Great text Geert, very timely! Benjamin, for sure, got inspired by the earlier secular God-building <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God-Building> practise of Gorky and Lunacharsky in Capri, which they initiated in the aftermath of the 1905.
Capri, and Gorky's place on the island, was where Bogdanov, Gorky, Lunacharsky, Bazarov, and others opened the first party school, and started to design the project of 'proletarian culture'. Later party school moves to Bologna. After October revolution, when ProletKult <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proletkult> established in Russia, Gramsci founded Turin branch <https://books.google.nl/books?id=i7n7ydt-HVUC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=gramsci+proletkult+italy&source=bl&ots=S_Mzh0EGOh&sig=Lo3nn9lH8baiJL8SqfD7UZcK0zc&hl=tr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjzmZ-N3qDaAhWDZlAKHSPTApwQ6AEIQzAD#v=onepage&q=gramsci%20proletkult%20italy&f=false>. Probably Bogdanov wrote his Red Star here too. The 'Red Star', one of the two iconic symbols or memes of the Revolution and Communism, thus Communist Revolution is originated in Alexander Bogdanov's first revolutionary utopian sci-fi novel Red Star <https://archive.org/details/BogdanovRedStar>. This is what wikipedia says about 'red star' meme <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_star>: "The star's origins as a symbol of a mass political movement date to the times of the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922 and the end of the First World War in 1918, but the precise first use remains unknown. It is most often thought that Russian troops fleeing from the Austrian and German fronts found themselves in Moscow in 1917 and mixed with the local Moscow garrison. To distinguish the Moscow troops from the influx of retreating frontliners, officers gave out tin stars to the Moscow garrison soldiers to wear on their hats. When those troops joined the Red Army and the Bolsheviks they painted their tin stars red, the color of socialism, thus creating the original red star." In 1908, when Red Star was published for first time Lenin published his Materialism and Empricocriticism, where he launches a vulgar materialist critic and fierce attack of Bogdanov's (and co.) ideas. As a follow up he forces Bogdanov and his Vperyod comrades (Bogdanov and Co. as he calls) out of the Bolshevik centre. Lenin's enduring enmity towards Bogdanov lasts till the end of his life and this also explains why and how this knowledge of Red Star, alongst with Tektology and ProletKult, was put under stress between 1920 and 1924, and deleted from history by Stalin's purge. In Materialism and Empriocriticism Lenin attacks Gorky and Lunacharsky's God Building activities, in order to hit Bogdanov and Co.. Yet he also accepts Gorky's invitation to Capri -in 1908- to talk about 'political' issues. There is a nice Italian documentary <: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or-FL7w3Gws>, though have some mistakes in it, about Lenin's visit to the island. Long time after that, Benjamin comes to Capri and stays there (between May-September 1924). He meets Gorky and others, like Brecht, Reich, and Bloch. Lacis is there too and Benjamin and Lacis collaborate on several things. Around 1929 Benjamin writes “Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theater*” *upon request by Lācis <http://www.documenta14.de/en/artists/21976/anna-asja-lacis>. It is impossible that Bloch, Brecht, Benjamin would not know of the story of Bogdanov and Co. There are some good references to their interactions in the island in this book <https://books.google.nl/books?id=IDK_cFJogwUC&pg=PA140&lpg=PA140&dq=benjamin+brecht+capri+gorky&source=bl&ots=ETLzl4W4F_&sig=nheSFZh08AujiqV-AAH05P7qlKY&hl=tr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiksaGx2qDaAhWGKVAKHWxdAKIQ6AEIQzAI#v=onepage&q=benjamin%20brecht%20capri%20gorky&f=false> . If we return Gramsci, most recently Neomi Ghetti, Italian historian-author documented that Red Star was actually the first book Gramsci requested its translation from Russian in a letter he sent to his lover. Ghetti's book La Cartolina Di Gramsci <https://www.academia.edu/29825993/LA_CARTOLINA_DI_GRAMSCI._A_Mosca_tra_politica_e_amori_1922-1924> focuses on 1922-24, times Gramsci spent in Moscow and reveals more about Bogdanov's influence on Gramsci's thinking of proletarian culture, ideology, hegemony. Seems like not only the fact that the source of one of the most well known memes of emancipation in contemporary times is forgotten, but it is forgotten together with all these key relationships that was establishing one critical Marxism with its inter-connected Eastern/Russian and Western parts. Such a lost paradigm has generated artificially imposed and abused division in critical thinking.
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