The authors of this article attempt to rethink the relationship between queer theory and Marxism, in order to argue for a revolutionary queer politics. First, they challenge the idea, offered most forcefully by queer theorist Lee Edelman, that any politics that hopes and struggles for a different future is inevitably a heteronormative project. To respond to this line of thought, this article offers a different approach to the question of futurity and inheritance through a substantive rereading of Jacques Lacan. At the heart of the authors’ analysis, however, is their claim that we need to rethink the relationship between Foucault and Marx so as to return Foucault to a thinker of revolution in all its complexity. The authors then turn to Foucault’s deeply misunderstood involvement in the Iranian Revolution to argue that Foucault did not endorse a conservative clerical takeover, but rather saw in the mass uprisings, deeply embedded in Shi’ism, a kind of “political spirituality” that is necessary to any rethinking of revolution, but that has been largely lost in Euro-American socialist politics. This political spirituality involves precisely the reconfiguration of “bodies and pleasures” that Foucault famously calls for in The History of Sexuality. Foucault demonstrates, in other words, that a rethinking of sexuality must accompany any thinking of revolution, but that there can be no autonomous “sexual revolution” independent from the struggle against capitalism. The article concludes with a discussion of the relationship between the authors’ interpretation of Foucault and contemporary attempts to rethink queerness within a Marxist critical frame.

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