Lenin Reloaded

Toward a Politics of Truth, sic vii

Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: June 2007

Cultural Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory, Politics > Political Theory

Lenin Reloaded is a rallying call by some of the world’s leading Marxist intellectuals for renewed attention to the significance of Vladimir Lenin. The volume’s editors explain that it was Lenin who made Karl Marx’s thought explicitly political, who extended it beyond the confines of Europe, who put it into practice. They contend that a focus on Lenin is urgently needed now, when global capitalism appears to be the only game in town, the liberal-democratic system seems to have been settled on as the optimal political organization of society, and it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than a modest change in the mode of production. Lenin retooled Marx’s thought for specific historical conditions in 1914, and Lenin Reloaded urges a reinvention of the revolutionary project for the present. Such a project would be Leninist in its commitment to action based on truth and its acceptance of the consequences that follow from action.

These essays, some of which are appearing in English for the first time, bring Lenin face-to-face with the problems of today, including war, imperialism, the imperative to build an intelligentsia of wage earners, the need to embrace the achievements of bourgeois society and modernity, and the widespread failure of social democracy. Lenin Reloaded demonstrates that truth and partisanship are not mutually exclusive as is often suggested. Quite the opposite—in the present, truth can be articulated only from a thoroughly partisan position.

Contributors. Kevin B. Anderson, Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Daniel Bensaïd, Sebastian Budgen, Alex Callinicos, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Stathis Kouvelakis, Georges Labica, Sylvain Lazarus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Savas Michael-Matsas, Antonio Negri, Alan Shandro, Slavoj Žižek


Lenin Reloaded presents a remarkable set of essays by an impressive set of twenty-first-century intellectuals . . . The rich, diverse contributions offered in this book—in some cases jostling aggressively against each other . . . is a challenge for all serious intellectuals and activists of our time.” — Paul Le Blanc, WorkingUSA

“[Lenin Reloaded] will surely be of relevance for those socialists who wish to link our struggles within capitalism to the goals of the broader movement against capitalism. For this reason, the editors of Lenin Reloaded are to be congratulated, and every reader of this journal should consider buying and reading it. . . .” — Paul Blackledge, Capital & Class

“[B]y reaffirming the importance of revolution the editors and contributors make a vital point: without this concept we lose the possibility of conceiving of transformative social practices and the construction of a more humane ethic.” — Benjamin Franks, Variant

“The mixture of voices makes for a stimulating anthology. . . .” — Scott McLemee, Bookforum

“This collection of essays is recommended, not just because of the quality of the various contributions, but above all because Lenin’s philosophical interventions have been largely neglected and ignored since Althusser.” — Liam O’Ruairc, Radical Philosophy


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Sebastian Budgen is a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism and a coeditor (with Chiara Bonfiglioli) of La planete altermondialiste.

Stathis Kouvelakis teaches political theory at King’s College London. His books include Philosophy and Revolution: From Kant to Marx and Dictionnaire Marx Contemporain (coedited with J. Bidet). He is an editor of the French journal Contretemps.

Slavoj Žižek is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Studies in Ljubljana, Slovenia. His many books include Theology and the Political: The New Debate (coedited with Creston Davis and John Milbank), Cogito and the Unconscious, and Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology, all also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Repeating Lenin / Sebastian Budgen, Stathis Kouvelakis, and Slavoj Zizek 1

Part 1: Retrieving Lenin

1. One Divides Itself into Two / Alain Badiou 7

2. Leninism in the Twenty-first Century?: Lenin, Weber, and the Politics of Responsibility / Alex Callinicos 18

3. Lenin in the Postmodern Age / Terry Eagleton 42

4. Lenin and Revisionism / Fredric Jameson 59

5. A Leninist Gesture Today: Against the Populist Temptation / Slavoj Zizek 74

Part 2: Lenin in Philosophy

6. Lenin and the Path of Dialectics / Savas Michael-Matsas 101

7. The Rediscovery and Persistence of the Dialectic in Philosophy and in World Politics / Kevin B. Anderson 120

8. “Leaps! Leaps! Leaps!” / Daniel Bensaid 148

9. Lenin as Reader of Hegel: Hypotheses for a Reading of Lenin’s Notebooks on Hegel’s “The Science of Logic” / Stathis Kouvelakis 164

Part 3: War and Imperialism

10. The Philosophical Moment in Politics Determined by War: Lenin 1914-16 / Etienne Balibar 207

11. From Imperialism to Globalization / Georges Labica 222

12. Lenin and Herrenvolk Democracy / Domenico Losurdo 239

Part 4: Politics and its Subject

13. Lenin and the Part, 1902-November 1917 / Sylvian Lazarus 255

14. Lenin the Just, or Marxism Unrecycled / Jean-Jacques Lecercle 269

15. Lenin and the Great Awakening / Lars T. Lih 283

16. What to Do Today with What Is to Be Done?, or Rather: The Body of the General Intellect / Antonio Negri 297

17. Lenin and Hegemony: The Soviets, the Working Class, and the Party in the Revolution of 1905 / Alan Shandro 308

Contributors 333

Index 335
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3941-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3929-8
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