Igor Dukhan Belorusian State University, 2013 .
Victor Carpov belongs to that rare breed of contemporary scholars who have preserved the “pure principles” of such Russian art theorists as Alexander Gabrichevskii, Vassilii Zubov, and Aleksandr Rappaport and linked them with the Western methodology of architectural typology, drawn from the work of Joseph Rykwert, Giulio Carlo Argan and others. He is a senior fellow of the Institute for the Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning in Moscow and one of the leading architectural thinkers in Russia today.
The paper “Typology and Ideology: Moisei Ginzburg Revisited” was published in 2013 in the magazine Akademia: Arkhitektura i Stroitelstvo [Academia: Architecture, and Construction] and was based on a lecture, first presented at the conference “Style and Epoch,” which was organized by the Aleksei Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in cooperation with the Institute for the Theory and History of Architecture and Urban Planning, and dedicated to the centenary of Moisei Ginzburg’s birth. This paper is closely connected with Victor Carpov’s entire research into the evolution of architectural typology, which celebrated an important step in contemporary post-Heideggerian architectural theory.
Already in his dissertation of 1992, the author considered the history of typological thinking in architecture from Vitruvius to the late twentieth-century architects and theorists (Saverio Muratori, Giulio Carlo Argan, Aldo Rossi, Joseph Rykwert, Rob and Léon Krier and others). Later, an interest in typological (that is, ontological and pre-linguistic) thinking in architecture — which might be called architectonic thinking per se — led him to Alberti and other heroes of typological thinking in architecture in essays including “Tip-antitip: k arkhitekturnoi germenevtike” [Type-Antitype: Towards Architectural Hermeneutics] of 1991 (revised in 2012).
Photograph of a perspective drawing for the editing block of the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of an elevation for the principal façade for the editing block of the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of a perspective drawing for the editing block of the Izvestiia newspaper combine with an erased [?] plan, Moscow
Photograph of a perspective sketch for the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of a model for the editing block of the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of a model for the club of the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of first and second floor plans for the club of the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
Photograph of a plans and perspective sketches for the Izvestiia newspaper combine, Moscow
It is asserted that in order to eliminate social injustice, all that is required is to relate every commodity’s exchange value to the value of the labor contained within it. Marx shows — and will show later, pitting himself against Bakunin, against Lassalle, against Dühring, against Sorel and against all the other latter-day pygmies — that what lies beneath all this is nothing other than the apologia, and the preservation, of bourgeois economy.
For about ten years or so prior to the October Revolution, revolutionary syndicalism had been fighting against social-democratic revisionism. Georges Sorel was the main theoretician and leader of this current, even if earlier antecedents certainly existed. It was a movement which was particularly strong in the Latin countries: to begin with they fought inside the socialist parties, but later split off, both because of the vicissitudes of the struggle and in order to be consistent with a doctrine which rejected the necessity of the party as a revolutionary class organ.
The primary form of proletarian organization for the syndicalists was the economic trade union, whose main task was supposed to be not only leading the class struggle to defend the immediate interests of the working class, but also preparing, without being subject to any political party, to lead the final revolutionary war against the capitalist system.
Sorelians and Marxism
A complete analysis of the origins and evolution of this doctrine, both as we find it in Sorel’s work, and in the multifarious groups which in various countries subscribed to it, would take us too far off our track; at this point we shall therefore just discuss its historical balance sheet, and its very questionable view of a future non-capitalist society.
Sorel and many of his followers, in Italy as well, started off by declaring that they were the true successors of Marx in fighting against legalistic revisionism in its pacifist and evolutionist guise. Eventually they were forced to admit that their tendency represented a new revisionism; left rather than right wing in appearance but actually issuing from the same source, and containing the same dangers.
In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it… even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
— Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History
Since Jeremy Corbyn took leadership of the Labour Party in 2015, he and his party have been the North Star for many on the Left. This reorientation has raised old questions about the Left’s relationship to the Labour Party. At the Oxford Radical Forum in March the description for a panel on “Corbyn, Labour, and the Radical Left” put forward a number of symptomatic propositions. It registered the fact that “several socialist tendencies which had previously campaigned against the party now committed to supporting it under Corbyn’s leadership” and that Corbyn’s election to leader “was largely viewed as a moment of triumph for the far left.” But what is the Left? And what would mean for it to triumph? It suggested that the Left has “a greater degree of influence in party politics than it has for decades.” But what is a political party for the Left? The description worries about what will happen if Corbyn loses in a general election. The hopes for transforming the Labour Party seem in danger. Ralph Miliband is unconsciously invoked: Should the left “pursue socialism” by “parliamentary” or “non-parliamentary” means? Solace is taken in the thought that the Labour Party is “clearly more socialist than any since 1983 — and perhaps even earlier.”1 But what is socialism?
As the Left, in various ways, rushes to embrace Labour, the history of the Labour Party rises up behind it. This article relates that history to the history of Marxism from 1848 to WWI, particularly the “revisionist dispute.” On the ruins of that history appears the apparent plethora of “Left” orientations to Labour today.
Bonapartism and reformism
In their respective criticisms of revisionism in the revisionist dispute within the Second International, Luxemburg and Lenin argued that the revisionists had regressed to pre-Marxian socialism, to liberalism and petit-bourgeois democracy, liquidating the need for socialist leadership. Lenin and Luxemburg sought to advance beyond the impasse by returning to the high point of consciousness in Marx’s recognition of the lessons of the failed revolutions of 1848. Unlike the revisionists they did not have a linear-progressive view of history. The 1848 revolutions failed to deliver the “social republic.” As Marx wrote, the bourgeoisie were no longer able to rule and the proletariat not yet ready.2 The state had to intervene to manage the self-contradiction of bourgeois society, that is, capitalism. Louis Bonaparte filled this vacuum of power by appealing for support to the discontents of all classes in society and expanding state institutions of welfare and police as tools for controlling contradictions in society. So Bonapartism led the discontents of the masses to politically reconstitute capital through the state. This was an international phenomenon, affecting all the major capitalist countries, including the United Kingdom. For Marx, the lesson of 1848 was the necessity of the political independence of the working class from petit-bourgeois democracy, or the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the absence of this independent political leadership, the masses would be led by the right, as they were by Louis Bonaparte.
In Reform or Revolution, Luxemburg argues that social reforms do not socialize production, leading piecemeal to socialism, but socialize the crisis of capitalist production. The workers’ bourgeois demands for work and justice needed a proletarian party for socialism to “achieve the consciousness of the need to overcome labour as a commodity, to make the ‘objective’ economic contradiction, a ‘subjective’ phenomenon of politics”3 — “to take its history into its own hands.”4 In Lenin’s terms, the revisionists’ “tailing” of trade union consciousness dissolved the goal into the movement, liquidated the need for the political party for socialism.