ABSTRACT

Unlike axial core concepts such as freedom or direct action, revolution does not name a value or a principle. In all its different decontestations by anarchists, Marxists, feminists and fascists, it is a descriptive concept applying to the manner of social change. The term thus occupies a location in these ideologies’ conceptual arrangements equivalent to that of reform in social democracy and stability in conservatism. Although not by itself axial, revolution nevertheless retains the value-orientation characteristic of ideological language, since its decontestation depends on co-interpretation with the other concepts which make up the host ideology. As we shall see throughout this chapter, anarchists’ visions of revolution have indeed been expressed in explicit engagement with other core concepts such as direct action, prefiguration, freedom and equality, as well as with adjacent and peripheral ones such as power, reform and attack.