Armed with a Pen

Views from a worker and student

It’s Time to Ditch the Leninist Aesthetic

Nothing screams “communism” more than Cyrillic letters and a strong Russian jaw. At least, that’s what comes to mind when one imagines the communist brand. Socialist realism, the iconic style of Soviet propaganda, is an enduring staple of the communist aesthetic and has and continues to inspire countless artists. But the thing about art is: it has its time. For socialist realism and the Leninist aesthetic, that time is not 2018.

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  1. Simon Lawrenson

    I tend to agree with this article on all except when it talks about so-called “reactionaries”. Opposition to identity politics is not some old position, it is a recognition that these days, especially in the first world, leftist groups focus far too little on economics and far to much on identity. In other words combatting the superstructure instead of the base.

    And third worldists are far from dogmatists, as they try to update theory for the 21st century. Even if you don’t agree with them, it is dishonest to call them dogmatists.

  2. no

    and yet the logo on the tab for this page is a play on the hammer and sickle

    • Tyler Burns

      The hammer and sickle predates Lenin and yet is still in use today by communists and parties in power and in revolt. It isn’t associated with any specific time but with communism in general. As long as communism’s relevant, the hammer and sickle’s relevant.

  3. Lol What

    What a strange and outdated series of complaints. Who the hell is dressing in Mao suits except for like, Kim Jong Un, who operates at the discretion of a workers party that’s clearly much better theoretically versed and vastly more experienced than whoever this wannabe gatekeeper is. So nonspecific too, like is this directed at a particular party or tendency or just a random clique? Also this “we” thing is wild bc I’m totally mystified about who the author is purporting to speak for and to whom. Who is this group of artists out here trying to being back Soviet realism? I know plenty of leninists who make memes on super popular pages and plenty who make badass revolutionary art, none of whom are even vaguely described by this series of complaints. tbh this should be honed down to a clear concise list of points and directed toward a specific target or taken down altogether

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