Ongoing Struggle

Four Postcapitalist Novellas


Michal Sapir

Publisher Van Leer Institute Press & Pardes Publishing
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2023
Series Speculative Fiction

Keren Haaloni plans to write a novella about the postcapitalist revolution and asks the users of the social network Hevruta to help her in an investigation she is conducting on the subject. The responses she receives to her request for help are farther-ranging than she imagined: diverse voices of anarchists, artists, curators, environmental activists, and trolls either amusing or spiteful—alongside threads of a story about heartbreak, social reformers, and one legendary female Black Panther, Yehudith K., a character in one of whose stories envisioned the impending revolution—join in the multifaceted conversation that illustrates the civil, cultural, and mental change of the Banks of the Jordan, its sources, and the challenges still facing its emerging society.

Ongoing Struggle is an innovative and thought-provoking work that deeply investigates the question of literary form. What is the connection between an economic system and a particular worldview, on the one hand, and the literary genres that grow out of them or are nurtured by them, on the other? And conversely, is the literary form a mental construct that can serve as a more convenient carrier of a preferred way of life?

Collection: Four Postcapitalist Novellas >

The year is 2066. After a string of ecological disasters, on the one hand, and a technological acceleration that makes a substantial part of human labor redundant and heralds an era of material abundance, on the other hand, the Middle East realigns politically, socially, and economically, as do other regions of the world. The Banks of the Jordan, the area that includes Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and Syria, is a district with an autonomous government, subordinate to the Council of the Middle Eastern Union. Every individual member is entitled to a universal salary and public housing in exchange for hours devoted to the public benefit.

These four postcapitalist novellas are the fruit of an initiative that grew out of a research group at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, led by Dr. Kfir Cohen Lustig. The plot of each of the novellas unfolds in a shared reality conceived and created by the four authors who participated in the group. Each novella is a complete work in itself, but reading the four novellas together broadens the picture of the world and the society described in each novella and reveals a network of connections between issues raised by each one of the four. Each novella is followed by an afterword by Dr. Kfir Cohen Lustig and Prof. Shimon Adaf.

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