By Tariq Ali, Daniel Bensaïd
Author note: David Fernbach (Translation)
Publish yr note: First released in August sixth 2013
n the vintage culture of the philosopher--activist, Daniel Bensaid tells the tale of a lifestyles deeply entwined with the heritage of either the French and the overseas Left. From his relations bistro in a staunchly purple local of Toulouse to the founding of the Jeunesses communistes revolutionnaires within the Sixties, from the joyous explosion of may perhaps 1968 to the painful event of defeat in Latin the US, from the re-reading of Marx to the "Marrano" path, Bensaid relates a lifetime of ideological and useful fight within which he unflinchingly sought to appreciate capitalism with out ever succumbing to its temptations.
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Additional info for An Impatient Life: A Memoir
Perhaps the few days in which a peaceful development was still possible have passed too. ’ The application of this theory to Brest-Litovsk, to the economic concessions, is self-evident. The extent to which the whole Leninist theory of compromise has its base in his fundamental concept of the actuality of the revolution is possibly made even clearer by the theoretical battles he fought against the left wing of his own party (on a Russian scale after the First Revolution, in 1905, and at the time of the peace of Brest-Litovsk, and on a European scale in 1920 and 1921).
All attempts to gain knowledge of socialism which do not follow this path of dialectical interaction with the day-to-day problems of the class struggle make a meta-physic of it, a Utopia, something merely contemplative and non-practical. The aim of Lenin’s realism, his realpolitik, is therefore the final elimination of all utopianism, the concrete fulfillment of the content of Marx’s programme: a theory become practical, a theory of practice. Lenin handled the problem of socialism as he had done the problem of the state: he wrested it from its previous metaphysical isolation and embourgeoisement and situated it in the total context of the problem of the class struggle.
Naturally, compromises can also be a form of class struggle against the decisive enemy of the working class – the bourgeoisie (one only need consider Soviet Russia’s relations with imperialist countries). Opportunist theoreticians also fasten on to this special form of compromise, partly to build Lenin up, or to run him down, as an ‘undogmatic power politician’, and partly to find by doing so a camouflage for their own compromises. We have already pointed out the weaknesses of the first argument.
An Impatient Life: A Memoir by Tariq Ali, Daniel Bensaïd