Meisenhelder, Tom. "Amilcar Cabral's Theory of Class Suicide and Revolutionary Socialism." Monthly Review. Monthly Review Foundation, Inc. 1993. HighBeam Research. 19 Dec. 2014 <http://www.highbeam.com>.
Meisenhelder, Tom. "Amilcar Cabral's Theory of Class Suicide and Revolutionary Socialism." Monthly Review. 1993. HighBeam Research. (December 19, 2014). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-14541128.html
Meisenhelder, Tom. "Amilcar Cabral's Theory of Class Suicide and Revolutionary Socialism." Monthly Review. Monthly Review Foundation, Inc. 1993. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-14541128.html
This is a most difficult time for revolutionary socialists. The rapid collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union, the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas, the many problems of Cuba, and the demise of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism in Africa all force a serious questioning of basic ideas and strategies. It is a time when global capital seems to rule nearly unchallenged throughout the world. If revolutionary socialism is to be revitalized, received truths about revolution and socialism must be reviewed. Serious questions must be asked. Why so many failed revolutions ending in some form of elitist rule? So far most answers to this question wisely stress a global context of resurgent capitalism; however, it also is important to probe socialist revolutions internally.
Socialist revolutions have appeared most often at the periphery of world capitalism rather than in its center. In 1917 the first Marxist revolution occurred in Russia, not in Great Britain or Germany where Marx seemed to expect it; in 1949 the site was China; in 1959 it was Cuba; and more recently revolutions in the name of socialism triumphed in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America. Lenin, Bukharin, and more recently Samir Amin are perhaps correct to suggest that a primary contradiction of advanced monopoly capitalism lies between the developed core-countries and the exploited periphery. Classical Marxism, of course, placed socialist revolution in the developed world under the agency of a majority industrial working class. Revolution in the periphery, to the contrary, occurs through a different social agency and contains the dangers of a logic of substitutionism. Socialist revolutions have occurred in places that are not fully industrialized, where the forces of production are at best developing, where the industrial proletariat is very small, and where most people are peasants and farm laborers. The current character of global capitalism and the increasing misery that results from the economics of structural adjustment and recolonization continue to create revolutionary situations first and foremost in the Third World. Once again, the future of socialism lies in the regions of the world least studied by Marx and Engels. Socialists need a theory of revolution set in the periphery of global capitalism. Fortunately, there is a revolutionary socialist theorist whose ideas directly address this situation, Amilcar Cabral.(1)
Amilcar Cabral was the revolutionary socialist leader of the national liberation movement that freed Guinea-Bissau from Portuguese colonialism. …
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