Red Door Publications

stevei stevei at
Fri Jun 9 14:18:54 MDT 1995

>A recent publication by Red Door Co-operative Limited which I thought you
might like notice of

>Eric Petersen

In these days of Post Modernism everyone is taking another look.  Here is
"another look" that is long overdue.  Eric Petersen critically examines a
century of received wisdoms and questions the prevailing line on nature.

Dialectical materialism is an often mentioned but little understood attempt
to confirm the political theories of Marxism with the discoveries of natural
science.  Does it deserve to be better understood, or does it deserve to be

This book aims to rescue Marxism from attempts to elevate it to a
superuniversal ontology and restore it to what it was originally: a guide to
human liberation by socialist revolution.

	Cover designed by Steve Irons

   Chapters.  (1) The Marxist tradition has never completed a comprehensive
statement of its philosophy.  Consequently, dialectical materialism has
wrongly occupied centre stage.  (2) Philosophy is the vanguard of science.
(3) The Dialectic, as postulated by philosophy, is a process of constant
change and development which is driven by internal contradictions and
present in all things.   (4) Marx and Engels based their political theory
upon the dialectic of history, and (5) speculated that identical processes
were present in nature.
   (6)  Most Marxists have thought that nature is dialectical and that
Marxism is a theory of politics and nature.  (a)  Plekhanov first coined
dialectical materialism and popularised the view that Marxism was a guide to
nature.  (b) The Second International de-humanised Marxism's social
philosophy.  (c) Lenin restored human creativity in social philosophy, but
popularised Plekhanov's view of nature.  (d) Stalinism turned dialectical
materialism into an authoritarian state religion.  (e) Mao used dialectical
materialism to justify Stalinist politics in China.  (f) Trotsky used
dialectical materialism to misunderstand Stalin's counter-revolution.  (g)
Most Trotskyists are loyal to Trotsky on this point, even though it doesn't
assist their politics.  (h) Not all Marxists agree, but none have formulated
a coherent critique of dialectical materialism.  (i) It is necessary to
assault dialectical materialism on its own terms, and test it against
natural science.
   (7)  Natural science is the best guide to nature.  (8) Dialectical
materialism does not assist natural science.  (9) Human society is based
upon conscious human labour; it obeys laws that are fundamentally different
to natural laws.  (10) The materialist conception of history is a guide to
history and political science.   (11)  Dialectical materialism is useless in
politics.  (12) The associated Marxist philosophy of nature is: materialism,
atheism, and support for the potential of natural science under rational
human control.
   Appendices.  (A)  Dialectical logic is useful in political theory.  (B)
Engels' attempts to apply dialectics to nature were a product of the
Marx-Engels relationship.  (C) Marx and Engels applied historical
materialism in their practical politics.  (D) Trotsky, when not talking
dialectical materialism, made major contributions to Marxism.The Marxist
tradition has never completed a comprehensive statement of its

>This book is published by Red Door Co-op, a group of independent artists
set up to publish and market all forms of art for artists who have no other
outlet for their work. Red Door are happy to receive enquiries from other

Yoy may obtain the book by ordering it from Red Door Co-operative Limited or
alternatively if you wish I can send you sections of it via the internet on

>The book retails for $18.95 but preview copies can be obtained at a discount
>rate of $15.00. To obtain a copy of this book, fill in the preview copy
>order form and send  to Red Door, 24 Morris Street, Summer Hill  NSW 2129.
Australia Phone 61 2 798 6074 Fax  61 2 798 6786
>Preview Copy Order Form:
>Petersen,EG Dialectics of Materialism No:.............................
>Barcham, J   through the keyhole           No:............................
>Amount enclosed $

Jeff Barcham    through the key hole  Poetry by a promising young Sydney
artist with a review by prominant Australian poet Geofferey
Lehmenn and 13 pen and ink  illustrations by Steve Irons

Review Copy price $10.00

>Can a Lung Forget to Breathe?
>	a  Review of Jeff Barcham's poetry Through the Keyhole
>Reviewing a book of poetry that promises to deal with a young man's own
>sexuality? In this feminist world, such a project must be approached with
>caution. There are too many examples of where similar projects have fallen
>in a heap of guilt or wallowed in the mire of quasi feminist substitutionism
>or, even worse, of subdued anger trying to 'reclaim the night' from the
>girls, ("after all, we men have feelings too" they whine in careful
>This book, Through the Keyhole by Jeff Barcham (Red Door, 1995, $12.00
>Academic preview $10.00) is a book about the sexual feelings of a young man.
>But  search as I might, I find no cause for alarm.  The title prepares me
>for the poet's main subject, which is his own feelings, particularly
>feelings about his sexual experiences. But reading the work, I find a
>refreshing honesty and openness, as a young man comes to terms with his
>inner world. A stunning, exciting and frightening world of anger, lust,
>passion and grief.  No urge to be politically correct here, just an honest
>portrayal of such things as jealousy, fear, hatred and his own form of
>sexual experience. The work is not polluted by the urge to promote a correct
>view of the world or, alternatively, by a hatred of women. On the contrary,
>the book is more an insight, a window onto someone else's world. The fact
>that this world happens to be the secret world of a man, is an accident of
>birth, and of the personal need of that man to grow to maturity in twentieth
>century fin de siecle.
>This is Jeff Barcham's first published book of poetry. Nicely presented,
>with original drawings by Steve Irons and a foreword by well-known Sydney
>poet, Geoffrey Lehmann, at $10 it's a steal. The book is published by Red
>Door, a new co-operative venture promoted by independent Sydney artists.
>This may make it hard to locate, as normal outlets are not in the habit of
>promoting such work, but I've heard on the grapevine that a simple phone
>call to Red Door will secure a copy.
>The book is in four parts. The first part appears to be an attempt to
>capture moments of experience in a few unrelated words. These early works
>take their lead, I am sure,  from Haiku, the traditional Japanese poetic
>form that presents a complete idea in a few syllables. Not always
>successful, they nevertheless are a smart way to begin, for they prepare the
>reader for what is to follow:
>	Naked, supine, open
>	Watching with lust,
>	your pleasure soar,
>	into mine
>Part two is a series of stories. These stories cover a range of experiences,
>from the lust for  the girl in the Michael Jackson video, the guilt  felt as
>the phone rings 'a regular twenty minute interval' to interrupt thoughts
>about an illicit interlude that has just ended, to obtaining porn at school
>from a budding entrepreneur. The last three works in this section are major
>pieces of work. The first describes in tactile detail the experience of
>losing a lover to a stupid car accident, the feeling of anger, of being
>betrayed, of being under siege, as remorse shuts out the rest of the world.
>The second describes the 'sympathy of friends' as they try to relate to the
>grief felt by the poet and fail. The third relates the experience of
>watching a friend die momentarily, before his eyes, in a Grand Mal
>	Look, and see, alive and breathing
>	the fate of us all, as age overtakes
>	youth, mire and incontinence rasp
>	away decades of careful sculpting
>	and decoration
>Part three, is about love. Much of it is unrequited. The poet deals with his
>desire and pain and weakness and lack of courage. Later in the chapter there
>is the excitement and soaring elation of romantic love, only to be dashed
>again in a true love that can never be. A love that is real, but lost 'in an
>	Nor will it fade with time, as if
>	the come and go of days could
>	make a lung forget to breathe!
>	With the sweet memory comes too
>	the aching hole inside, and even
>	to fill it in would not suffice.
>Part four is passion. The sexual reality of hot flesh, porn, masturbation,
>homosexuality, suicide and lust. The poem Closet Industry describes in livid
>detail the reality of the public toilet for gays and prostitutes.
>Through the Keyhole: Not for the prude or the weak hearted, but definitely
>worth a look.
>	Review  by Barrington Bateman 2/3/95

Regards to all list members

Steve Irons

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