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Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press
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« As They Are | Main | Nugatory »

11/07/2006

Comments

Blogaulaire

Without having read the article, I cannot say I completely follow your review of it. Excuse me, then, for trying to cut to the chase in my own way without summarizing one or the other.

Socialist theorizing quite often poses the 'head' leading the 'heart' to save the body. So I agree there that socialist thinkers tend to subordinate the artists to their schema for social transformation as if they see the total organism whereas the other organs are vitally but blindly carrying on without an overall view.

The subordination is all in the mind of the socialists who pose matters in terms of themselves providing leadership for social transformation. Bluntly, you as a reviewer and sci-fi writers as cultural producers can envision social transformation as well or better than the self-declared socialist theorist. And you are not bound within a functionalist nor an organic schema of head and heart, leader and led.

I do credit Euro-American socialists and political utopians with having, down through a century and a half, posed the issue of overcoming social relations that flow directly from industrialisation. Stalin and the worship of socialist forced-industrialisation is an inglorious retreat from the guts of the socialist critique (despite all the necessities for the Soviet path used to plead for it). But sci-fi is not misled nor does it presume to lead.

I have no conclusion or even a summing up, sorry. An observation: a writer under the thumb of mass consumerist realities may easily produce writing following the same muse as a 1930s Muscovite writer, viz -- freely and creatively imagine overcoming the oppressive weight of mass thinking combined with self-interested practises with all the violence these entail. And I do agree, that although some sci-fi today makes excuses for the status quo, a whole lot more socialist have made excuses for decades of worse realworld scenarios.

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