In Defence of Marxism Issue 46


The upcoming issue is all about art, and the Marxist understanding of its relationship to society.

  • Alan Woods’ editorial focuses on the necessity of art for the human race, the crisis of art under capitalism, and the necessity for the working class to claim all of the great cultural conquests of the past in order to achieve its complete emancipation.
  • Following on from his editorial, Alan has also written the lead article for this issue, ‘A muse of fire: Art, society and revolution’. In the article, Alan explains the subtle relationship between the history of art and the development of human society, in particular the way in which great social revolutions have been reflected in the world of art. As well as giving a fascinating account of the broad sweep of art history, Alan also points to the revolutionary role that art itself can play, and the future of art under communism.
  • One of these great achievements of human culture is Ancient Greek drama, which provides the subject for Jesse Murray-Dean’s article in this issue, ‘Prometheus Bound: A prism of the Greek enlightenment’. In the article, Jesse explores the main themes of Aeschylus’ famous tragedy, the historical context in which it was written, and the influence it has had right up to our own time.
  • The next article in the issue deals with a more modern subject: the revival of interest in poetry of all kinds today, particularly amongst young people. In their article, Jérôme Métellus and Irene Serra explain what poetry is at its most basic level, and from this perspective consider what is driving its increase in popularity.
  • The last article in the issue was written by Leon Trotsky in 1926, based on a number of talks that he gave on the subjects of culture, science, and the construction of socialism. It contains a number of profound insights into the role of culture in society, and the relationship between the development of technology and that of culture. It should be compulsory reading, not only for someone interested in questions of art & culture, but anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of historical materialism.


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