Will Barnes died in 2012. At the time, it is our guess that only a relative handful of people, even of revolutionaries, were aware of his remarkable contributions to thinking through the most complex challenges of the present moment.
We know just a bit about Will’s life. He was born in 1949, grew up in Wisconsin and became active in the anti-war and other struggles of the late 1960s. He worked in a wide variety of jobs across the mid-west and eventually settled in Minneapolis where he and his wife, Vicki, both drove school buses. Over at least a twenty-five year period (and it must have been much more than that given the extent of his knowledge), Will wrote an impressive number of major works.
Since his death, it appears that Vicki has been revising and editing those works and his web page now includes the following essays:
- Prolegomenon to The Critique of Science. Why the Study of Human Origins is Necessary and Indispensable to this Critique and Inseparably that of Capital
- Productivism, Capital and Technological Utopianism: Illusory Social Progress and Technocratic Dystopias
- Bolshevism and Stalinism in the Epoch of Imperialist World War and Proletarian Revolution. Urgeschichte
- Revolutionary Origins of Freedom in the Epoch of Capital’s Formal Domination over Labor in Production
- Civil War and Revolution in America
- The Critique of Science. Historical, Materialist and Dialectical Studies on the Relation of the Modern Science of Nature to the Bourgeoisie and Capital
- Hegel-Marx, Marx-Hegel. The Materialist Reading of Hegel
Readers can also find the essays if they go to the web page.
All told, the essays listed above amount to more than 2,000 pages (although, in a gesture that we can only assume Will was intentional about, the individual documents are not page numbered). Previously, the web page contained many other essays. We are inclined to think that Vicki is continuing her edits and revisions and that more will be forthcoming.
In the future, we intend to probe Will’s writings with the same kind of serious conviction that he displayed in writing them. At the least, we recognize that they represent a fundamental challenge to well-established ways of thinking—even amongst those who are the most radical critics of capital.
We urge IN readers to go discover Will’s distinctive views for themselves and we welcome essays on Will’s work. For the moment, we will simply say that we hope to help make sure that he is remembered—for now, by supporters of revolution and, perhaps later, by many more.