[Marxism] To Vivek Chibber

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 29 15:29:07 MDT 2013


On 4/29/13 5:11 PM, Jeff Goodwin wrote:
> Chibber writes a bit about the English and French revolutions in his new
> book for a very specific purpose: to debunk a stupid, romanticized view of
> those revolutions held by many subalternists/postcolonialists, a view that
> leads them to draw idiotic conclusions. The latter think capitalists in
> India (and in the "East" and "South" more generally) failed to follow the
> "Western" path, meaning they failed to lead the nation in a struggle
> against feudalism that culminated in a liberal, democratic society under
> bourgeois "hegemony." Instead, the "Eastern" bourgeoisie failed to "speak
> for the nation," supported dictatorship and oligarchy, etc., producing
> "domination without hegeomy" (i.e., rule by force). These idiots conclude,
> furthermore, that societies in the East/South cannot be understood as
> capitalist and that one cannot apply Marxist theory or concepts to them
> (which would be "Eurocentric" arrogance).

Yes, all this is alluded to in the Jacobin interview:

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/04/how-does-the-subaltern-speak/

I doubt that most Marxists, outside of the academy, have much interest 
in refuting the likes of Gayatri Spivak and company. 20 years ago when 
postmodernism, or what Teresa Ebert, Donald Morton and Mas'ud Zavarzadeh 
called all that "postal" stuff, was all the rage, I would have paid more 
attention to something like this.

I imagine

But outside academia, there's not much incentive in getting ammunition 
to use against postcolonial scholarship. It is a little bit like 
somebody coming out with a blockbuster book on Analytical Marxism. Ho-hum.





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