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The Many-Headed Hydra: Reflections on History from Below

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Chapter Summary

Brecht's poem is used to reflect on the themes and others as they appeared in the book The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. In sum, the African-American tradition of history from below necessarily adopted an Atlantic or internationalist perspective; and it was necessarily concerned with slavery and its abolition. The Many-Headed Hydra expressed a depth and multiplicity of our class which the predators of neo-liberalism had not destroyed, but which Karl Marx seems to have anticipated: this revolution 'abolishes the rule of all classes with the classes themselves, because it is carried through by the class which no longer counts as a class in society, is not recognised as a class, and is in itself the expression of the dissolution of all classes, nationalities within the present society.

Keywords: Karl Marx; Many-Headed Hydra; neo-liberalism

10.1163/9789004231351_003
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