Unconscious Desire for Communism


  • Oxana Timofeeva Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Science
  • Jonathan Brooks Platt University of Pittsburgh




communism, the unconscious, community, animals


The question of what the community should be is a question of value and what ought to be; any attempt to answer this question leads us to discordant models of social organization, to an ideological quarrel about how to rebuild humanity. The community appears as a gathering of people, large or small, but certainly different from a group, a collective, a society – in terms of its density or the character of its objectives, its anatomy or teleology. As we are told, the community is not a group, not a collective, no – and it is not a nation, not a people – but it is also not a crowd or a mass. The specter of communism hangs in the common and unappropriated air. The very name swears an oath of allegiance to the idea of the community. Communism is the society of the community, what is common and belongs to no one, but we will never agree on the subject of whether this principle coincides with or opposes democracy. Thus the specter of communism, having appeared out of the air, disperses into it as well. Communism is humanity’s memory of what has not yet happened. In this way it resembles a dream – you never know when the idyll might turn into a nightmare.

Author(s): Oxana Timofeeva

Title (English): Unconscious Desire for Communism          

Translated by (Russian to English): Jonathan Brooks Platt

Journal Reference: Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Summer 2015)

Publisher: Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje 

Page Range: 32-48

Page Count: 16

Citation (English): Oxana Timofeeva, “Unconscious Desire for Communism,” translated from the Russian by Jonathan Brooks Platt, Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Summer 2015): 32-48.

Author Biography

Oxana Timofeeva, Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Science

Dr. Oxana Timofeeva is a senior research fellow at the Institute of philosophy of Russian Academy of Science (Moscow), a senior lecturer on contemporary philosophy at European University in St. Petersburg, a member of the artistic collective "Chto Delat?" ("What is to be done?"), a member of the editorial board of the journal "Stasis", and the author of books History of Animals: An Essay on Negativity, Immanence, and Freedom (Maastricht, 2009), and Introduction to the Erotic Philosophy of Georges Bataille (Moscow, 2009).




How to Cite

Timofeeva, O., & Platt, J. B. (2015). Unconscious Desire for Communism. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 11(1), 32-48. https://doi.org/10.51151/identities.v11i1.294