Questions on the concept of cycle of struggles - Roland Simon

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Questions on the concept of cycle of struggles

It will be necessary to begin with the current definition and relevance of this concept and the theoretical issues it addresses. But we can already list a few questions the concept triggers, those questions belonging to all the fields of theoretical investigation.

*The difference between a period of accumulation and a cycle of struggles : the economy issue.

* Does a cycle of struggles correspond to the capital cycles ? The development of the capital is identical to the contradiction between proletariat and capital, but are we dealing here with an unmediated identity ?

* Is to talk about cycle of struggles to accept the validity of the « Kondratieffs » ? If it is so, is a cycle of struggles informed, in its course, by the phases A and B of a « Kondratieff » ? If it is so, are revolutionary crises linked to a systemic crisis of the Kondratieffs ? Are they located between two Kondratieffs or between the A and B phases of a same Kondratieff ?

* A fundamental and very tricky question : relation and continuity between the cycles of struggles. Are the cycles of struggles separate entities (radically discontinuous) ? how do we relate now to previous cycles ?

* How can we theoretically formalize the passage from one cycle to the other ? Do we have to include the concept of counter-revolution in the cycle of struggles concept ? Is the passage a juxtaposition or a coordination ? (it is not exactly the same question as the one of continuity)

* A question linked to the previous two : does a « legacy » exist? What is a legacy ?

* Do all the elements defining (determining) a cycle of struggles have the same temporality : immediate struggles, revolutionary crises, theories, organisations ? Do anachronisms exist ? Can an old cycle, under some aspects, endure when another one has begun ? Is there integration or overlapping ?

*At what stage in the definition of a cycle must we consider its internal contradictions ? Inversely, what is the unity of a cycle ?

* The nature of the failure of a cycle of struggles : is the impossibility in its own terms a valid explanatory structure for all the cycles ?

* Relation between cycle of struggles / failure (internal impossibilities) / limits / counter-revolution ?

* The issue of chronological division. Are there different chronological phases in a same cycle ? (whatever the answer is to the link with the Kondratieffs) Can we divide into subsets a cycle of struggles ? If it is so, what is the relevance and the validity of such a division ? Why do we consider them as phases of a same cycle and not as two different cycles ?

* What is the starting point of the definition of a cycle : a blend of micro-facts or a structure that gives meaning to these facts ?

* Is it relevant to make a periodization of historically homogenic cycles of struggles in spite of national differences and the notions of centre and periphery ?

Courage ! R.S

Quelques (Ndt) : C’est un de tes textes les plus formels / formalisateurs qu’il m’ait été donné de traduire… Pour les termes juxtaposition, coordination, discontinu : j’ai utilisé les traductions acceptées en linguistique. Crise en français : crisis (sg) crises (pl)