A philosophy of labour: comparing A. V. Lunačarskij and S. Brzozowski

Studies in East European Thought 63 (4):315-327 (2011)
At the end of 1907 within a couple of months Lunačarskij met both Gor’kij and Brzozowski in Italy and found many important points of contact with each. To compare Lunačarskij’s thought at that time with Brzozowski’s “philosophical program” of 1907 casts some new light on the great variety of interpretations that enlivened Easter European Marxism at the beginning of the twentieth century. On the one hand, it explains Lunačarskij’s “economism” as distinct both from Brzozowski’s extreme anthropologism and Gor’kij’s “cosmism”; on the other, it shows that Lunačarskij’s “philosophy of labour” promoted a violent attitude of conquest and humankind’s domination of nature. Although he criticized Brzozowski’s sympathies with German Idealism, Lunačarskij shared with him a deep appreciation of human creative power, which is evident in his peculiar form of collectivism as well
Keywords Lunačarskij  Brzozowski  Gor’kij  Russian Marxism  Labour
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