The essential that the Revolution is on the march that the enemy is no longer invulnerable But while Debray s injunction for oppressed people to take up arms basing the revolutionary leadership at the heart of the struggle in the countryside and developing their forces from small to big and criticisms against the dogmatic establishment of fixed bases or one sided reliance on armed self defense is laudable these insights are weighed down on the other hand by an ultra militarist stance The people s army for instance should not be under the revolutionary party s control because it is for him in itself already the political organizational and ideological director and locus of the struggle It would seem that Debray has a point when he argues that an urban political party s control over the guerrilla army is fraught with dangers ranging from risky meetings to lack of decisiveness But the better alternative liuidating the party altogether is the basing of the political party s center of operations in the countryside itself alongside the armyPainstaking mass work and building of organs of political power among the people is meanwhile relegated to the sides in favor of dashing armed exploits Military operations political organizing and the waging of agrarian reform in controlled areas go together Of course guerrillas cannot win or even survive without a consolidated *and organized people s movement behind itFar from offering any revolution in revolutionary practice it would *organized people s movement behind itFar from offering any revolution in revolutionary practice it would as no surprise that no armed struggle that took Debray s words to the letter only led to as he himself put it a profusion of admirable sacrifices of wasted heroism leading nowhere that is leading anywhere except to the conuest of political power Brilliant perspective on the need for struggle Very informative but eually as dry This analysis primarily focuses on the specifics of the Cuban revolution but contrasts it to many of the biggest communist movements of the last few hundred years It benefits from the access allowed to the author by Fidel and his party presumably after they had taken power and were in a place to analyse their victory You can see why the Weather Underground and many other 60s radicals took it as a guide to their struggle It s pretty unashamedly a text to guide an insurrection through the many pitfalls and divisions that can derail a national movement for liberation A clearly historically important book this is useful to read as an intervention than as a fully fleshed out work of philosophy or political strategy Given our vastly differing historical and geographic contexts it isn t always obvious what can be learned from this book but it s than the profession of faith dismissed by Debray today whose opinion I m not particularly interested in and whose assessment of the failure strategy it outlines feels exaggerated Some of his arguments against theory and in favour of practice are too bald risking the opposite problems but they remind us of the importance of attention to the concrete conditions The emphasis on tenacity the struggles that must be endured and the sense that failure is a springboard these are striking by comparison to some of the attitudes today although clearly Debray is given to romanticising suffering and of course there is no reason not to find responsibilities for those who can t for whatever reason command one of his machine gun nests It doesn t make sense to go through all of Debray s cautions and so on the book is short enough that you can read them for yourself with little trouble but I would like to uote the followingTrotskyism attributes great importance to the socialist character of the revolution to its future programme and would like to be judged by "this purely phraseological uestion as if declaring a thousand times that the revolution should be socialist would help "purely phraseological uestion as if declaring a thousand times that the revolution should be socialist would help it into existence But the nub of the uestion is not theoretical it lies in the forms of organization through which the Socialist Revolution will be realized It is here that we discover not only that the revolution which they speak of is utopian but that the means employed lead not to the revolution but to the scarcely utopian liuidation of existing popular movements. Y in 1067; on 42067 Debray had been arrested in the small town of Muyupampa also in Bolivia Convicted of having been part of Guevara's guerrilla group Debray on 1117 was sentenced to 30 years in prison He was released in 1970 after an international campaign for his release which included Jean Paul Sartre André Malraux Général De Gaulle Pope PaulWant a run down of the South American flavor of revolution ala Castro and Gueverra Look no further The analysis of how to bring about a revolution is forceful and precise A must read for all the revolutionaries worldwide I went back and forth while reading this struggling to figure out if I liked it or couldn t stand to read another page I hopped on here and read reviews that seemed to agree with me most of the readers are confused as to how to feel about this book Regis Debray
Got An Incredible Opportunityan incredible opportunity firsthand experience with Cuban revolutionaries mainly Che Guevara His association with Guevara cost him uite a bit of freedom as he was imprisoned after this book was published For *HOW LONG I AM NOT CERTAIN *long I am not certain I wonder if he revisited this book after his release and sought out any editing or revisions Debray consistently slams Marxist Leninists of which he is presumably thought he never officially states for sticking too close to the line of Communist history up to then he says that too many Communists are focused on bourgeois parliamentarianism that existed in the days preceding the Bolshevik Revolution or of the extremely intricate peasant based Communism of the Chinese Revolution He speaks as if Marxist Leninists are not at least somewhat acuainted with historical materialism we as Communists and I myself am a Marxist Leninist so I m speaking to that as well now that material conditions change as history and therefore the class struggle advances What worked for Marx in 1848 was different than what worked for the Paris Commune in 1871 which was different than what worked for the Bolsheviks in 1917 which was different than what worked for China in 1949 etc etc Hell even
*what worked for *worked for Bolsheviks in 1905 wasn t the same as what worked for them in 1917 and we KNOW this or we should anyway because we now that in dialectics everything is constantly in motion On one hand Debray seems to comprehend this and if his writing style took on of a warning tone I would understand but at times he seems almost smug condescending and patronizing even going so far as to insulting and criticizing the Bolsheviks and the Red Army China for their methods of revolutionary work which at those specific times worked for them It is roughly in the last 20 or so pages that Debray finally reaches what I consider to be the thesis of this book conditions in Latin america are different than they have been anywhere else and thus the rise of Communism in Latin america has been different namely that what worked in the Cuban Revolution was Guerilla Warfare and that is what Debray believes must be built on that Guerilla Warfare is the nucleus of the rising socialist movement and should be the focal point by which a socialist revolution is built around Certainly a departure from previous lines of thinking but again that is what worked for Cuba and at the time it was seen as a proper line However Debray goes so far to one end of the spectrum to defend this that at times he outright favors abandoning any sort of non military camaraderie he advocates canceling all conferences meetings or rallies in favor of building up an armed struggle and Guerilla Warfare groups Essentially whereas Marxism Leninism calls for a balance of theory and practice Debray concerns himself much with advocating mainly for practice with little room for theory In one annoyingly patronizing passage of the book he claims that the peasants presumably of Cuba are frightened by big words and therefore big words and theory discussions are useless to them and that they should instead just be persuaded to join combat This coming from a white man from France strikes me as incredibly racist and patronizing towards Cubans Afro Cubans etc who are rural but that of course does not make them some sort of horribly uneducated persons like Debray implies here Finally Debray has praises of Fidel Castro constantly and YES Fidel Castro was an amazing revolutionary figure who changed the course of history and a lot of what Debray says is true Fidel truly did build a revolutionary movement not with bourgeois scholars or intellectualist college students but with rural peasants in combat in Guerilla Warfare in one passage. Régis Debray studied at the École Normale Supérieure under Louis Althusser becaming agrégé de philosophie in 1965 In the late 1960s he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Havana in Cuba and became an associate of Che Guevara in Bolivia He wrote the book Revolution in the Revolution which analysed the tactical strategic doctrines I did enjoy Debray in so many words says that the Cuban revolution t made it was born in 1953 in the
Moncanda Barracks And TheBarracks and that the were elected by history on that day and Fidel did say that the people of Latin america would be revolutionaries and there would be a revolution with or without a Party but that does not mean Fidel Castro was anarchic in his thinking and accepted that as a solution he was a Marxist Leninist at his core and advocated for that until the day he died Party work as we now it was not a top priority for Castro like it would be for us but as Debray says at the end of this book seemingly contradicting himself there may be a thousand ways to speak of revolution *But There Must Be An Agreement Between *there must be an agreement between those resolve to make it Fidel Castro in leading this revolution advocated for a Communist Cuba and world and was a Marxist Leninist and saw only Marxism Leninism as the solution with or without a Party Debray seems to ignore or disregard this Overall a pretty impressive read This is definitely an early look at Third Worldism and the socialist revolution in the Global South and I can appreciate that despite the glaring errors Also there is a random but humorous nonetheless criticism of reactionary trotskyism in the first part of the book and of course I love a good takedown of trotskyism I d recommend reading this with a very critical lens I sat on this one several years before finally getting down to read it Written when the author was in a Bolivian prison Debray had spent some months with Ernesto Che Guevara s ill fated little band prior to their capture by CIA led local forces Some of the book is about shared experience but much of it too much of it is about the theory of organizing foci of armed guerillas throughout countries of the third world primarily in Latin America precisely the volunteeristic enterprise Che had failed to accomplish in BoliviaI read this book while on breaks from working at the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy on Racine and Jackson in Chicago This book discusses guerrilla warfare in 20th century Latin America explaining theory on how tactics may be most effective for successful revolution I found out about this book from an IsaacsKitroeff class I now we re all pacifists but it s an interesting critiue of guerrilla warfare Pretty hard to rate this book Am I rating its political argument or it as a piece of historical literature As a political argument it s a good picture of what the guerilla movements of the 1960s and 1970s believed purportedly based on the Cuban Revolution though in this aspect it s rather innacurate since even the Cubans tended to underestimate though certainly less than some admit the centrality of their urban struggle committees Still this is definitely worth checking out as a historical document of a particular moment Taking the Cuban guerrilla war led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra as model Regis Debray in Revolution in the Revolution concludes that certain revolutonary practices have become obsolete in contemporary Latin American He calls for a revolution in revolutionary practiceDebray rightfully attacks legalist Marxist Leninist parties who cling to the illusions of empowering the masses exclusively through the parliamentary struggle an arena dominated by the landed and monied elitesHe rails against the strategy of armed self defense or the occupation and defense of a clearly defined territory by the revolutionary forces A guerrilla force s strength of stealth and mobility becomes dissipated without a distinction between the armed revolutionaries and the rest of the population The same reasons are deployed in Debray s argument against the establishment of fixed guerrilla bases especially in the initial stages of the struggleAt the same time Debray takes lengths to denigrate armed propaganda patient ground working and political agitation among the peasant masses one sidedly in favor of immediate and aggressive armed offensives that supposedly inspires the people to rise upThe destruction of a troop transport truck or the public execution of a police torturer is a effective propaganda for the local population than a hundred speeches Such conduct convinces them of. Hen prevailing among militant socialist movements in Latin America acted as a handbook for guerrilla warfare that supplemented Guevara's own manual on the subject It was published by Maspero in Paris in 1967 in the same year in New York Monthly Review Press Grove Montevideo Sandino Milan Feltrinelli Munich Trikont Guevara was captured in Bolivia earl.