Well, he might be the ‘Marxist you can take home to meet your mother’ (as Vijay Prashad once said to me) but here some Benjamin, plus one – Asja Lācis -, for unpacking in between the consequential chaos of homeschooling – its a reassurance for parents that comparatively home school is going to be ok so long as they are making sure its not only endless playing of the ‘game’ monopoly (well, and a whole lot more, including Disney, but an exemption for the magical thinking of Dorothy who seeks to make it over the rainbow with a couple of workers so their dreams come true. The Emerald City is no communist Utopia, but putting that self-appointed snake-charmer wizard guy in a hot air balloon should be a lesson too. And dropping a house on the wicked witch to the approval of the good witch leaves some room for interpretive license): Anyway, here is Andris Brinkmanis on Walter Benjamin and Asja Lācis:
‘During the hot 1968 season, the name Anna Ernestovna “Asja” Lācis (1891–1979) unexpectedly reemerged among young leftist cultural “archaeologists” as an unearthed ruin of a historical “dream city.” A crucial missing element of a certain political-cultural trajectory had been rediscovered. With it, Benjamin’s short essay “Program for a Proletarian Children’s Theater” regained the character of a concrete and dialectical political-aesthetical pedagogical praxis, based on real experience. His writings on childhood and pedagogy thus assumed a programmatic character too: to oppose the dominant “bourgeois” education and behavioral models by all means, locating the very foundations of the capitalist ideological edifice in early childhood education’.
“In times of struggle, art has to be both an ally and friend of those in conflict. In this century of struggle, we look for art in the magnificent, free life. In it the creative process reveals itself through an intense and free action of the spirit, through masses that flow united by a common exhilarating rhythm’.
Read it all here: