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The Politics of revolution : some problems in the strategy of socialist transformation.

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Theories of the transition to socialism typically invoke, in one way or another, the notion of revolution. This dissertation is a discussion and analysis, largely conceptual in character, of the political dimensions of this notion. More exactly, it is a discussion of some principal Marxian accounts of revolution. In Part I the theoretical foundations of this account are explored by way of a methodological introduction (invoking the construct of essential contestedness). In Part 2 the contours of this account are sketched, and subjected to some (largely internal) analysis. The focus here is on Marx and the dominant figures in the political tradition to which his work gave rise, namely Lenin, Kautsky, Luxemburg and Gramsci. In Part 3 this distinctively Marxian account is subjected to a critique on two lines: the first line concerns the validity of its account of class, and the second the plausibility of its model of collective action. In both cases the Marxian account is found to be inadequate. Since the very heart of this account is a notion of purposive class action, the Marxian theory of revolution is thus called into serious question.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1988.


Revolutions--Philosophy., Theses--Political science., Revolutions., Socialism.