The Marxist critique of postcolonial theory

10:00am Saturday 18 September

About this session

“Post-colonial theory and Marxism share an opposition to colonialism and imperialism and its ongoing impact on the developing world. Marxism and postcolonialism offer counter-posed theories to understanding both the history of colonialism, postcolonial societies and struggle in the postcolonial world.

In opposition to Marxists, many postcolonial theorists argue that in the postcolonial world ideology, discourse and culture are in some sense primary. This is in contrast to the centrality that Marxists place on class. Post-colonial thinkers such as Edward Said have accused Marxism of eurocentrism. Other schools of post-colonial thought, such as subaltern studies suggest that Marxist social theory developed only to explain and understand Western societies and is incapable of understanding how capitalism manifests in the postcolonial world. This session will present a critique of post-colonial theory and a defence of Marxism as a theory of revolutionary change in the postcolonial world.

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