Bini Adamczak

Bini Adamczak is a Berlin-based social theorist and artist who writes on political theory, queer politics, and the past future of revolutions. She is the author of Communism for Kids (MIT Press).

  • Yesterday's Tomorrow

    Yesterday's Tomorrow

    On the Loneliness of Communist Specters and the Reconstruction of the Future

    Bini Adamczak

    How the communist revolution failed, presented in a series of catastrophes.

    The communist project in the twentieth century grew out of utopian desires to oppose class structures and abolish oppression. The attempts to realize these ideals, however, became a series of colossal failures. In Yesterday's Tomorrow, Bini Adamczak examines these catastrophes, proceeding in reverse chronological order from 1939 to 1917: the Hitler–Stalin Pact, the Great Terror of 1937, the failure of the European Left to prevent National Socialism, Stalin's rise to power, and the bloody defeat of the rebellion at Kronstadt. In the process, she seeks a future that never happened.

    If Adamczak framed communism as a fairy tale with the possibility of a happy ending in her earlier book Communism for Kids, here she offers a tragedy for grownups. She describes the deportation of exiled anti-fascists back to Nazi Germany—a betrayal of communists by communists; the initial incredulity of European Communists at the news of the Hitler-Stalin pact; Stalin's state socialist terror plan, with quotas for executions instead of crops; the disappearance of class and the emergence of tactical and economic calculus; the withering into unrecognizability and impossibility of the revolution's successes; and the cheap promise that “next time it will be democratic.” What weighs on the possibility of communist desire, Adamczak writes, is not just the end of history, but first and foremost, the end of the revolution. Not just 1989, but also, even more so, 1939, 1938, and back to 1924, to 1917. Only if we understand this history can we work toward a better future.

    • Hardcover $24.95
  • Communism for Kids

    Communism for Kids

    Bini Adamczak

    Communism, capitalism, work, crisis, and the market, described in simple storybook terms and illustrated by drawings of adorable little revolutionaries.

    Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism. Offering relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics, it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children's story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.

    It all unfolds like a story, with jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers–not to mention a Ouija board, a talking chair, and a big pot called “the state.” Before they know it, readers are learning about the economic history of feudalism, class struggles in capitalism, different ideas of communism, and more. Finally, competition between two factories leads to a crisis that the workers attempt to solve in six different ways (most of them borrowed from historic models of communist or socialist change). Each attempt fails, since true communism is not so easy after all. But it's also not that hard. At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue. Happy ending? Only the future will tell. With an epilogue that goes deeper into the theoretical issues behind the story, this book is perfect for all ages and all who desire a better world.

    • Paperback $12.95