P2P Foundation mailing list p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org
Thu Feb 12 17:59:30 CET 2015

I am very motivated to start reading Bogdanov ...

his critique of the Leninist regime as reproducing the power disparity
between the organizers and organized, was very spot on and very p2p we
could say with hindsight,

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Örsan Şenalp <orsan1234 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 9:57 PM
To: "networkedlabour at lists.contrast.org" <networkedlabour at lists.contrast.org


The Historical Materialism Book Series at Brill has initiated a project to
publish ten volumes of English translations of the major theoretical and
polemical works of the Russian Social-Democrat, Alexander Bogdanov
(Alexander A. Malinovsky, 1873-1928).

Alexander Bogdanov was a co-founder, with Lenin of the Bolshevik fraction
of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, and he played a leadership
role in the RSDLP during the Revolution of 1905. After the revolution, he
split with Lenin over both theoretical and practical issues, and his
polemics with Lenin provide a fascinating glimpse into Russian Social
Democracy between the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Bogdanov played no
political role in the October Revolution, but afterwards he was an
influential figure in Soviet culture. He founded and led the “Proletarian
Culture” movement from 1918-20; he helped found and was a member of the
Socialist (later Communist) Academy; he was a faculty member in Moscow
State University’s Institute of Scientific Philosophy; and he was the
director of Russia’s first institute for blood transfusion in the last two
years of his life.

Bogdanov was first and foremost a historical materialist. His life project
was to express the fundamental principles of historical materialism in what
he felt was the most up-to-date scientific terms. He believed that the task
of philosophy was not to contemplate the world, but to change it. *He
believed that the motive force of historical evolution originated in
labour. He looked forward to a collectivist society and a culture created
by the working class. Early in his writing career, he believed that the
empiricist philosophy of Ernst Mach and Richard Avenarius—reinterpreted
from the standpoint of labour collectivism—best served as the foundation of
a materialist view of the world. Later, as his political activity subsided,
he attempted to develop a scientific approach toward understanding the
nature of future collectivist society and the necessary cultural, social,
economic and political changes involved in any attempt to bring about such
a society. His contribution to the analysis of culture, long before
‘cultural studies’ came into existence, was enormous and his influence in
articulating the new approach of ‘ideological science’ was significant.
Finally, Bogdanov’s idea of tektology, later discovered in the theory of
systems, was a bold attempt to theorize organizational structures as such,
ultimately resulting in the theorization of socialism as the ultimate goal
of human collective existence.*

The General Editors of the Bogdanov Library are Evgeni V. Pavlov and David
G. Rowley, and the Advisory Board includes Craig Brandist, Georgi Gloveli,
Maja Soboleva, Daniela Steila, McKenzie Wark, and James White.

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