Lenin and Gandhi

Lenin and Gandhi A missed encounter? Étienne balibar The theme I shall address today has all the trappings of an academic exercise.* Still, I would like to attempt to show how it intersects with several major historical, epistemological and ultimately political questions. As a basis for the discussion, I will posit that Lenin and Gandhi […]

Walter Benjamin and surrealism

Waiter Benjamin and surrealism The story of a revolutionary spell Michael Lowy ‘Fascination’ is the only term that does justice to the intensity of the feelings Waiter Benjamin experienced when he discovered surrealism in 1926-27. His very efforts to escape the spell of the movement founded by Andre Breton and his friends are an expression […]

Messianic ruminations: Derrida, Stirner and Marx

mind/geist of Europe by its cultural others and inferiors. Derrida’s fascination is with Hamlet-as-geist haunted by the corporeal form of the ghost, as a trope for the irreducible spectral implication of spirit and spook. However, this Vah~ryian reading of Hamlet forecloses his distinctive relation to the premodern, conscripting his melancholic Renaissance proto-modernity into a latterday […]

A Sweet and Sour Victory in Eastern Europe

COMMENT A Sweet and Sour Victory in Eastern Europe Arpad Szakolzai and Agnes Horvath Sudden and unexpected changes have an air of miracles about them. And the events that are happening right now in Eastern Europe certainly belong to this category. The pace and character of the changes are inexplicable, not only for people unfamiliar […]

Socialism and Myth

Socialism and Myth: The Case of Sorel and Bergson Ma/co/m Vout and Lawrence Wi/de Georges Sorel (1847-1922) continues to exert a fascination for some radicals, as recent books and articles indicate [1]. This attraction is perhaps understandable, but in our view mistaken. It stems from his support for revolutionary syndicalism and his notion of the […]

The Cunning of History in Reverse Gear

The Cunning of History in Reverse Gear Istvan Meszaros 1. ‘Llst der Vernunft’ and the ‘Cunning of History’ The Marxist notion of the ‘cunning of history’ was formulated as a ‘materialist standing on its feet’ of Hegel’s ‘cunning of Reason’ (Ust der Vernunft). According to Hegel, the latter is: ‘an artful device which, whlle seeming […]

1984 and all that

EDITORIAL 1984 and all that Recent re-organisation of the Editorial Collective’s working practices, aimed at a more equitable distribution of the work-load, has given rise to the new position of ‘issue editor’. Although basically administrative in character (the Collective as a whole still takes editorial decisions), this position is enlivened by carrying with it the […]

Why Habermas?

WBY BA.BERMAS ? LINDA J. NICHOLSON’ There exist two ways to deny an idea. One is to label it false. The other is to call it non-important, more effectively achieved by not discussing it all. Mainstream philosophy in both England and the United states has skilfully employed the art of nondiscussion to deny ideas antithetical […]

Revolution and Discontinuity

rather than sweep them away in a torrent of technical jargon. On the other hand, there can be no general recipe for clarity and good style, if only because the personal flair of the writer will always, and rightly, be a contributory factor, and because the nature of the material under consideration must to some […]

Regis Debray in Prison

Rims DEBIUlY IN ‘PRISON~ ON IllS CLASS a HIS COMMITMENT This article is not about what you will expect. It does not consider the theory of foci, the specificity of the class struggle in South American countries, or the role of the peasantry. All these things pose important theoretical questions. Moreover, it is for his […]

Discussion: Rancière and Ideology

DISCUSSION Ranciere~a~d Ideology The article by Jacques Ranciere, ‘On the Theory of Ideologv’ (Radical Philosophy 7) is one of the most powerful critiques of Althusser’s work so far to have been produced from the left. Given the wide reception that Althusser’s work is now receiving in Britain it is vital that the issues which Ranciere […]

Discussion: Leninism versus proletarian self-emancipation; Laing’s social philosophy; The Trivialily of Althusser

Discussion Leninism versus proletarian self-emancipation Norman Geras argues (RP6, pp20-22) convincingly that Marx’s theory of socialist revolution is grounded on the fundamental principle that ‘the emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself’. Marx held to this view throughout his entire forty years of socialist political activity, and it […]

On the Ethics of Revolution

became more apparent to him. Tern never acted wrongly ‘without feeling and suffering for it’. ~8 It will perhaps be evident to some readers that I am making a point parallel to the point which leads Wittgenstein to reject the possibility of ‘private’ assignments of names to referents. The parallel is cernplex, and hardly worth […]

Proletarian Self-Emancipation

Ma:rxlsm and pl’oletal’ian sel’emancipalion Norman Geras I claim no novelty for these ideas. Some of them are discussed in a recent article by Hal Draper. 1 They are treated at greater length, and in greater depth, in Michael Lowy’s book on Marx’s theory of revolution. 2 Going back to Marx himself, in 1864, in the […]

Who Makes History?

Whomakas hislory? Allhassel”s anli-hamanis.. John Mepham Introduction I am very much aware that in what follows I solve no philosophical problems. I attempt some conceptual clarifications and I propose some interpretations of theses of Louis Althusser. I hope this will at least make it possible to pose some problems more clearly than they are posed […]

Remarks on Revolutionary Perspectives

his way of obviating the “victories of an excessive relativism” was to resort to the possibility of explaining diverse views. But if ‘explanation’ is to be understood as legitimation, he is no better off. The ‘relativist’ is perfectly prepared to admit differenc&,f of legitimation and characterisation co-ordinate with differences in moral view. Finally, he might […]