Aspects of Revolt

Aspects of Revolt

Aspects of Revolt

Aspects of Revolt

Excerpt

This volume is an attempt to present, from the point of view of a skeptical but unrepentant ex-participant, the various aspects of nineteenth and twentieth century radicalism, the picaresque and the sordid as well as the tragic and the heroic.

I say unrepentant not in the sense that I still share the views which I held when I was a Socialist in my high school days, an Anarchist as a college student, a Syndicalist sui generis during the years of my romantic and not-so-romantic vagabondage, and finally a Soviet sympathizer some forty years ago when Lenin and Trotsky were still glorious legends between 1917 and 1920. I use the word "unrepentant" merely in the sense that my sympathies are still with the disinherited as against the beneficiaries of the status quo. Even though some of the pages of this volume may, as a New York Times reviewer of one of my books put it, "gratify Tories," who may gloat over the admission that the fiery enemies of "law and order"--anti-totalitarians as well as totalitarians--are for the most part made of the same clay as its defenders; and not infrequently of the same slime, to borrow a phrase from the late Victoriu Marcu, a disenchanted Rumanian radical.

I fully realize that some of the ideas presented in this volume may be grist to the mill of the reactionaries who take pleasure in disparaging the "eggheads." That holds particularly for the thesis that the conscious or unconscious purpose underlying the various anticapitalist theories and movements--whether totalitarian or non-totalitarian --was not the "emancipation of the working class" but the establishment of a non-capitalist system of exploitation for . . .

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