[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
by Zizek.

Certainly makes for refreshing reading in our political climate
though I must say :) I will do a followup when I've finished.




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