Skip to comments.Tales of Futures Past: Soviet Science Fiction of the Cold War
Posted on 03/16/2014 7:35:17 AM PDT by lbryce
In 1898, British writer H. G. Wells wrote "The War of the Worlds," a science-fiction novel in which Martians invade the Earth and nearly decimate humanity.
A decade later, in what was then the Russian Empire, writer and Marxist revolutionary Alexander Bogdanov wrote his novel "Red Star," also about Martians landing on Earth. But in Bogdanov's novel, the Martians are not violent or monstrous. Instead, they invite the main character, a young Russian student named Leonid, back to the Red Planet to see the Martians' civilization: a thriving, peaceful and communist utopia.
The optimism of "Red Star" was mainstream, state-supported Soviet science fiction's defining characteristic, said Tomá Pospiszyl, a Czech writer and art scholar who spoke at the "Futures of Eastern Europe" conference here at the New Museum on Jan. 25. [The Search for Life on Mars (A Photo Timeline)]
Pospiszyl said that at the turn of the 20th century when both "War of the Worlds" and "Red Star" were written many people believed there was an advanced civilization on Mars. But while H. G. Wells interpreted "advanced" as militant and conquering, Bogdanov's "Red Star" interprets "advanced" as communist, and therefore peaceful and prosperous.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
Bogdanov's "Red Star" interprets "advanced" as communist, and therefore peaceful and prosperous.
I don't know about the science but his interpretation about Communism being peaceful and prosperous is certainly fiction.
Their entire culture had a very strange relationship with science fiction.
"Both science fiction and communist ideology are very concerned with the future, Pospiszyl added. "Communist ideology was based on futurism, or clear historical perspective leading from capitalism in the past to communism in the future."
Other science fiction writers turned to the writings of Karl Marx and other communist theorists to find inspiration and guidance for what the future might hold. However, other than a few lines in his 1846 treatise "The German Ideology," where he argues that people should be able to switch their professions whenever they wish, Marx wrote very little about what a communist society would actually be like.
Wow. Turning to Karl Marx for inspiration about science fiction is like seeking guidance from Obama on being a spendthrift.
“Optimism.” Yeah, that’s the word for communist indoctrination.
Logan's Run & THX-1138 come quickly to mind.
I couldn’t resist jumping in here for personal advantage. I’m not sure if this is kosher. If not, the entry can always be deleted.
I’ve just put out a sci-fi novel Earthlings Vs. Andromedans: Stanley Cup 2041.
Aliens are stranded in Siberia due to a malfunction on their ship. They learn to play hockey. One thing leads to another.
The book is free on Kindle March 19.
Progressive in child rearing, education and political beliefs.
It was a snapshot of NYC back in the days of socialist propaganda - and those folks seemed almost conservative compared to the Commies in charge today.
In the major cities today, the political elite posture to be “more Marxist than thou”.
Two kinds of breakfast cereal on store shelves, comrades!
The Strugatsky Brothers should be up there. They were critical of Soviet life though.
Too often, Optimism = Mass Psychosis...like the kind that got Obamacare through the House and Senate: "We'll get credit for 'caring' now, and the details will work themselves out later."
The only place communism works is in “the future”. It’s like the old sign in the tavern; “free drinks tomorrow”. It’s always true, just come back tomorrow and read it again.
“interprets “advanced” as communist, and therefore peaceful and prosperous”
Because Star Trek, one of the biggest communist utopias ever written, was a hit in the 60s. By the time the 1980s came around, people were a little wiser. The Borg were the ultimate communists.
most dystopias have an all-controlling state. in fact i can’t think of one that doesn’t. all totalitarian, mostly socialist style.