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Karl Marx

MARX AT THE MARGINS – KEVIN B. ANDERSON IN LONDON

Meet Kevin Anderson, author ‘Marx at the Margins’ (University of Chicago, 2010).

When: Wednesday 10 November, 6pm-8pm.
Where: SOAS, Room G3 (ground floor)

Kevin Anderson’s new book, Marx at the Margins, has received critical acclaim for its important excavation of Marx’s writing on colonialism, ethnicity and nationalism, and non-Western and precapitalist societies. Geographically, the focus is on India and China, the Civil War in the U.S., Ireland and Poland, as well as Latin America, Russia, Algeria, Indonesia, and other non-Western societies.

Concerning colonialism and non-Western societies, this book traces the Eurocentrism as well as the implicitly unilinear concept of social development in works like the Communist Manifesto (1848) and the 1853 Tribune articles on India.  Later, especially with the Grundrisse (1857-58) and the 1856-58 writings on anti-colonial resistance in China and India, Marx’s thought evolves toward a more multilinear and decidedly anti-colonialist position.  This evolution culminates in his last decade, where three strands of his thought stand out: (1) the 1872-75 French edition of Capital, (2) the largely unpublished 1879-82 notebooks on non-Western and precapitalist societies and gender, and the late writings on Russia, which point to the possibility of alternative pathways of development. The 1879-82 notebooks, to which Kevin has access through the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe project, also show an interest in gender relations across a wide variety of societies. Concerning ethnicity and nationalism, this book concentrates on Marx’s writings on Poland, the Civil War in the U.S., and Ireland. His writings on Poland show a commitment to that country’s national emancipation from foreign occupation as a crucial test for the international democratic and labor movements.  Those on the Civil War discuss the relationship of race and class in the U.S. and the efforts of the international working class to take a stand against slavery and for democracy. Those on Ireland bring together both of these themes, whether on the relationship of Irish national emancipation to the prospects for the labor movement in Britain, or on the ethnic cleavages between Irish and British labor inside Britain. 

As a whole, this book seeks to show Marx’s critique of capital to have been far broader than is usually supposed.

Kevin will be in London for the 2010 Historical Materialism Conference (http://www.historicalmaterialism.org) and has kindly agreed to meet to discuss his book with SOAS faculty, students and others who may be interested.

The meeting is sponsored by the ‘Neoliberalism, Globalisation and States’ Research Cluster of the SOAS Development Studies Department

All are welcome

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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