Sunday, 3 December 2017

Alexandra Kollontai




Alexandra Kollontai was a very influential (for a short period of time) Bolshevik. During the Russian revolutions her views on the role of women and concepts on relationships which are often described as a precursor to the free love experiments popularised in the 1960s. The title of this audio history was The Original Revolutionary Femininist, I've changed it because its historically misleading their were several very important and prominent revolutionary feminists that predate Kollontai such as Louise Michel.

Kollontai has some admirers not just in revolutionary feminism but in Left Communist circles as she was one of the founder members of the Bolshevik faction the Workers Opposition (WO), not to be confused with the Workers Group that was around at the same time. I don't really know why personally the only major point of difference between the WO and the Bolshevik party leadership was the role of Bolshevik party controlled unions in the economy. When it came to repressive measures by the Bolshevik party against other revolutionary organisations and tendencies Kollontai and most of the WO closed ranks with the party. They would eventually regret that when Stalin came to power and attacked them,

Kollontai survived and became an ambassador to the Scandinavian countries, while in that role she often campaigned to have communist dissidents who were refugees in Sweden and Norway expelled back to their home countries where they could be arrested and executed. For example the German Communist exile Hugo Urbhans.

But despite this frankly disgusting career her writings on gender roles and women and communism still stand up for the most part and she remains an authority on the subject.






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