Hi folks,

Today we’ll be discussing:

Revolution in the Revolution - Régis Debray

Today’s discussion is:

  • 1/11 - Discussion 1 - Preface and Chapter 1 “To Free the Present from the Past”. pp 1-91 in my edition.

I’m reading the Grove press edition translated by Bobbye Ortiz. These seem to be some digital copies, but please share if you find a better one!



Discussion Prompts

These are some ideas to address while considering this work. None of them are essential, and any of your own thoughts are very much welcome! I’ll be adding my own thoughts later today.

  • What is Debray saying and how is he saying it?

  • Is he persuasive?

  • What has he missed?

  • What would you say the theme of this work is?

  • Did anything surprise you?

  • Is this work applicable outside of the conditions of Latin America in the '60s? What parts are universally applicable?

  • Is this really a “nonessential” or would it be good for any communist to read it?

  • Does the book seem cool? Would you go camping in the mountains with it and share a wistful glance over the flickering embers of a dimming campfire?

Next Discussion

Next week will be:

  • 1/18 - Discussion 2 - “The Principle Lesson for the Present”, “Some Consequences for the Future”, summary discussion on the whole book.

Next Title

If you would like to suggest the next title, please put in a separate comment with the words “submission suggestion”. I think the highest voted title should win.

Books should be:

  • not suggested for beginners.
  • not overly technical or philosophical (I’m just not smart enough to lead those discussions).
  • relatively short (so as not to lose too much momentum).
  • regionally or subject specific (like Che’s Guerilla Warfare is topically specific, or Decolonization is Not a Metaphor is regionally specific?).
  • readily available.

Thanks for your time! :)

The book’s purpose is set up by criticising the phrase, ‘The Cuban Revolution can no longer be repeated in Latin America’. This turns Cuba into a ‘golden legend’. Debray argues that the ‘inner workings’ of the Cuban revolution must be thoroughly analysed to understand ‘how’ and ‘why’ it succeeded.

He seems to imply that others, assuming the Cuban strategy and tactics could not be repeated, essentially started from scratch and made lots of mistakes.

When we come to the main text, it is clear that this is not going to be an academic critique of the ‘Latin activists’ on whose lips is this phrase. He provides what he says is missing: a careful examination of the Cuban revolution, but kind of in reverse. He analyses other, later, movements, finds their weaknesses, and then considers how the strategy / tactics might be improved by looking to the Cuban revolution. In this, he also compares Cuba with China (citing Mao, as Simply_Surprise noted).

For example he explains that a striking miners are at a disadvantage. ‘The government has money in the bank, North American loans …, commercial warehouses, access to a … port’.

It is a battle of the wills, but the government cuts off the road supplying the miners. They get hungry quickly, and both sides wait to see who can hold out the longest. Debray argues that a ‘spontaneous insurrection’ cannot defeat a well-trained, well-armed, logistically supported military. An independent guerilla army could raid a nearby warehouse, supporting the miners ‘for weeks’.

This example shows his process: finding a weakness in the revolutionary movements and considering how to overcome it. (I’m wondering whether Thatcher read Debray before she defeated the British miners, in part by stockpiling coal in advance.)

non-diegetic screams

This is a great analysis! Thanks for reading with me! 😊

Create a post

This is a Dengist community in favor of Bashar al-Assad with no information that can lead to the arrest of Hillary Clinton, our fellow liberal and queen. This community is not ironic. We are Marxists-Leninists.

If you haven’t already found it, this GitHub page is an excellent collection of sources about socialism, imperialism, and other relevant topics, made by @dessalines and others.

We have a Matrix homeserver and a private Matrix room. See this thread for more information.


  • No ableism, racism, misogyny, transphobia, etc.
  • No being pro-Amerikkka
  • No being an electoralist or a lib (of course)
  • Moderator discretion
  • This community is explicitly pro-AES
  • No dogmatism/idealism (ultra-leftism, Trotskyism, “Gonzaloism”, anarchism, etc.)
  • Reactionary or ultra-leftist cringe posts belong in /c/shitreactionariessay or /c/shitultrassay respectively
  • 0 users online
  • 27 users / day
  • 107 users / week
  • 203 users / month
  • 463 users / 6 months
  • 2 subscribers
  • 8.29K Posts
  • Modlog