X

Flexibility pill for Marxism

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and (right) Lord Meghnad Desai at the conference on Monday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: Columbia University professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak on Monday underlined the importance of flexibility to ensure effective use of Marxism in the present world.

She was delivering the Jean Paul Sartre memorial lecture on the third day of the international conference on Karl Marx organised by Asian Development Research Institute to mark the German philosopher's birth bicentenary.

"We've to re-imagine Marxism to make it relevant today by thinking flexibly. We should not only interpret Marxist philosophy but also try to change it," she said, mentioning how Marx and Friedrich Engels had themselves said in 1872 that the communist manifesto had become outdated.

The Columbia University professor who delivered a lecture on "How can we use Marxism today" said the problem with development efforts aided by corporate funds was that while good results were reported, the bad ones were kept under wraps. She cited an example from Bengal where some school buildings built by the United Nations Development Programme were used as cowsheds. Students went to those schools only during "advertised visits by officials" responsible for using the funds.

Cynthia Lucas Hewitt, associate professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, US, delivered the Rudolf Hilferding Memorial Lecture and termed China's economic progress as an example of synthesis of Marxism and centralisation of capital. She called China's capital a product of socialism and said it had not been acquired through colonialism and rabid militarism.

Cherif Salif SY, managing director of Cherif Salif SY International Consulting Services, Dakar, who was scheduled to deliver the M N Roy Memorial Lecture couldn't make it because of some unforeseen reason. The lecture was read by Jean Joseph Boillot, who was the chair for this session. The lecture's title was "Capitalism, Neoliberalism and Development in Africa: The response of the African Union".

Apart from lectures, four papers were read on the third day of the international conference. The end of the proceedings on the third day were marked by release of a book "Another Marx", authored by Marcello Musto. The book was released by Lord Meghnad Desai.

Opinion

Back to top icon