ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Deconstructing Bengali Marxism

Bengal Marxism: Early Discourses and Debates by Anuradha Roy, Samya: Kolkata, 2014; pp xii +216, Rs 600.

Marxism carries diverse meanings depending on one’s ideological, theoretical and ethical location. Marxism as a paradigm of critical thought developed in the Western countries in the process of interrogation of their social transformations. It is also true that Marx’s major writings were basically concerned with the European developments. In a sense, the discourses of Marxism developed in the non-European countries, in course of time, are derivative discourses.

Marxism as a praxis developed in different countries in a big way after the Russian Revolution in 1917. In fact, growth of mass political parties started taking shape towards the end of Marx’s life. So, he did not have to contend with the ethical question embedded in the relationship of leaders or party to the class they claim to represent. Lenin’s most enduring contribution to Marxist theory was to delineate the relationship of the party to the class it represents. Lenin was not against mass organisations, but he insisted they must be quite separate from the party (McLellan 1983).

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