The humanization of nature

A sorely-needed corrective 


The socialist revolution calls for terrifying windowless towers, desolated lots and plazas, massive concrete slabs thrown into the earth.

It goes without saying that people ought only live in buildings that they might once have feared. Someday we may all feel so free and at ease in the world we have built as to dwell in buildings that would have formerly dwarfed and intimidated us.

This requires absolute atmospheric agency: the conquest of gravity, victory over the sun, fantastic weather machines, a translucent vault or dome to seal off the heavens (when need be). Inside the enclosed space, an architecture of the well-tempered environment, with universal ventilation and air purification [respiration exacte] to accommodate the human lung. Mosquitoes will have been abolished.

Not only this, however. The socialist reconstruction of nature [социалистической реконструкции природы] also demands total geological dominion: vast terraforming projects that effortlessly tunnel through tough silicate and shruggingly shear off the sides of mountains, complete orthogonality, a Vernean clockwork at the center of the Earth. No longer Níðhöggr gnawing at the roots of the world-tree — the wyrm instead replaced by gears and wires stemming from the centrifuge. Tectonic plates will still shift following the revolution, but only when they are compelled or granted permission.


From this it clearly follows that the dictatorship of the proletariat [Diktatur des Proletariats] heralded by Marx would at the same time simultaneously constitute the dictatorship of the right angle [dictature de l’angle droit] attributed to Corbusier by Lefebvre. A common demiurgic impulse thus seems to underlie both the Ricostruzione futurista dell’universo envisioned by the Italian futurists (future fascists) Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero and some of Trotsky’s closing lines in Literature and Revolution: Continue reading