Pop the Left #6: Historical Materialism

by Douglas Lain, C. Derick Varn on June 16, 2013

This month Douglas LainC Derick Varn, and Nicholas Pell discuss the Marxist notion of historical materialism.  According to Wikipedia “historical materialism” is:

Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx (1818–1883) as “the materialist conception of history”. Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans collectively produce the necessities of life.

The question becomes this:  have we reached a point wherein we simply do not have a materialist basis for emancipation?  Or is the trouble ideological?

Also, this week marks the beginning of Douglas Lain’s “Think the Impossible” Kickstarter campaign to fund his upcoming podcast and book tour.

The book is entitled “Billy Moon.” It is due out from Tor Books in August, and it tells the story of an adult Christopher Robin Milne, the man known best for his childhood relationship with a stuffed bear, and his entirely fictional involvement in the French general strike of May, 1968.

The podcast, entitled Diet Soap, is a weekly interview show focusing on philosophy, surrealism, and what I think of as the problem of Late Capitalism.  Guests on the program have included Penelope Rosemont of the Chicago Surrealist group, the radical author Michael Parenti, and Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping, and many others.

The title of the tour, the imperative to “Think the Impossible” relates to both the podcast and the novel.  In May 1968 one of the slogans spray painted on the streets of Paris was this:

“Be realistic, demand the impossible.”

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: