Rage, Rebellion, New Power (podcast)

[Abstract by Mosse Lectures (translated by Ippolit Belinski):] The relationship of rage, rebellion and new power forms a kind of dialectical triad of the revolutionary process. In the beginning there are the more or less chaotic outbursts of rage, the dissatisfaction of the people, which they demonstrate more or less violently; however unorganized and without a clear goal. Once this potential of rage is organized, the result is, with a minimum of organization, a more or less conscious image of an enemy and an idea of what would have to change. When the rebellion was successful in the end, the new rulers were confronted with the immense task of organizing the new society – remember the anecdote narrated by the exchange of ideas between Lenin and Trotsky on the eve of the October Revolution. Lenin says, “What happens to us when we fail?” Trotsky replies: “And what happens to us when we are successful?” The problem is that we can hardly ever bring the triad of rage, rebellion and new power in an order of a logically conclusive advance. The chaotic rage spreads out arbitrarily and diffusely, or strikes into the populism of the right; the successful rebellion loses strength and loses itself in many compromises. If this is the case, we must conclude that the rage does not only fail at the beginning, but also at the end of so many emancipatory projects.

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