If the twentieth century was dominated, more than by any other single event, by the trajectory of the Russian Revolution, the twenty-first will be shaped by the outcome of the Chinese Revolution. The Soviet state, born of the First World War, victor in the Second, defeated in the cold replica of a Third, dissolved after seven decades with scarcely a shot, as swiftly as it had once arisen. What has remained is a Russia lesser in size than the Enlightenment once knew, with under half the population of the ussr, restored to a capitalism now more dependent on the export of raw materials than in the last days of Tsarism. While future reversals are not to be excluded, for the moment what has survived of the October rising, in any positive sense, looks small. Its most lasting achievement, huge enough, was negative: the defeat of Nazism, which no other European regime could have encompassed. That, at any rate, would be a common judgement today.
’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’
Also available in:
By the same author:
The House of Zion
The fate of the Palestinians and the fortunes of Israel, after fifty years of occupation, and American and European collusion with it. Realities behind the official tropes decorating a ‘two-state solution’, and hesitations of nascent debate over a single state in the territory once ruled as a mandate by Britain.
With the collisions over Ukraine, the contradictions in Russia’s relations with the West have been sharpened by sanctions and economic crisis. Perry Anderson on the spectre of Great Power status that still informs the post-multinational nation—and why, despite all the Kremlin’s attempts at integration with the US–EU, the country remains indigestible.
Retrospective on the liberated life and work of Alexander Cockburn, whose last book, A Colossal Wreck, completes a dazzling triptych. Shaping influences of family, place and political epoch on a singularly radical temperament, and the keen-edged prose in which it found expression.
Deadlocks of American politics viewed within a longer optic, as outcomes of interlocking determinants—regime of accumulation, sociological shifts, cultural mutations, catalytic minorities—within an all-capitalist ideological universe.
Ronald Fraser, 1930–2012
Tribute to the author of Blood of Spain, locating the impulse behind his oeuvre in a commitment to explore lived experience. Reconstructions
of work, war, politics and subjectivity, from Napoleonic era to post-Fordist present.
After the Event
Replying to critics, Anderson renews his critique of European narcissism, before turning to the dynamics of the EU debt crisis, and Berlin’s role in producing and exacerbating it.
Homage to an outstanding figure of the European Left, who fought to preserve the link between radical thought and mass politics as Italy’s Communist tradition dissolved around him.
Perry Anderson on Patrick Wilcken, Claude-Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory. Deciphering the life and thought of the anthropological mage.
On the Concatenation in the Arab World
From Tunis to Manama, 2011 has brought a chain-reaction of popular upheavals, in a region where imperial domination and domestic despotism have long been entwined. A call for political liberty to reconnect with social equality and Arab fraternity, in a radical new internationalism.