Global socialism as postmarxist discourse

Invited to review/comment on a discussion of An Anthropology of Marxism, reviewed in The Incendiary Radicalism of Socialism…

My comment…

This review/essay raises a host of interesting issues, and is a perspective that is unexpectedly novel in its discussion. As the author of Decoding World History, and The Last Revolution (in progress, cf., I have been critical of Marxism as a classic yet somehow dated framework that has derailed via its own legacies, e.g. Bolshevism. The whole subject needs to be recast in a new form that can preempt the latent Stalinist menace lurking in the traditional versions of Marxism. The ‘ism’ is burdened with fallacious historicism and the dubious metaphysics of historical materialism, and dialectical materialism. At a time of climate catastrophe I can see no real left able to extricate itself from drawing room discussion into a real movement.
The attempt to find a generalized matrix of ‘socialism’ is thus of great interest here in this text under discussion. The issues of socialism do indeed pervade world history in a curious litany of episodic flash points. And the problem of Eurocentrism lingers in the whole discussion. I think that a generalized post-Marxist canon of socialism would be of great value. But the question of capitalism remains as the core challenge for the modern manifestations of socialist aspiration. The construct of a viable postcapitalism remains as a task as yet unaccomplished.

The Incendiary Radicalism of Socialism: A BookReview
Fouad Mami, Department of English – UniversitĂ© Ahmed Draia, Adrar (Algeria)Robinson, Cedric J. 2019.
An Anthropology of Marxism
. University of NorthCarolina Press. pp.204. Paperback: $ 28.75; Hardcover: $ 90.00
An Anthropology of Marxism
has been published first in 2001 and reappeared in 2019 with a preface by the feminist scholar, Avery F. Gordon and foreword by the film maker and academic, H.L.T. Quan. The new edition, understandably, pays a tribute to the author who recently passed away. Robinson’s legacy though remains lasting mainly among African American scholars and leftists alike.
An Anthropology of Marxism reads like an anthropology of radicalism, or better still, of Socialism. Robinson finds that Marxism is too Eurocentric and as such reductive of the uninterrupted universal struggle for communism, communes and communions. That is why he digs into the genesis of Marxism, saving socialism from the over-domineering but equally false presupposition that it is a recent social movement invented specifically to fight capitalism. Robinson concludes that Marxism has its roots in socialism and that socialism throughout the ages has galvanized the oppressed: slaves, peasants, women, workers and the unemployed against manifold oppressions beginning with the Greek and Romanaristocracies, feudal lords, medieval papacy up to the contemporary superrich of world-class capitalists. Given its evolvement in space and time, Robinson traces Marxism to the socialist drive of Christianity, hence the eschatological and teleological lexicon. Still, he argues, that the socialist component is not culture-specific. And while it is historical and materialist, it remains free from the determinacy of the Christian mood. Overall, only socialism, not Marxism, is capable of lending a humanist utensil for universal freedom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s