Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.32 × 6.36 × 1.22 in
Published: May 8, 2002
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1859846610
ISBN - 13: 9781859846612
From the Publisher
The idea of a Lenin renaissance might well provoke an outburst of sarcastic laughter. Marx is OK, but Lenin? Doesn’t he stand for the big catastrophe which left its mark on the entire twentieth century?
Lenin, however, deserves more profound consideration than this, and his writings of 1917 are testament to a formidable political figure, revealing as they do his ability to grasp the significance of an extraordinary moment in history. Everything is here, from Lenin-the-ingenious-revolutionary strategist to Lenin-of-the-enacted-utopia. To use Kierkegaard’s phrase, what we can glimpse in these writings is Lenin-in-becoming: not yet Lenin-the-Soviet-institution, but Lenin thrown into an open, contingent situation.
In Revolution at the Gates, Slavoj Žižek locates the 1917 writings in their historical context, while his extensive Afterword tackles the key question of whether Lenin can be reinvented in our era of ‘cultural capitalism,’ Žižek is convinced that, whatever the discussion—the forthcoming crisis of capitalism, the possibility of a redeeming violence, the falsity of liberal tolerance—Lenin’s time has come again.
“A return to Marx may be acceptable today ... But a repetition of Lenin? ... Perhaps Žižek’s return to Lenin is merely tactical, figurative even. He can’t be serious, can he? ... Žižek claims that Lenin’s act, ‘his choice’, continues to speak to thos of us on the left today. Faced with our current conceptual deadlock, we must have the courage, the nerve to risk isolation, self-annihilation even, in order to offer a real alternative to the false oppositions recuperated by and churned out for our consumption by the image industry of late capitalism ... The postmodernists and liberal multiculturists, today’s Bernateins and Kautskys—our contemporary Plekhanovs and Martovs, beware!”—Bad Subjects
“Žižek’s prose style has a rebellious and highly compelling side that brushes up against the most critical intellectual trends of our day like cultural studies, contemporary feminism, postcolonialism, and postmodernism.”—Ha’aretz