Daniel Bensaïd’s Theses of Resistance


I was reading a short essay by Daniel Bensaïd – Temps de la résistance, temps de l’utopie – and eventually came across this interesting document from 2004:

Theses of resistance

The text below, written by Daniel Bensaïd for the journal “Viento Sur”, represents a bold attempt to track the theoretical challenges faced by Marxism today. According to the author, the theoretical sterility of modern social democracy and other major political trends could result in Marxists sitting on their laurels and merely affirming orthodoxies inherited from the past. But, he insists, revolutionary theory must now attempt to come to grips with huge changes in the world since the collapse of Stalinism. His discussion ranges over modern imperialism, the balance sheet of the Soviet Union and similar countries, the class structure of contemporary capitalism, new nationalisms and community identities, social movements and political parties and postmodernist notions of difference and diversity – and much else besides. This is a dense and difficult text. We have made it available in English here because of its important insights into the weaknesses of and challenges to modern Marxism, and because of its significant signposts for future research and reflection; despite its difficulty, it will interest and provoke many of our readers.

“We are faced with a double responsibility: the transmission of a tradition threatened by conformism, and the exploration of the uncertain contours of the future”.

The rest of the document is here.

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