The Communitarian Revolutionary Subject: New Forms of Social Transformation

Third World Quarterly, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2019

See all articles by David Barkin

David Barkin

Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana

Alejandra Sánchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 15, 2019


The hope for a unique revolutionary actor in the XX Century evaporated as a result of the weaknesses of social organizations. This paper examines the potential of an almost forgotten group of revolutionary actors – collectively organized and deliberately involved in processes of social and productive transformation with a legitimate claim to territory – whose present-day activities involve them in concerted processes to consolidate a different constellation of societies on the margins of the global capitalist system.

Indigenous and peasant communities throughout the Americas are self-consciously restructuring their organizations and governance structures, taking control of territories they claimed for generations. They are also reorganizing production to generate surplus, assembling their members to take advantage of underutilized resources and peoples’ energies for improving their ability to raise living standards and assure environmental conservation and restoration.

These communities are not operating in isolation. They coordinate activities, share information, and build alliances. Hundreds of millions of people are participating in this growing movement; they occupy much more than one-quarter of the world’s land area. There is great potential for others to join them, expanding from the substantial areas where they are already operational. Global social networks are ensuring that this dynamic accelerates.

Keywords: revolutionary subject, collective, community, social transformation, surplus

JEL Classification: Q57, Q15, Q01, P48

Suggested Citation

Barkin, David and Sánchez, Alejandra, The Communitarian Revolutionary Subject: New Forms of Social Transformation (June 15, 2019). Third World Quarterly, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

David Barkin (Contact Author)

Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana ( email )

Calzada del Hueso 1100
Mexico, 04960


Alejandra Sánchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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