Special issue: Revolution and Counterrevolution in Latin America: an Aleatory Dialectic

A Radical Americas special issue.

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Revolution and Counterrevolution in Latin America: an Aleatory Dialectic

A Radical Americas special issue.


2020 will mark the 90th anniversary of the death of Latin America’s most celebrated Marxist intellectual, José Carlos Mariátegui. In anticipation of the occasion, and with special consideration for Mariátegui’s relevance in the current political conjuncture, this special issue is dedicated to one of the Peruvian’s central concerns: the complex dialectic between revolution and counterrevolution.

As Mariátegui liked to point out, the revolution itself ‘alternates between periods of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary predominance’. By thus posing the revolution/counter-revolution antagonism as internal to the revolutionary process itself, Mariátegui anticipated an unstable historical dialectic whose aleatory results could only be steered to safe port by a second-order revolution: only ‘the idea of Revolution’, Mariátegui continues in the same passage, can ‘salvage the proletariat from its debasement’.

The ‘crisis of revolutionary politics’ is a defining feature of our current regime of historicity, where the idea of acting politically in order ‘to make history’ has been transposed into the specular realm of melancholy affect (Mariátegui’s primordial drama between ‘salvation’ and ‘debasement’). Our guiding hypothesis is framed by this larger theoretical framework and by the current scenario in the Latin American subcontinent, where a counterrevolution looks to impose a new historical regime apparently untethered by any clearly symmetrical revolutionary politics (synthesized in the ‘anti-communism-without-communism’ and anti-Venezuela hysteria common among the region’s right-wing forces).

Such a ‘preventive counterrevolution’, where the spectre of revolution enjoys an ironic afterlife, is also paradoxically an invitation retrace the genealogy of the idea of revolution: how it was constructed and how it can be deconstructed for different uses in the present.


Publication date: Articles are being published as and when ready on an on-going basis and will appear below.


Guest Editors

Mr Nicolas Allen, Doctoral candidate in Literature, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Prof Óscar Ariel Cabezas, Institute of Aesthetics, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago de Chile), Chile.


Article list

Articles will be listed here upon publication.


From Marx to Heidegger: Oscar del Barco and the crisis of Marxism

Author: Bruno Bosteels
Publication date: 07 December 2021


Is Oscar Del Barco a perverse man?

Author: Oscar Ariel Cabezas
Publication date: 21 October 2021


The missed encounter of turupukllay: Marxism, indigenous communities and Andean culture in Yawar Fiesta

Gavin Arnall
Published: 29 June 2020

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