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Last Build Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 21:50:52 +0000


Land reform vs. agrarian reforms in Pakistan

Sat, 28 Sep 2013 21:49:08 +0000

Recently I read some thing calling for land reform in Pakistan. Land reform is important, but leftists need to be clear on the parameters and forms of land reform necessary. Here are some tentative thoughts. It’s not enough to break up large landholdings and to distribute them amongst small farmers. For many small farmers who [...]

Provincializing Marxism: Vivek Chibber and the Specter of Subaltern Studies

Mon, 27 May 2013 16:48:49 +0000

Provincializing Marxism: Vivek Chibber and the Specter of Subaltern Studies[1] Noaman G. Ali Vivek Chibber’s trenchant criticisms of the Subaltern Studies school of Indian historiography in Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital (2013) have justifiably attracted considerable attention. Marxist critiques of postcolonial theory have a long pedigree, but at least since the 1990s they [...]

Non-violence and revolution: the Gandhi myth

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 23:33:36 +0000

The greatest example of non-violent revolution is supposed to be M.K. Gandhi’s leadership of the Indian nationalist movement, and this proves that non-violent revolution is not only desirable but possible. Unfortunately, the history of non-violent movements is taught selectively and I would say misleadingly. The neo-Gandhian formula is premised upon an inadequate and inaccurate assessment [...]

Racism and class struggle

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 17:32:04 +0000

Often white (but not only white) “progressives” and “Marxists” will complain about how raising issues of racism or national oppression divert attention away from organizing people along class lines. How can the unity of the working class be achieved on an international level if we keep talking about racism and national oppression. There is a [...]

Chakrabarty, again

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 17:30:12 +0000

Yesterday I read Dipesh Chakrabarty’s key article for the umpteenth time. And I think that, while it raises some valid points, it goes too far. The point about our historical narratives always following in the footsteps of Europe is a valid concern, and one that does in fact apply to many iterations of Marxism as [...]

The twenty-first century?

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 23:42:52 +0000

Eric Hobsbawm calls it the short twentieth century. It began with the first world war in 1914, and ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Perhaps, looking back, people will say that the twenty-first century began when the masses reignited history in 2011. (Mostly, I just want to drop something here before [...]

Socialism is the politics of love

Tue, 23 Aug 2011 02:44:41 +0000

Capitalist society teaches us to hate ourselves, to hate each other. There’s nothing about ourselves that we’re actually encouraged to love unless it fits into some ridiculous norms and standards. We’re taught to compete with each other to get what we need and want, we interact largely in depersonalized and disarticulated ways — this kind [...]

The transition from capitalism to socialism

Mon, 22 Aug 2011 02:54:05 +0000

All of a sudden I find myself reading with keen interest this old school Dobb-Sweezy debate on the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Western Europe, and I’m thinking, why the fuck do I care? Part of it is that I want to move on to other mode of production debates, outside of the European [...]

Caste in India

Fri, 01 Jul 2011 07:34:58 +0000

An excellent rejoinder on the politics and sociology of caste and identity in India.

Life lessons from Islamic Studies

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 01:42:59 +0000

When I was in primary school I had a class called Islamic Studies in English. I think we had one in Arabic, too, but I probably flopped that one. I remember that as part of our homework we were supposed to have read chapters from the course textbook (stuff like when you walk you should [...]