The Long Shadow of Leninist Politics: Radical Strategy and Revolutionary Warfare After a Century

  • Geoff Boucher
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 25)


The underlying equation between revolutionary politics and military strategy in the work of Marx and Engels is well known. For the founders of Marxism, class struggle and revolutionary warfare are simply different intensities, different visibilities, of the same logic—“now hidden, now open”—of hostility (Marx 1986). If the class struggle over the working day represents a “veritable civil war” (Marx 1986: 231), and “every class struggle is a political struggle,” then it is no surprise that class politics, the confrontation of class-on-class, vying for state power, “is the point where [civil] war breaks out into open revolution” (Marx 1986). Revolution is warfare. Politics is coercion. Exploitation is domination. The state is an instrument of repression—the repression of the producing class by the exploiting class. The political struggle involves latent violence. Accordingly, everyday class struggle is simply an asymmetrical civil war.


Political Community Class Struggle Political Struggle Popular Sovereignty Guerrilla Warfare 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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