The Marxism of Régis Debray


  • Perry Anderson
  • Robin Blackburn



History, Marxism


Regis Debray has written three closely linked studies of the Latin American revolution. Together, they unquestionably constitute one of the most brilliant examples of Marxist-Leninist analysis to have appeared in many years. What above all distinguishes Debray's writings is their relentlessly Leninist focus on making the revolution, as a political, technical, and military problem. This is what gives them their inner unity and their unmistakable tone—a tone of burning urgency that recalls the insurrectionary debates and manifestoes of 1917. All setbacks and difficulties are seen in the perspective of the means to overcome them. They can indeed be welcomed, if the lessons they offer are learned. Revolution is on the order of the day here and now, even if a prodigious and costly effort will be needed to achieve it. The task of a commentator is to clarify revolutionary practice through a theoretical transformation of revolutionary experience.

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