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Karl Marx in Film


Marx Beyond Eurocentrism: The Late Writings on Non-Western Societies and Alternative Pathways to Liberation

Kevin Anderson, November 20, 2011, 2:00 PM, Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501  Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, California 94609

By his last decade, 1872-83, when Marx again devoted himself to the extensive study of non-Western societies like India, Russia, and Latin America, he had moved away from the Eurocentrism and determinism found in some of his 1853 writings on British colonialism in India.

This talk will examine three strands in Marx’s thought during his last decade:  

(1) The changes introduced into the 1872-75 French edition of Capital, Vol. I, in order to specify that Western European development was not necessarily a model for the rest of the world;

(2) New writings onRussiathat suggested that its communal villages could be the starting point for a socialist development; and

(3) The extensive 1879-82 notebooks on non-Western and precapitalist societies, many of them still unpublished in any language, which cover a far wider range of societies and historical periods, including Indian history and village culture, Dutch colonialism and the village economy in Indonesia, gender and kinship patterns among Native Americans and in ancient Greece and Rome, and communal and private property in precolonial and colonial Algeria and Latin America.


The 1879-82 notebooks are to appear in the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA2), a projected 114-volume edition of the whole of the writings of Marx and Engels.  Kevin Anderson, who teaches at UC-Santa Barbara, is the author of Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies (2010) and a member of the editing group for the MEGA volume containing Marx’s 1879-82 Notebooks.


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