[OPE-L:6878] Re: Marx and eurocentrism again

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Wed Apr 03 2002 - 13:17:31 EST

Jurriaan writes in 6863

>One other thing about this "eurocentrism" issue. It occurred to me that the
>  real question here is whether such "eurocentrism" as Marx may have had (and
>  I suggested he was to a degree eurocentric) invalidates his approach to
>  understanding world history, or strongly undermines it (and if so, in what
>  way). It would appear (I am happy to be corrected on this) that Andre
>  Gunder Frank claims that Marx's "eurocentrism" fatally undermines his
>  conception of history, in which case we need a better approach than
>  historical materialism (or an improved version of historical materialism)
>  in order to understand it.

Ernest Gellner ("The Asiatic Trauma" in State and Society in Soviet 
Thought) and his student Brendan O Leary (The Asiatic Mode of 
Production) have argued that Marx's own and other Marxist theories of 
the Asiatic Mode of Production are incompatible with the coherence of 
Marx's own theory of history. One example of Eurocentrism is GA 
Cohen's much celebrated book which has almost nothing to say about 
the place of the Asiatic Mode of Production in Marx's theory of 
history; for example, Lawrence Krader's book on the topic is not even 
cited by Cohen.
But this is a very big topic, and I would love to talk about this in 
detail at some point.

All the best, Rakesh

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