[Marxism] Revolution at the Gates
Jack F. Vogel
jfv at bluesong.NET
Mon Jul 19 00:26:22 MDT 2004
Was out book browsing this afternoon and picked
up this book of Zizek. When I first saw an ad for
it I thought, hmmmrph an anthology of Lenin.. what
is he doing..., but after looking it over more closely
I find that this book is actually quite timely...
Here is a short passage from the Intro:
The first public reaction to the idea of reactualizing
Lenin is, of course, an outburst of sarcastic laughter.
Marx is OK - today, even on Wall Street, there are people
who still love him: Marx the poet of commodities, who
provided perfect descriptions of the capitalist dynamic;
Marx of Cultural Studies, who portrayed the alienation
and reification of our daily lives. But Lenin - no, you
can't be serious! Doesn't Lenin stand precisely for the
'failure' to put Marxism into practice, for the big
catastrophe which left its mark on the whole of twentieth
century world politics...
...What if there is another story to be told about Lenin?
It is true that today's Left is undergoing the shattering
experience of the end of an entire epoch for the progressive
movement, an experience which compels it to reinvent the
very basic co-ordinates of its project - however, it was an
exactly homologous experience that gave birth to Leninism.
Recall Lenin's shock when, in autumn 1914, all European
Social Democratic parties...adopted the "patriotic line" -
...this catastrophe, cleared the ground for the Leninist
event, for breaking the evolutionary historicism of the
Second International - and Lenin was the only one who
realized this, the only one who articulated the Truth of
the catastrophe. Through this moment of despair, the Lenin
who, via a close reading of Hegel's "Logic", was able to
discern the unique chance for revolution, was born.
("Revolution at the Gates: Zizek on Lenin", pp. 3,4)
The book is 160 pages of Lenin's key writings between March and
October, 1917, followed with an "Afterword" of about the same size
Certainly makes for refreshing reading in our political climate
though I must say :) I will do a followup when I've finished.
More information about the Marxism