Great text Geert, very timely!

Benjamin, for sure, got inspired by the earlier secular 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
<> established in Russia, Gramsci
founded Turin branch
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
<>. This is what wikipedia says
about 'red star' meme <>:

"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 <:>, 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
<>. 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

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
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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