By Edwin Madunagu
I feel the need to begin with some clarifications on the title that has been constructed for this piece: “Revolutions that ‘fired’ young Leftists.” This need will be more than adequately met if a specific meaning can be attached to the word, “revolution”, as used in the article, and if the period under reference can be indicated—at least broadly. There is also the need to indicate the immediate inspiration for the discussion.
Assuming that it is now understood that the word “revolution” generally means a process of radical and fundamental transformation of a social order, its special meaning in this piece appears as the point in that process, the point known as “insurrection”, where the old regime collapses (or is overthrown) and a new one emerges (or is installed). Historically, this “point” has been a couple of hours, a single day or, at most, a couple of days. Beyond this, the situation may require a new characterization: perhaps a “civil-war-in-revolution” or a “revolution-in-revolution.” (The latter is owed to Regis Debray). The history of revolutions illustrates this situation abundantly. The new regime may be a single power, a dual power or a multiple power. Of course, none of these possibilities can be “stable”.