The Concepts of Revolution

  • Geoffroy de Lagasnerie
Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)


The experience of politics, for most of us, is increasingly an experience of powerlessness. Not so long ago, the spontaneous relationship to politics was structured by a feeling of revolutionary hope. But today, our relationship to politics is more often structured by a feeling of disempowerment. I argue that this crisis, in terms of the effectiveness of radical transformative practices, is linked to the manner in which the revolutionary ideal functions today, and the way in which it regulates our political practices. We hold on to a certain image of the revolution that guides our political practice. However, this image or idea of the revolution we adhere to (and the diagnosis of the present and future upon which it is based) actually prevents us from acting radically. It prevents us from perceiving and participating in the struggles that are unfolding as we speak. In short, the manner in which we conceptualize the revolution does not allow us to act, but actually makes us feel powerless. How are we to think about politics, action, and radicality today?

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffroy de Lagasnerie
    • 1
  1. 1.École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-CergyCergy-PontoiseFrance

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