Lenin150 (Samizdat): 2nd expanded edition

For all the official historiographic efforts at forging a mythologised image of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov as the austere, no-nonsense, professional revolutionary, the really existing flesh and blood Lenin understood and appreciated that the most materialist action an individual must carry out without fault to metabolise the struggle for communism is to breathe. Not just biologically respire but consciously breathe. Breathe for oneself and breathe for and with others. If it is indeed our desire to breathe new life into the long choking red star, a new oxygenic Communist politics of walking and breathing is what we must aspire to, inspire, respire and encourage.

Lenin150 (Samizdat) seeks to contribute to the re-kindling of the communist attractor by engaging, in the spirit of critical solidarity, with Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov in the year of his 150th anniversary. Conceived out of the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, the book brings together contributions from all continents, ranging in style from the academic to the lyrical. As such, these compelling, and in some cases absolutely urgent, appropriations of (the spectre of) Lenin aspire to be of considerable use-value for the struggles ahead.


“A fascinating and surprisingly uplifting intellectual endeavour – analytically sharp yet wide-ranging. This collection of essays and images invites readers to reflect, from a multitude of perspectives and approaches, on one of history’s central revolutionaries. More importantly, it encourages us to reflect on our own time in revolutionary ways. Its academic readership should also be inspired by its samizdat creation – there are ways to engage in intellectual conversations outside of the mainstream publication business.” – Rebecca Selberg, Lund University

“Wide-ranging, topical and sometimes provoking interpretations of Lenin reflecting different political standpoints.” – David Lane, Emeritus Fellow, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University.

“This wonderfully designed book provides an original and insightful contribution to academic discussions on Lenin, one that does justice to his legacy.” – Joe Pateman, University of Nottingham, UK

“A compelling volume for revolutionary-minded activists who are part of the radical ferment animating waves of dissent and protest sweeping the world – but also of genuine interest to anyone seeking information and ideas about one of the great political figures of the twentieth century.”– Paul LeBlanc, Professor of History, La Roche University, Author of Lenin and the Revolutionary Party and October Song: Bolshevik Triumph, Communist Tragedy, 1917-1924

“What an exciting culmination of the recent Lenin editorial revival! This explosive mix between images of Soviet relics and thoughtful insights about Leninism brilliantly dusts off the legacy of the October Revolution leader…” – Adrien Minard, Independent Researcher

“‘Consciousness not only reflects the objective world, but creates it,’ Lenin wrote before the revolution. In analogy we might say, like Patti Smith once did: ‘We created it, let’s take it over!’ This book is a tribute to revolutionary thought on the one hand and pure rock ‘n’ roll on the other!”
Ronald Matthijssen, Lifetime communist voter and actor, social justice advocate and writer in the making

“I am not an admirer of Lenin. However, as a historian I believe that it is impossible to understand the contemporary world without a renewed effort to understand the emergence of the Soviet Union and its global legacy, including in the formation of “Western” Europe. This book pleasantly brings us memorial landscapes from Kyrgyzstan, both built and lyrical, originally articulating the latter with a diversity of scholarly and activist perspectives on the figure of Lenin. It is an important step towards a postcolonial debate on the history of the Soviet Union.”
Tiago Castela, University of Coimbra

“…an inspiring book, which gives a thought-provoking, prismatic picture of Lenin, both as a historic figure and an actual theoretician of change and revolution…”
Vesa Oittinen, University of Helsinki

“I acquired this very unusual samizdat (self-published) 150th birthday present for Lenin as soon as I heard of it, and enthusiastically endorse its second edition. Not least because it is the product of one of my favourite countries, Kyrgyzstan, with many colour photos of Stalinist representations of Lenin (and Marx) taken in 2019 in the “Switzerland of Central Asia”; 22 chapters by authors from 15 countries, 4 from the USA, but also from the global South and 3 from Kyrgyzstan; poetry from a Kyrgyz revolutionary poet; and ending with a new translation of Bertolt Brecht’s thrilling ‘To Those Born After (An die Nachgeborenen).’ Vladimir Ilich would have been delighted.” —Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, University of London

“A great source of inspiration for those suffering from the corona dictatorships. Governments trying to freeze societies in their tracks will find revolution is around the corner.” – Kees van der Pijl, Prof of International Relations (retired), latest book, Flight MH17, Ukraine and the New Cold War. Prism of Disaster

“[The editors have] found exactly the right tone and the right team to bring Lenin into 21st century discussions. It is self-ironic, humorous, unpretentious, serious, wide-ranging, and well designed. As intended, the authors, of usually short pieces, come ‘from all continents, from people of colour, different sexual orientations and gender identities.’ Here we are almost as far away from the doxa of “Marxism-Leninism” as possible.” – Göran Therborn, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Cambridge University


Contents

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn, Preface to the 2nd Edition xi

The Politburo, About This Book xvii

Patrick Anderson, In Search of Meaning: A Note from the Translator xxiii

Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn, Introduction: The Kyrgyz Lenin – From Spectre to Attractor (and Back) 1

  1. Leon Trotsky, VI Lenin – On His Fiftieth Birthday11
  2. Alain Badiou, Lenin, Founder of the Modern Meaning of the Word ‘Politics’ 15
  3. Elvira Concheiro Bórquez, Lenin Does Not Mean Leninism23
  4. Michael Brie, Learning from Lenin – and Doing It Differently31
  5. Mauricio Sandoval Cordero, Lenin from Latin America – Towards a Reactivation of the Marxism of Political Organisation and Strategy39
  6. Vashna Jagarnath, Peace! Land! Bread! – We are not going to die of Coronavirus, we are going to die of hunger! 51
  7. Atilio A Boron, Notes on “Left-Wing” Communism:
    An Infantile Disorder
    61
  8. Owen Hatherley, Dead Russians on the Wall 79
  9. Marcos Del Roio, Engels and Lenin in Latin America: Yesterday and Today 87
  10. Kevin B Anderson, A Note on Lenin and the Dialectic97
  11. Roland Boer, Lenin and Non-Antagonistic Contradictions 103
  12. Georgy Mamedov, How Is Internationalism to Be Understood? A Leninist Perspective on Identity Politics111
  13. Jodi Dean, Lenin’s Desire: Reminiscences of Lenin and the Desire of the Comrade 125

Poetic Interlude – Joomart Bokonbaev Three Communist Poems 134

  1. Ursina Lardi, Playing Lenin – A Conversation about Lenin and Theatre 143
  2. Oxana Timofeeva, What Lenin Teaches Us About Witchcraft 149
  3. Tora Lane, Lenin, the Revolution, and the Uncertainties of Communism in the Work of Platonov 163
  4. Thomas Rudhof-Seibert, Eleven Theses on Lenin in the Corona Era 171
  5. Matthieu Renault, On Revolutionary Prudence, or the Wisdom of Lenin 191
  6. Michael Neocosmos, Lenin’s ‘Turn to the Masses’ (1921-1923) 203
  7. Molaodi Wa Sekake, Lenin: A Man of Action
and a Defender of the Integrity of Revolutionary Thought 213
  8. Matthew T Huber, Electric Communism:
The Continued Importance of Energy to Revolution 225
  9. Mohira Suyarkulova, City of Lenin and the Social(ist) Life of a River 238
  10. Ronald Grigor Suny, A Whole River of Blood: Lenin and Stalin 255
  11. Wang Hui, The Revolutionary Personality and The Philosophy of Victory – Commemorating the 150th Anniversary
of Lenin’s Birth 261
  12. Darko Suvin, In the Shadows of Never-Ending Warfare: On the Use-Value of Lenin today 279
  13. Slavoj Žižek, Lenin? – Which Lenin? 291
  14. Vijay Prashad, For Comrade Lenin on His 150th Birth Anniversary 295
  15. Johann Salazar, I Believe in Yesterday – A Photographer’s Note  on Remembering an Alternative Future 303

Bertolt Brecht, To Those Born After 313

The Central Committee 319

The Politburo 327

Index329

 

ISBN Print: 978-1-988832-87-6
ISBN eBook: 978-1-988832-88-3
Publication Date: January 2021
Page Count: 344
Binding Type: Soft Cover
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Language: English
Colour: Full colour
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Hjalmar Jorge Joffre-Eichhorn is a German-Bolivian theatre maker, compulsive reader – printed books only – and reluctant writer. Since 2010, he has been feeling at ease in the post-Soviet space, particularly in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. After much ideological soul-searching, he…

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