 that then president–elect Donald Trump would meet with some of the tech world’s most prominent CEOs—Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Larry Page, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, among them—many tech workers were furious. In an industry that draws talent and ideas from around the world, Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign promises were abhorrent, and just meeting with him seemed like a tacit endorsement of these views.
His promises of mass deportations and a Muslim ban raised additional alarms for some: “If you’re going to target a sector of the population, it requires a database and collecting information on people,” says software engineer Ka-Ping Yee, who worked at the mobile money-transfer platform Wave during the election. “[Databases are] a necessary component of that particular evil.” And who was better poised to build them than the highly skilled engineers of Silicon Valley?
So Yee was heartened when his friend (and fellow Canadian) Leigh Honeywell, then a security manager at Slack, enlisted him to help draft a statement to both the incoming administration and tech leaders that Silicon Valley’s rank and file were not on board. “We were seeing what felt like a new energy in tech-employee organizing,” says Honeywell, who had volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The result was the Never Again pledge, signed by 2,843 engineers, designers, and other workers at companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Referencing the role of IBM’s punch-card technology in Holocaust record-keeping, the signatories vowed not to participate in the creation of any targeted databases for the U.S. government. And they laid out a playbook for worker-led resistance: Raise issues with leadership, whistle-blow, protest, and—as a last resort—resign.
Gramsci in the blind prison of the hereticsBy Noemi Ghetti
Among the pages of Quaderni: Prison notebooks, the “Dante notes” on the Canto of the Heretics(Q 4, 78-88) give us access to the human, intellectual and political life of Antonio Gramsci.
In his outline of Quaderni on February 8, 1929, while Mussolini was ratifying the Lateran Treaty, concordat regulating relations between State and Church, the essay on Canto X of Dante’s Inferno was being written throughout 1930-32, after Stalin’s totalitarian revolt and the fracture between Gramsci and his comrades in the prison of Turi.
Uniquely, thanks mainly to the exchange of correspondence which, through Tatiana Schucht and the economist Piero Sraffa, went from Turi to Cambridge to Moscow, the notes were read and commented on by Togliatti precisely while the figure of Gramsci, canonized in April 1931 at the congress in Cologne, was being forced out of the public scene of the party.
Promising philologist and linguist in his university days, Gramsci questions the abstract interpretation of Benedetto Croce, the “secular pope” who by distinguishing structure from poetry, intellectual activity from life, becomes the “leader of revisionism”.
Contemporarily, through the translation of the works of young Marx, we find Gramsci’s analysis of the theoretic roots of Marxism and the crystallization in economisation of the structure and sub-structure of historical materialism.
The analysis of the Canto on the irreducible atheists who refuse the immortality of the soul is a new model of literary criticism: close relations, political passion, theological research and the cultural battle come together in his writing in an extraordinary praxis of prison life which, while his solitude becomes extreme, becomes more and more universal. Political tragedy and personal drama intertwine, like Cavalcanti and Farinata in Dante’s Canto, also in the extraordinary comment by Gramsci, who unveils, through the conflict between Cavalcanti and Dante that constitutes the enigmatic plot of the famous verses, an analogy to his conflict with Togliatti. Hidden behind the protagonists is Dante’s mortal struggle with Cavalcanti, master and friend, poet and atheist philosopher, and the conversion from love seen as physical passion with which the Italian language was born in 1200, to Christian love. Gramsci returns to the origins of secular Catholic hegemony, directing his studies, Quaderni, on the “question of language” and the history of Italian intellectuals, and laying the foundations for an elaboration of the revolutionary and still modern question of cultural hegemony from the base, as a struggle to express a new secular humanism.
Noemi Ghetti’s writings include literary criticism and historical novels: Il principe diabolic: La storia di Niccolò Machiavelli (Nuove Edizioni Romane, 1997), translated in 2012 in Slovenian for Založba Ark, and Storie di eroi greci e romani. Dalle ‘Vite parallele’ di Plutarco (II ed. 2008). She writes for daily and weekly magazines (Left, Il Sogno della farfalla, Altritraliani.net, Babylon Post, Cronache laiche, Formiche e Madrelingua, trimonthly supplement in «Pagine della Dante».
She has worked on the transposition of classics for readings and musical dramas: these include Kaspar Hauser based on the memoires of Anselm Von Feuerbach, first presented in 2011 at the National Opera Theatre in Tirana.