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An Anthropology of Marxism$
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Cedric J. Robinson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649917

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649917.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Discourse on Economics

The Discourse on Economics

(p.88) 4 The Discourse on Economics
An Anthropology of Marxism

Cedric J. Robinson

, H. L. T. Quan, Avery F. Gordon
University of North Carolina Press

Based on the previous chapter’s demonstration of the links between Marxism and German bourgeois thought, Robinson argues in this chapter that Marxism represents neither the interests of the oppressed nor a radical break with contemporary philosophy. Chapter 4 provides an alternative history of oppositional discourse on poverty in European history that Robinson uses to emancipate socialism from the rigid ideological regime of bourgeois intellectuals imposed by Marxism. Robinson demonstrates the importance of Aristotle and Athenian philosophy for the empirical, conceptual, and moral precepts of modern economics. Robinson then traces the persistence of socialist impulses in Europe’s Middle Ages, particularly in the work of Marsilius and the Jesuits and its eventual transformation into the secular socialist utopianism of eighteenth century bourgeois Europeans. In both cases, he shows how radical gender relations are effaced by modern economics and by Marxism. Robinson thus shows how Marx and Engel’s scientific historical economics privileged a select group of bourgeois ideologists, insisting upon individualism and historical materialism and ignoring alternative oppositional discourses built in previous rebellions against oppression, inequality, racism, gender discrimination, and poverty.

Keywords:   bourgeoisie, oppositional discourse, Aristotle, Athenian philosophy, Marsilius, modern economics, communism, gender, historical materialism, socialism

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