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Piercing the Present with the Past

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Reflections on Massimiliano Tomba’s Marx’s Temporalities

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This response to Tomba’s Marx’s Temporalities homes in on its critical interrogation of linear conceptions of development which have distorted Marxism’s capacity to seize the present. The article foregrounds the resources on which Tomba draws, from Walter Benjamin’s theses on history to Marx’s account of the struggles over the working day, and enlists them in an encounter with the questions of unevenness, archaism and pre-capitalism in Postcolonial theory, as well as in the attempts to ‘overcome modernity’ that marked the thought and practice of interwar fascism in Europe and Japan.

Affiliations: 1: Columbia University


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1. Agamben Giorgio Heron Liz Infancy and History: On the Destruction of Experience 1993 London Verso
2. Anderson Kevin Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies 2010 Chicago University of Chicago Press
3. Benjamin Walter Jephcott Edmund , et al Selected Writings, Volume 4: 1938–1940 2003 Cambridge, MA Belknap Press
4. Bensaïd Daniel Elliott Gregory , et al Marx for Our Times: Adventures and Misadventures of a Critique 2010 London Verso
5. Kawashima Ken C. , Schafer Fabian , Stolz Robert Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader 2013 Ithaca Cornell University Press
6. Lukács Georg Livingstone Rodney History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics 1971 London Merlin Press
7. Marx Karl Fowkes Ben " Capital: A Critique of Political Economy " Volume One 1976 Harmondsworth Penguin
8. Marx Karl Theories of Surplus Value, Volume 3 2000 Amherst, NY Prometheus Books
9. Poulantzas Nicos Camiller Patrick State, Power, Socialism 2000 London Verso
10. Shanin Teodor Late Marx and the Russian Road: Marx and ‘The Peripheries of Capitalism’ 1983 New York Monthly Review Press
11. Tomba Massimiliano Thomas Peter D. , Farris Sara R. " Marx’s Temporalities " Historical Materialism Book Series 2013 Leiden Brill
12. Tosaka Jun Nippon ideorogiron 1977 Tokyo Iwanami shoten

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