Every new technology seems to promise both liberation from drudgery and new forms of economic and social control. The contradictions between dead labor (accumulated productive capital) and living labor (workers), between the forces and relations of production, have always been at the center of Marxism. The way these contradictions play out in the cultural realm is contingent and evolving. Karel Capek’s 1920 play, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), was translated into dozens of languages, popularizing both the idea of the robot – and the idea of robot rebellion. Working-class audiences, at the time, tended to identify with Capek’s robots – who were not exactly mechanical automatons, but rather artificial persons of a sort. Within a few decades, however, the mechanical automaton “robot” replaced Capek’s artificial humans in popular consciousness. The mechanical robot was increasingly viewed as a threat; perhaps in response to the growth of unemployment by automation, the mechanical slaughters of the imperialist and world wars, and the alienation of post-war corporatism.Read More
Given all that has transpired, come to light, and in some cases, resurfaced, over the past forty-eight hours, it has become clear to us, the remaining members of the Red Wedge Editorial Collective (EC), that what we have before us are not simply questions of what happens next to the collective or the project, but rather, questions of serious political consequence that we, like the rest of the Left, can no longer put off for a more convenient time.Read More
We have sponsored two panels at “Socialism in Our Time.” Taken as a whole, the speakers at both panels aim to resuscitate what is deemed merely a leftover, an obscurantist folk practice, a popular song, a cultural sensibility. We question standard accounts, for example, of “outsider art” or simplistic sociological accounts of counterculture. Our panel participants are visual artists, experimental musicians, queer activists, educators and critics. Put simply, we enter the hidden abode of cultural production from a wide variety of standpoints and a shared commitment to the communist project.Read More
Red Wedge is pleased to announce a call for submissions for our next issue, intended for release in late spring of 2019. The theme of the issue, our seventh, is fifty years since the 1960s.
Decades are fictions, albeit useful ones. Same with anniversaries. When we mark time and look back, we can either wallow and anesthetize, or cast an eye back to the present, colliding the two in such a way that the tension reveals a future.Read More
Red Wedge is excited to be one of the organizing groups of “The Great Transition: Preparing a World Beyond Capitalism,” to be held from May 17th through the 20th at the Science Campus of Université du Québec in Montréal, Québec. Combining the North American iteration of Historical Materialism and the Summer School of the Nouveaux cahiers du socialism, and featuring over 120 sessions and 300 speakers from 12 countries, the conference is going to be one of the most vibrant and diverse on the North American left this year.Read More
For as total and overwhelming as it appears, the dystopian often contains a seed of its radical opposite: utopia. Red Wedge, as a publication dedicated to the revolutionary imagination, believes this wholeheartedly. It is a necessary truth. We also believe that we need to hold tight to it. Now more than ever.
Modern life for millions is a nightmare. Climate change is threatening our very notion of a stable and natural reality. The far right is ascendant in a growing number of countries. Neoliberalism, in all its exposed cruelty and indifference, continues to stride along on the back of its most effective mantra: “There Is No Alternative.”Read More
Red Wedge will be presenting two panels at this year's Historical Materialism London conference. This year's conference takes place at the confluence of three auspicious anniversaries: the 20th anniversary of the HM journal, the 150h anniversary of the publication of Marx's Capital, and the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
It is no surprise to anyone familiar with Red Wedge that we share HM's commitment to Marxism's reinvention and rediscovery. Which is why we are glad to be contributing these panels, dedicated to a creative and critical assessment of the Marxist aesthetic experience.Read More
It has been a century since the Russian Revolution. The occasion has naturally provoked all manner of commemorations. The establishment calls it an unfortunate sequence of events never to be repeated, the right spits its vicious bile at the memory of a workers’ world, and the Left, to one degree or another, celebrates and analyzes and tries to ask how to make the history come alive again. How to make the dream of total liberation, of workers power and radical democracy, into a reality.Read More
Red Wedge is proud to be contributing to the organizing of the very first Montreal Historical Materialism Conference. Held from May 17-20, it is a bilingual conference, and an excellent chance to break down barriers between English and French speaking activists and scholars. The them of the conference is ambitious: “The Great Transition,” reflecting a sorely needed optimism but also rooted in practical and sober theory.Read More
Red Wedge is now taking orders for our third issue "Return of the Crowd." Get a copy on wedge shop or subscribe. We are also strongly encouraging all supporters to become part of our patron program through Patreon.
As the above video details, we are hoping for issue three to be a big step forward for a publication that deserves to play a role in building the kind of imaginative and militant left we so sorely need. As with any radical project, it doesn't happen without support. Lend us some and we will do our best to return the favor in the form of a fantastic magazine and website.Read More
There are big changes coming to Red Wedge’s publication and posting schedule. Starting with issue three (out in July) on “The Return of the Crowd," Red Wedge will be going quarterly.
Since the founding of Red Wedge in 2012 there has been a mushrooming and further development of left-wing and explicitly socialist publishing. As readers may know, we have spent much of the past eighteen months discussing our way forward, and feel that our current moment, our current environment, demands that Red Wedge professionalize itself.Read More
Red Wedge is currently fundraising to attend the Historical Materialism conference in London. We need your help.
Red Wedge is the only English-language Marxist cultural website and publication dedicated to all aspects of creative culture (art, music, film, poetry, fiction, dance, etc.). We believe that art and creativity aren’t just side issues to the fight for a radically different future, but integral to it. The ability of ordinary people to imagine something different is essential to the socialist vision, and we seek to highlight art, music, poetry, fiction, film and analysis that help feed this radical imagination.Read More
This is the newly-designed cover for Red Wedge No. 2, “Art Against Global Apartheid.” We are incredibly excited to send it and the rest of the issue to the printers – which we’ll be doing in a matter of weeks now.
A roundtable with Robin D.G. Kelley, Walidah Imarisha and Jonathan Horstmann from BLXPLTN; essays on the meaning of art and interracial solidarity; poetry from Prerna Bakshi, Anthony Squiers and Demetrius Noble that runs the gamut from the humorous to the heartbroken and outraged to the ethereal and mysterious; a look at what a recently founded collective of anti-capitalist artists is up to. This is material worth getting excited over.Read More
No, Red Wedge will not be fucking moving to Canada, no matter how close to reality the phrase "President Trump" may be getting... With all due respect to our canuck comrades.
What we will be doing, however, is presenting not one but two panels at this year's North American iteration of Historical Materialism, which will be held at York University in Toronto on the 13th, 14th and 15th of May. The abstracts for the panels are below.
As the first abstract says, we are planning to premiere Red Wedge No. 2, "Art Against Global Apartheid" at the conference...Read More