In October, the Fantin Reading Group will turn its attention to the next in a series of essays from the pen of Cornelius Castoriadis, tacking his 1964 article, “Recommencing the Revolution”, originally published in Issue 35 of Socialisme ou Barbarie.
The article is both theoretically and historically important. In it, Castoriadis announces his formal break with the philosophy of Marxism, arguing that if the socialist revolutionary project has stalled, it is due both to the various aporia that exist within orthodox Marxism, and the fact that Marxism has itself become an orthodoxy. Thus, if the revolution is to recommence, it must start with a critique of Marxian theory. In “Recommencing the Revolution, Castoradis begins this critique, which he will continue in next month’s reading “Marxism and Revolutionary Theory”.
“Recommencing the Revolution” is also significant in that it provoked a split, that ultimately lead to the break-up and demise of the Socialism or Barbarie group, between Castoriadis – who felt the revolution could only be progressed by radicalising the project of critical interrogation, even if it meant, as he believed it did, going beyond Marx – and those committed to defending the continuing validity of Marx’s theoretical legacy.
The a photocopy of the text can be downloaded here: Castoriadis Reader Ch4 – Recommencing the Revolution (1964). All welcome.