[Marxism] n+1: Subaltern-speak

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 24 11:42:05 MST 2013


Actually in Robbins' review Chibber seems to come off better than the
subalternites (and rightly so, in my opinion, whatever his shortcomings
might be; I say "might" as I'm just starting his book, although I think he
won the debate at HM hands down).

Robbins himself however seems either ill-informed or confused. He correctly
locates the debate between Chibber and the subbies in different views on
why postcolonial bourgeoisies didn't "include" workers or peasants. To
which I'm all like, Duh! I purposely use that slang because it's SO obvious
-- even if you wrongly and unfairly don't want to mention Trotsky (or Fanon
etc.) -- that those bourgeoisies couldn't and wouldn't play a progressive
role (with significant exceptions that prove the rule, e.g. Nasser and his
limitations). So why the hell would anyone WANT an idealist theory like
postcolonialism when the phenomena of the betraying bourgeoisie and the
marginalzed "subalterns" is so easily and accurately explained by Marxist
materialism?

Finally, Robbins' own concluding remarks on the hope for humanity and the
justification for "universal history" come down to just a liberal appeal to
strata like the Chinese ruling class!!!

Andy


On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 10:46 PM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

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> Bruce Robbins's brilliant take-down of Vivek Chibber.
>
> http://nplusonemag.com/subaltern-spaeak
>
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