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5 Uses and Abuses of Marx

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Chapter Summary

The works of Marx, and aspects of Marxist theory, were important at the inception of Subaltern Studies. This chapter is concerned to debate the range and adequacy of Chakrabarty's and Guha's engagement with Marx and Marxist theory via three topics of historical and political interest. For Marx, in his polemical engagement with political economy, abstract labour was the key to understanding the historicity of the capital social form. Acute as Marx's insights into the violence implicit in the abstracting process may have been his commitment to the 'idea of productive labour', such that he overlooks the rich possibilities of the standing fight, difference, History II. In a passage in the Grundrisse, Marx indeed goes so far as to say that the pianist's labour, important though it may be to the formation of the aesthetic sensibilities of an audience, is no more productive than the 'madman's delusions'.

Keywords: Grundrisse; Marx; Subaltern Studies



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