In his Theses on Feuerbach
, Marx famously claimed that philosophers had previously only attempted to interpret the world; the point, however, was to change it. In the 20th century, no philosopher had as great an effect on the world than Marx, with various intellectual and political movements across the world claiming various parts of his thought and using them to develop and change their own parts of the world.
One of these movements, Socialist Lebanon, took root in the 1960s, and much Arab political thought has developed in its shadow ever since. Composed of a variety of activists and intellectuals, their attempts to adapt and develop Marxist thought for their own particular context remains important both for understanding Middle East history, as well as current political possibilities for the Arab world today. This is the set of animating ideas that drive Fadi A. Bardawil
in his new book, Revolution and Disenchantment: Arab Marxism and the Binds of Emancipation
(Duke University Press, 2020)
Fadi Bardawil received his PhD from Columbia University and is an assistant professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University.