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Marxism and the question of nationalism in a colonial context : the case of British India

Seth, Sanjay

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This work examines how Marxism, a theory born in Europe, came to conceptualize Asia. It traces the ways in which Marxists theorised and engaged with nationalism in the colonies, and specifically, with Indian nationalism. It assesses the implications and consequences of this for Marxist theory. The first part of this work follows the process by which Asia came to be incorporated into Marxist theory. The manner of this incorporation was such that nationalism was declared to be the central...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSeth, Sanjay
dc.date.accessioned2017-08-29T02:53:23Z
dc.date.available2017-08-29T02:53:23Z
dc.date.copyright1989
dc.identifier.otherb1726121
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/124870
dc.description.abstractThis work examines how Marxism, a theory born in Europe, came to conceptualize Asia. It traces the ways in which Marxists theorised and engaged with nationalism in the colonies, and specifically, with Indian nationalism. It assesses the implications and consequences of this for Marxist theory. The first part of this work follows the process by which Asia came to be incorporated into Marxist theory. The manner of this incorporation was such that nationalism was declared to be the central theoretical and political issue in the colonies. The question of 'the East’ came to be treated, within Marxism, as 'the national and colonial question'. The second part examines how Marxists in India theorised and engaged with Indian nationalism. In seeking to understand Indian nationalism in Marxist terms, Indian communists also sought to define their own tasks and role, as communists, in relation to the nationalist movement. They sought to define the relationship between class struggle and nationalist struggle, and between the goal of national liberation and their own goal of socialism. In this part we examine the different answers they gave to these questions. Its 'engagement' with nationalism had certain consequences for Marxist theory. We conclude by suggesting that the manner of this engagement - one in which Marxists endorsed colonial nationalism, and then sought to harness class struggle to nationalist struggle, thereby failing at any point to develop a critique of the nation-state - resulted in Marxism itself becoming 'national'. Marxism, we conclude, is in its content, structure and intent a non-national, universal theory ; but it is also one which has come to identify the political project to which it is wedded with the nation. Marxism has become 'nationalist', in the sense that it has come to see in the nation-state the necessary form through which, and in which, other goals - such as democracy and socialism - are realised and embodied.
dc.format.extent316 p
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshNationalism and communism History India
dc.subject.lcshIndia History British occupation, 1765-1947
dc.titleMarxism and the question of nationalism in a colonial context : the case of British India
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorKamenka, Eugene
dcterms.valid1989
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 1989. This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1989
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d626eec6b4f3
dc.date.updated2017-08-25T01:48:16Z
local.mintdoimint
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