McKenzie Wark

McKenzie Wark

Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene

May/
Sat 30 May 2015

McKenzie Wark

Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene

McKenzie Wark
Sat 30 May 2015,

Of all the liberation movements of the twentieth century, the one that succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams did not liberate a class or a gender or a race. It liberated an element: carbon. Today, carbon threatens to crash the entire climate system. In Molecular Red, McKenzie Wark creates philosophical tools for the Anthropocene, our new planetary epoch, in which human and natural forces are so entwined that the future of one determines that of the other. Wark explores the implications of Anthropocene through the story of two empires, the Soviet and then the American. From the ruins of these mighty histories, he salvages ideas to help us picture what kind of worlds collective labor might yet build. From the Russian revolution, Wark unearths the work of Alexander Bogdanov—Lenin’s rival—as well as the great Proletkult writer and engineer Andrey Platonov.

The Soviet experiment emerges from the past as an allegory for the new organisational challenges of our time. From deep within the Californian military-entertainment complex, Wark retrieves Donna Haraway’s cyborg critique and science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s Martian utopia as powerful resources for rethinking and remaking the world that climate change has wrought. Molecular Red proposes an alternative realism, where hope is found in what remains and endures.

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