In light of a renewed interest in communism, Merleau-Ponty's rethinking of the potentials, problems and traumas of communism's past is worth revisiting. Far from Humanism and Terror being an apology for Stalinism as most critics assume, I will show how Merleau-Ponty's work contributes to a rethinking of revolutionary agency. Blending fiction and philosophy, supplementing dialectical Marxism with insights from Machiavelli and existential phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty engages contemporary communist critics and apologists. He looks at the potential of revolutionary violence to remake the world, and he explores the risk of being permanently involved in terror, thereby sabotaging communism's goals.

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