Chapter

Marx's Theory of Revolution and the Revolutions of the Twentieth Century

Vladimir Mau and Irina Starodubrovskaya

in The Challenge of Revolution

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780199241507
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599835 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241503.003.0012
 Marx's Theory of Revolution and the Revolutions of the Twentieth Century

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This chapter explores the debate over whether and how far the collapse of communism, far from signifying the defeat of Marxism, actually proved the correctness of the diagnosis of the revolutionary process that Marx advanced in Das Kapital. The debate essentially involves a conflict between different interpretations of what Marx was saying, and a useful case study of such conflict can be found in analysis of developments in Germany in the inter‐war period—in the collapse of the Weimar republic and the inception of the Nazi era. Applying the Marxist model to the case of post‐communist Russia, it becomes clear that his methodological approach retains much of its relevance—not in respect of his theory of class struggle, but in his conception of the effects of the inability of a society to adapt itself to a changing social, political, and economic environment, and the characteristics of the ideological crisis to which such incapacity gives rise.

Keywords: Germany; Marx; Nazi era; Russia; theory of revolution

Chapter.  13270 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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