Two Tactics of Social Democracy, Lenin and Slovoj Zizek

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Lenin’s important work: Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.

Slovoj Zizek pleads for Leninist Intolerance:

…to repeat Lenin does not mean a return to Lenin. To repeat Lenin is to accept that Lenin is dead, that his particular solution failed, even failed monstrously, but that there was a utopian spark in it worth saving. To repeat Lenin means that one has to distinguish between what Lenin actually did and the field of possibilities that he opened up….

…To repeat Lenin is to repeat not what Lenin did, but what he failed to do, his missed opportunities. Today, Lenin appears as a figure from a different era: it’s not that his notions such as a centralized party seem to pose a totalitarian threat; it’s rather that they seem to belong to a different epoch to which we can no longer properly relate. However, instead of reading this fact as proof that Lenin is outdated, one should, perhaps, risk the opposite conjecture. What if this impenetrability of Lenin is a sign that there is something wrong with our epoch, that a certain historical dimension is disappearing from it.

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