This small pamphlet aims to recirculate the two prefaces from Seth Siegelaub’s epic and out-of-print anti-capitalist anthologies Communication and Class Struggle. The texts reprinted here make timely interventions into a theory of communication and should be read again today for a number of reasons, not least for the indirect illumination they might cast on the algorithmic domination of our own late capitalist moment, in which forms of electronic media appear both utterly obscure in their relation to contents of political struggle, as well as unbreakably monopolistic.
More hopefully, these texts might also help us to recognize the emergence of new (or newly obsolete) media forming in resistance to these electronic monopolies and to grasp their tactical significance in the current terms of revolutionary struggle.
In these prefaces, Siegelaub’s sense of his particular vocation — specialized, amateur, committed — is moving and exemplary. The subject he imagines in his prefaces — and the comrade he implicitly addresses — is the leftwing publisher/theorist/archivist embattled in class struggle, without the space, money, time, or indeed attention to make serious non-ephemeral editions of anti-capitalist communication theory, let alone full and accurate bibliographical references.
This comrade is an amateur marxist communication theorist herself, but one acutely trained on the ineluctably material form of his theory production.