Critique of Dialectical Reason, Volume 2
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A theory of history, an analysis of class struggle and a philosophy of action, this work is an intellectual masterpiece of the twentieth century, republished in two volumes and introduced by Fredric Jameson. At the height of the Algerian war, Jean-Paul Sartre embarked on a fundamental reappraisal of his philosophical and political thought. The result was the Critique of Dialectical Reason, an intellectual masterpiece of the twentieth century, now republished with a major original introduction by Fredric Jameson.
Here, Sartre began a new theory of history that he believed was necessary for postwar Marxism. His substantive concern was the structure of class struggle and the fate of the mass movements of popular revolt, from the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century to the Russian and Chinese revolutions in the twentieth.
explain to R akosi . after a few months ' work, that the su bs o i I of B u dapest was n ot suitable for the construction of a metro , he had them ' thrown into pri son : through them , it was the subsoi l he was i mpri soni ng. Vol untari st optimism i s necessari l y Terror: it has to underestim ate the adversity -coefficie nt of thing s . Hence. i n the name of its confi dence in man ' s po we r, it i gnores the re s i stance of inertia , counter- final ity , or the s lown e ss o f osmo si s
P 1 8 1 5 , n . 2 . 42 B OOK III v iolen ce , it i s indeed the ir l abour-power that they are sel ling. The numb er of profe s sional s m u l tiplies with the deve lopment of bourgeoi s society and the increased share of income it can devote to entertai nment . The immense and rapid dev elopment of sports i n the twentieth c entury i s directl y conditioned b y the second industrial rev olution , w hatever ne w v alues may al so be expre s sed in them . The grow th in productive strength -
imilarly , mediation in the more or le s s protracted struggle to which sees only a m uddled series of manoe uvres and it has j u st put an end counter-manoeuvre s , whose sole res ult was to 'harden pos itions ' and make conc il i ation more difficult by the day . B ut we now know that the most insignificant moments of the battle so far as both adversarie s are concerned are an incarnation of the entire struggle and a practical actualization , in this very presen t, of the contradiction in its
S S R stood in morta l peril. Al one and e nc ircled by formi dable and hostile p o wers , it needed to increase its industrial and m i l i tary potential albeit a t the cost of the most extreme sacri fices or resign i tself to d i s appeari ng. At most , i t could be add ed that the c ircumstanc e s defining thei r former activ ity had made the em igre Trotsky more aw are of the i mportance of the forei gn re volutionary movements, whi l e S tali n who had practically ne ver left Russia was more
was the w hole to reinvest the collec tiv ity which decided in the interest of all 1 44 B OO K I I I diffe rence between the v al ue cons umed and the v alue produced. B ut thi s collec tivit y was not mature enough to control its leaders , sti l l less to manage i tsel f. Was it not at the s ame time nece s sary to create that working clas s , which was to eInanc ipate itse lf through work and culture? So the leaders were awkwardl y si tuated : as a sin gul ar group determining if a bourgeoi