Hannah Arendt was worried that politics might disappear completely from the world. The century had seen such disasters that the question of whether ‘politics still has any meaning at all’ had become unavoidable”. The issues at stake in these fears were eminently practical: ‘The lack of meaning in which the whole of politics has ended up is confirmed by the dead end into which specific political questions are flocking.’
This text was the “Mémoire de maîtrise” for Daniel Bensaïd’s MA in Philosophy under the supervision of Henri Lefebvre in 1968. The original version of this text can be found at Le site de Daniel Bensaïd. It was translated by Patrick King for the online Viewpoint Magazine.
This chapter from the book Mai Si! Rebelles et repentis by Daniel Bensaïd and Alain Krivine was first published in English in International Marxist Review Volume 3 number 2, Autumn 1988.
This article was published in International Viewpoint No 36, 19 September 1983 for the anniversary of the 1973 coup d’état in Chile. It was signed “Daniel Jebrac”, one of the pen names that was frequently used by Daniel Bensaïd in that period.
This article was first published in English in "International Marxist Review" No 14, Winter 1992.
This is based on the transcription of a talk Daniel Bensaïd gave at the Fourth International youth camp in Barbaste, France in July 2007. The subheadings have been added.
Members of Vpered, an organisation of mainly young members in a number of cities in Russia, now the section of the Fourth International, met Daniel Bensaïd in Paris in December 2006 and asked him, as a leading Marxist philosopher, teacher and activist, for his opinion on the relevance of Marxism today.
This essay was probably among the last written by Daniel Bensaïd. It appears in the latest issue of Contretemps, the journal where Daniel was one of three publishing editors. The piece is a contribution to a series of essays on the meaning of communism put together as part of a symposium on the same topic being held in Paris on January 22nd and 23rd. Daniel was looking forward to the symposium.
We never saw the reference to Trotskyism as a way to shut ourselves off from others. For us, it was more like a polemical challenge. We accepted the Trotskyist tag in our conflict with the Stalinists — but without building a neurotic identity out of it or, conversely, downplaying the importance of this heritage.
The recent elections in Germany and Portugal have confirmed the emergence of a new radical Left in a number of countries across Europe. In Germany, Die Linke won 11.9 percent of the vote and 76 seats in the Bundestag. In Portugal, the Left Bloc received 9.86 percent of the vote and doubled its number of seats to 16.