“This Tale Is About You!”: On Bini Adamczak’s “Communism for Kids” – Los Angeles Review of Books, By Ross Wolfe JUNE 27, 2017
BINI ADAMCZAK’S Communism for Kids isn’t just for kids. The book is meant for readers of all ages, but its style is deliberately naïve. Adamczak addresses everyone as children in order to awaken their childlike sense of imagination and ability to dream. She reminds them that the world has not always been this way, and need not stay as it is. Adopting the language of make-believe, Adamczak introduces the problem posed by capitalism so those still young at heart might arrive at a solution. “[G]enuine fairy tales,” the Marxist critic Siegfried Kracauer maintained during the Weimar years, “are not stories about miracles but rather announcements of the miraculous advent of justice.”
The crucial reference for Adamczak is Deleuze’s colleague, Michel Foucault. She quotes him as saying that “the role of intellectuals today must be to restore the same level of desirability for the image of revolution that existed in the 19th century.” Foucault wavered on this, though, unsure if revolution was really so desirable after all (citing Horkheimer’s doubts). He told Bernard-Henri Lévy that “something quite different is at stake in Stalinism [than the viability of revolution]. You know very well […] that the very desirability of the revolution is the problem today.” Asked whether revolution was something he desired, Foucault refused to commit himself.