The October Revolution: Inspiration or Trauma for the New Left

  • Darko Štrajn Alma Mater Europea – Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis
Keywords: New Left, revolution, Russia, socialism, avant-garde, Bolsheviks


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.


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How to Cite
Štrajn, D. (2018). The October Revolution: Inspiration or Trauma for the New Left. Monitor ISH, 20(1), 227-243.
Original scientific article