“The paradox of 1989 is that communism was stormed and brought down from the left, by people with unfulfilled egalitarian aspirations, but the revolutionary road led to a new society that has been experienced as more unfair than communism.”
“The Communism of 1917 stood under the sign of equality and unity, that of 1968 under the sign of freedom and difference. A possible communism of 2018 would have to take solidarity and association to the centre stage.”
“Elbaum wrote Revolution in the Air in 2001 to reclaim the lessons of the new communist movement for contemporary militants who, like their early sixties’ predecessors, became activists when the radical left was fragmented and weak.”
A. James McAdams: Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton 2017) “from the drafting of The Communist Manifesto in the 1840s to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s”.
“Insurrection of the masses does not require a justification. And what took place was indeed an insurrection and not a conspiracy. We openly forged the will of the masses for an insurrection… To those who left from here and who are proposing other courses of action, we have only this to say: You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history!” Thus spoke Leon Trotsky addressing the Second All-Russian Congress of the Soviets on the day of the October coup of 1917, directing his remarks against those delegates who objected to the Bolshevik seizure of power, of which he was one of the main organizers. Roughly ten years after he made this speech, it was Trotsky himself together with his allies in the intra-party opposition who would end up in the “dustbin of history,” put there by the victorious group of Stalin.
‘The problem is understanding which behaviors, levels of organization, and capacities of expression the new proletariat has. Because, when we say “there is no solution except revolution,” we say something that is at this point banal. The problem is not knowing if it is necessary, but rather knowing how it is necessary and how it is possible. Excluding every reformist solution today means more than ever insisting on a processural solution, defined by the construction of institutions of real counter-power. … We find ourselves confronted with the necessity of building institutions of the common, not as the ultimate result of the revolutionary process, but as its very condition. From this point of view I think that we can speak again of the actuality of revolution, and speak of it in the present, rather than as the actuality of something to come.’