Régis Debray: Révolution dans la révolution?



It is roughly in the last 20 or so pages that Debray finally reaches what I consider to be the thesis of this book conditions in Latin america are different than they have been anywhere lse and thus the rise of Communism in Latin america has been different namely that what worked in the Cuban Revolution was Guerilla Warfare and that is what Debray believes must be built on that Guerilla Warfare is the nucleus of the rising socialist movement and should be the focal point by which a socialist revolution is built around Certainly a departure from previous lines of thinking but again that is what worked for Cuba and at the time it was seen as a proper line However Debray goes so far to one Man, Son of Man end of the spectrum to defend this that at times he outright favors abandoning any sort of non military camaraderie he advocates canceling all conferences meetings or rallies in favor of building up an armed struggle and Guerilla Warfare groups Essentially whereas Marxism Leninism calls for a balance of theory and practice Debray concerns himself much with advocating mainly for practice with little room for theory In one annoyingly patronizing passage of the book he claims that the peasants presumably of Cuba are frightened by big words and therefore big words and theory discussions are useless to them and that they should instead just be persuaded to join combat This coming from a white man from France strikes me as incredibly racist and patronizing towards Cubans Afro Cubanstc who are rural but that of course does not make them some sort of horribly uneducated persons like Debray implies here Finally Debray has praises of Fidel Castro constantly and YES Fidel Castro was an amazing revolutionary figure who changed the course of history and a lot of what Debray says is true Fidel truly did build a revolutionary movement not with bourgeois scholars or intellectualist college students but with rural peasants in combat in Guerilla Warfare in one passage I did Alter Ego enjoy Debray in so many words says that the Cuban revolution wasn t made it was born in 1953 in the Moncanda Barracks and that the leaders werelected by history on that day and Fidel did say that the people of Latin america would be revolutionaries and there would be a revolution with or without a Party but that does not mean Fidel Castro was anarchic in his thinking and accepted that as a solution he was a Marxist Leninist at his core and advocated for that until the day he died Party work as we know it was not a top priority for Castro like it would be for us but as Debray says at the nd of this book seemingly contradicting himself there may be a thousand ways to speak of revolution but there must be an agreement between all those resolve to make it Fidel Castro in leading this revolution advocated for a Communist Cuba and world and was a Marxist Leninist and saw only Marxism Leninism as the solution with or without a Party Debray seems to ignore or disregard this Overall a pretty impressive read This is definitely an arly look at Third Worldism and the socialist revolution in the Global South and I can appreciate that despite the glaring Uncommon Wisdom errors Also there is a random but humorous nonetheless criticism of reactionary trotskyism in the first part of the book and of course I love a good takedown of trotskyism I d recommend reading this with a very critical lens Taking the Cuban guerrilla war led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra as model Regis Debray in Revolution in the Revolution concludes that certain revolutonary practices have become obsolete in contemporary Latin American He calls for a revolution in revolutionary practiceDebray rightfully attacks legalist Marxist Leninist parties who cling to the illusions of. Hen prevailing among militant socialist movements in Latin America acted as a handbook for guerrilla warfare that supplemented Guevara's own manual on the subject It was published by Maspero in Paris in 1967 in the same year in New York Monthly Review Press Grove Montevideo Sandino Milan Feltrinelli Munich Trikont Guevara was captured in Boliviaarl.

Want a run down of the South American flavor of revolution ala Castro and Gueverra Look no further This book discusses guerrilla warfare in 20th century Latin America Unseen City explaining theory on how tactics may be mostffective for successful revolution I found out about this book from an IsaacsKitroeff class I know we re all pacifists but it s an interesting critiue of guerrilla warfare Brilliant perspective on the need for struggle The analysis of how to bring about a revolution is forceful and precise A must read for all the revolutionaries worldwide Pretty hard to rate this book Am I rating its political argument or it as a piece of historical literature As a political argument it s a good picture of what the guerilla movements of the 1960s and 1970s believed purportedly based on the Cuban Revolution though in this aspect it s rather innacurate since Art even the Cubans tended to underestimate though certainly less than some admit the centrality of their urban struggle committees Still this is definitely worth checking out as a historical document of a particular moment Very informative butually as dry This analysis primarily focuses on the specifics of the Cuban revolution but contrasts it to many of the biggest communist movements of the last few hundred years It benefits from the access allowed to the author by Fidel and his party presumably after they had taken power and were in a place to analyse their victory You can see why the Weather Underground and many other 60s radicals took it as a guide to their struggle It s pretty unashamedly a text to guide an insurrection through the many pitfalls and divisions that can derail a national movement for liberation I went back and forth while reading this struggling to figure out if I liked it or couldn t stand to read another page I hopped on here and read reviews that seemed to agree with me most of the readers are confused as to how to feel about this book Regis Debray got an incredible opportunity a firsthand God Is in the Crowd experience with Cuban revolutionaries mainly Che Guevara His association with Guevara cost him uite a bit of freedom as he was imprisoned after this book was published For how long I am not certain but I wonder if he revisited this book after his release and sought out anyditing or revisions Debray consistently slams Marxist Leninists of which he is presumably thought he never officially states for sticking too close to the line of Communist history up to then he says that too many Communists are focused on bourgeois parliamentarianism that Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard existed in the days preceding the Bolshevik Revolution or of thextremely intricate peasant based Communism of the Chinese Revolution He speaks as if Marxist Leninists are not at least somewhat acuainted with historical materialism we as Communists and I myself am a Marxist Leninist so I m speaking to that as well know that material conditions change as history and therefore the class struggle advances What worked for Marx in 1848 was different than what worked for the Paris Commune in 1871 which was different than what worked for the Bolsheviks in 1917 which was different than what worked for China in 1949 The Matriarchs (The Family etctc Hell Notes for the Everlost even what worked for the Bolsheviks in 1905 wasn t the same as what worked for them in 1917 and we KNOW this or we should anyway because we know that in dialecticsverything is constantly in motion On one hand Debray seems to comprehend this and if his writing style took on of a warning tone I would understand but at times he seems almost smug condescending and patronizing ven going so far as to insulting and criticizing the Bolsheviks and the Red Army China for their methods of revolutionary work which at those specific times worked for them. Régis Debray studied at the École Normale Supérieure under Louis Althusser becaming agrégé de philosophie in 1965 In the late 1960s he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Havana in Cuba and became an associate of Che Guevara in Bolivia He wrote the book Revolution in the Revolution which analysed the tactical strategic doctrines

Empowering the masses xclusively through the parliamentary struggle an arena dominated by the landed and monied litesHe rails against the strategy of armed self defense or the occupation and defense of a clearly defined territory by the revolutionary forces A guerrilla force s strength of stealth and mobility becomes dissipated without a distinction between the armed revolutionaries and the rest of the population The same reasons are deployed in Debray s argument against the stablishment of fixed guerrilla bases Crush It! especially in the initial stages of the struggleAt the same time Debray takes lengths to denigrate armed propaganda patient ground working and political agitation among the peasant masses one sidedly in favor of immediate and aggressive armed offensives that supposedly inspires the people to rise upThe destruction of a troop transport truck or the publicxecution of a police torturer is a Attracting Birds to Your Backyard effective propaganda for the local population than a hundred speeches Such conduct convinces them of thessential that the Revolution is on the march that the Deep Listening enemy is no longer invulnerable But while Debray s injunction for oppressed people to take up arms basing the revolutionary leadership at the heart of the struggle in the countryside and developing their forces from small to big and criticisms against the dogmaticstablishment of fixed bases or one sided reliance on armed self defense is laudable these insights are weighed down on the other hand by an ultra militarist stance The people s army for instance should not be under the revolutionary party s control because it is for him in itself already the political organizational and ideological director and locus of the struggle It would seem that Debray has a point when he argues that an urban political party s control over the guerrilla army is fraught with dangers ranging from risky meetings to lack of decisiveness But the better alternative liuidating the party altogether is the basing of the political party s center of operations in the countryside itself alongside the armyPainstaking mass work and building of organs of political power among the people is meanwhile relegated to the sides in favor of dashing armed Bird-by-Bird Gardening exploits Military operations political organizing and the waging of agrarian reform in controlled areas go together Of course guerrillas cannot win orven survive without a consolidated and organized people s movement behind itFar from offering any revolution in revolutionary practice it would come as no surprise that no armed struggle that took Debray s words to the letter only led to as he himself put it a profusion of admirable sacrifices of wasted heroism leading nowhere that is leading anywhere The Works of Saint Augustine except to the conuest of political power A clearly historically important book this is useful to read as an intervention than as a fully fleshed out work of philosophy or political strategy Given our vastly differing historical and geographic contexts it isn t always obvious what can be learned from this book but it s than the profession of faith dismissed by Debray tod I sat on this one several years before finally getting down to read it Written when the author was in a Bolivian prison Debray had spent some months with Ernesto Che Guevara s ill fated little band prior to their capture by CIA led local forces Some of the book is about sharedxperience but much of it too much of it is about the theory of organizing foci of armed guerillas throughout countries of the third world primarily in Latin America precisely the volunteeristic nterprise Che had failed to accomplish in BoliviaI read this book while on breaks from working at the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy on Racine and Jackson in Chicag. Y in 1067; on 42067 Debray had been arrested in the small town of Muyupampa also in Bolivia Convicted of having been part of Guevara's guerrilla group Debray on 1117 was sentenced to 30 years in prison He was released in 1970 after an international campaign for his release which included Jean Paul Sartre André Malraux Général De Gaulle Pope Paul

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Intellectual journalist government official and professor He is known for his theorization of mediology a critical theory of the long term transmission of cultural meaning in human society; and for having fought in 1967 with Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara in Bolivia