Friday, June 30, 2017

Nivedita Majumdar's analysis some writers on subaltern resistance

In Silencing the Subaltern Resistance & Gender in Postcolonial Theory seems quite incisive. But I am not too sure about her conclusions about going back to class conflict more clearly formulated in Why We're Marxists.Both worth reading I think though I have problems with analyses using classes. Here is a speech by her One can find classes and class conflicts small big in many places throughout history. But it seems more amorphous and not that generally applicable all the time and keeps changing with the same person. The analysis by Nivedita seems to ignore human nature ( but Marx does not), qualities like status seeking, how the same person can be a worker at one stage and capitalist next.And then conspicuous consumption from those who cannot afford it because it happens all the time. It happens both in the east and in the west, for example wedding expenses. What she outlines covers a large swathe of what is happening but the actors keep shifting to different classes even if we ignore the multiple identity scenario. Are there any solutions? Bhaskar Sunkara suggests "Some broad outlines should already be clear: Worker-owned cooperatives, still competing in a regulated market; government services coordinated with the aid of citizen planning; and the provision of the basics necessary to live a good life (education, housing and health care) guaranteed as social rights. In other words, a world where people have the freedom to reach their potentials, whatever the circumstances of their birth." in Socialism's future may be its past. These days when one disruption on one corner of the world can affect many other corners, I think that we need this kind of local protection schemes to survive global onslaughts.
P.S.A discussion of Why libertarians should read Marx by Chris Dillow. I would add that at least indirectly, one should try to get an idea of what Marx said and tried to say and changes in his thinking. There may be short cuts which I tried to follow, reading articles and short books like 'Why read. Arc today?' By Jonathan Wolff and various posts in the blog 'Understanding Society' of Dan Little.

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