A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai

A.K. 47 - Soon (In 48 Years Time)

November 29, 2019 Season 2 Episode 13
A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai
A.K. 47 - Soon (In 48 Years Time)
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A.K. 47 - Selections from the Works of Alexandra Kollontai
A.K. 47 - Soon (In 48 Years Time)
Nov 29, 2019 Season 2 Episode 13
Kristen R. Ghodsee

In this episode, Kristen Ghodsee reads Alexandra Kollontai's short story, "Soon (In 48 years time)," written in 1922 about her imagination of the future of the Soviet Union. This is the first piece of Kollontai's fiction to appear on this podcast and it imagines a future "fir tree festival" on the 7th of January 1970 where the young people living on Commune 10 no longer know the words for "rich" and "poor." The story features a "Red Grandmother" who tells stories of the "Great Years" of the revolution and the long forgotten system called "capitalism." 

What is so interesting about this short story is the implicit hint that the future communards of the Soviet Union are committed environmentalists. They have special guardians of the plant kingdom and they now use reflected light rays instead of electricity. Kollontai also gives the reader a glimpse of what life on a commune is like in 1970, with everybody responsible for only two hours of work a day in order to meet their basic needs. The world is now a confederation of self-sufficient communes with no war and no hunger and no money. This is obviously a piece of utopian science fiction, but it shows a dreamier side to Kollontai who probably used this story as an opportunity to justify the brutal realities of her 1922 present as a necessary stepping stone to a bright communist future that her grand children and great grand children would enjoy. 

Show Notes

In this episode, Kristen Ghodsee reads Alexandra Kollontai's short story, "Soon (In 48 years time)," written in 1922 about her imagination of the future of the Soviet Union. This is the first piece of Kollontai's fiction to appear on this podcast and it imagines a future "fir tree festival" on the 7th of January 1970 where the young people living on Commune 10 no longer know the words for "rich" and "poor." The story features a "Red Grandmother" who tells stories of the "Great Years" of the revolution and the long forgotten system called "capitalism." 

What is so interesting about this short story is the implicit hint that the future communards of the Soviet Union are committed environmentalists. They have special guardians of the plant kingdom and they now use reflected light rays instead of electricity. Kollontai also gives the reader a glimpse of what life on a commune is like in 1970, with everybody responsible for only two hours of work a day in order to meet their basic needs. The world is now a confederation of self-sufficient communes with no war and no hunger and no money. This is obviously a piece of utopian science fiction, but it shows a dreamier side to Kollontai who probably used this story as an opportunity to justify the brutal realities of her 1922 present as a necessary stepping stone to a bright communist future that her grand children and great grand children would enjoy. 

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