This essay reflects on the Social Text articles on revolution. Many first-world contributors to Social Text, on the one hand, reassessed Marxist theories of political consciousness and political economy in light of the praxis of third-world revolutionary experiences, especially those in Latin America. The reality of these processess permanently debunked the developmentalism of Euro-American Marxist theory that privileged a model of revolutionary agency stubbornly identified with urban, industrial labor. The cultural and sexual policies of revolutionary governments, on the other hand, were also often the subject of criticism for contributors. This essay argues that such criticism is often ahistorical in its focus on Cuban politics in the seventies. Rather than prognosticate the death of revolution and the triumph of liberal democracy, as Social Text contributors tended to do after 1989, the authors reflect upon the dynamic and historically contingent nature of revolutionary consciousness, change, and culture that is ongoing.
Research Article|September 01 2009
Social Text (2009) 27 (3 (100)): 223-229.