The October Revolution: Inspiration or Trauma for the New Left
Despite some reductionist attempts to define the 1960s and 1970s New Left as a predominantly intellectual, generational, political, or cultural phenomenon, it was clearly a vast, very pluralistic, diverse and predominantly leftist radical political and social movement. In the intellectual and political discourses expressing the general reflections of the New Left on revolution and its meaning, the October Revolution was, of course, an important historical theme. The many interested interpretations, while contradictory and diverging in various ways, have agreed primarily in their recognition of its fundamental emancipatory or liberating significance and in their criticism of Stalinism. To illustrate this thesis, the present paper surveys the views held by four most representative interpreters or critics of the Soviet revolution, who demonstrate the attitude of the New Left to the Russian revolution and to its aftermath: Marcuse, Debray, Dutschke, and Cohn-Bendit.
BOOKCHIN, M. (1971): “Introduction” v: Mett, Ida: The Kronstadt Uprising. Montreal: Black Rose Books – Our Generation Press, 1–13.
COHN-BENDIT, D. (1975): Le Grand bazar. Paris: Belfond.
DEBRAY, R. (1967): Revolution in the Revolution? Armed Struggle and Political Struggle in Latin America. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
DEUTSCHER, I. (1965): The Prophet Armed, Trotsky: 1879–1921. New York: Vintage Books.
DUTSCHKE, R. (1974): Versuch, Lenin auf die Füße zu stellen – Über halbasiatischen und den west-europäischen Weg zum Sozialismus. Lenin, Lukács und die Dritte Internationale. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach.
LUXEMBURG R. (1977): “Socialna reforma ali revolucija”, v: Luxemburg R., Izbrani spisi, Ljubljana: Cankarjeva zložba, 49–135.
MARCUSE, H. (1958). Soviet Marxism, A Critical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press.
PIKETTY, Th. (2013): Le capital au XXIe siècle. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
TOURAINE, A. (1985): “An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements”, Social Research, Vol. 52, No. 4, (Winter 1985), 749–787.