This essay situates the idea and intellectual narrative of “world revolution” in its modern historical context, tracing it back to the age of democratic revolution in the late eighteenth century, and then developed by great revolutionary thinkers like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It examines the possible limitations of Marx’s and Engels’s conceptions of “world revolution” with respect to the Third World as a result of their European intellectual formation in the tradition of the Enlightenment. The essay also critically examines the charge of “Eurocentrism” advanced by post-colonialist theorists against classical Marxism, and it explores the inspiration of the Bolshevik Revolution for those fighting racism and imperialism, with a particular focus on how black radicals brought their revolutionary narratives of black liberation into Communist narratives for the first time in the revolution’s aftermath. The essay then discusses C. L. R. James’s pioneering 1937 history of the Comintern, World Revolution, which was intended, among other things, as a contribution to debates raging among socialist black radicals in the 1930s.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Red and the Black: C.L.R. James and the historical idea of World Revolution|
|Journal||Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2019|
Bibliographical noteUlrich Mählert et al. (Ed.): Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2019, Berlin 2019, pp. 35 - 51. www.bundesstiftung-aufarbeitung.de/jahrbuch and www.kommunismusgeschichte.de
- Communist International
- Marxism & Communism
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