ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Marxism, Authoritarianism and Peoples Movements

Marxism, Authoritarianism and People's Movements Gudavarthi Ajay ARUN PATNAIK'S rejoinder (EPW, May 20, 1995) to K Balagopal's article (EPW, January 7,1995) rightly traces two important formulations of Balagopal that need to be critically rethought. However the limitation of Arun Patnaik's rejoinder stems from the attempt to understand the questions raised by Balagopal from the standpoint of classical Marxism and he therefore fails to note that limitations lie not only in Balagopal's theorisation but also in classical Marxism itself. Similarly, while Balagopal slipped into idealism trying to comprehend the decisive turns in contemporary polity, Arun Patnaik makes no such effort. In a letter written to Dagobert Oppenheim (August 25, 1842) Marx insisted that "true theory must be developed and clarified within the concrete circumstances and in relation to existing conditions''. It is therefore essential that the historical works of Marx and Engels have to be placed where they rightly belong, within the limits which they themselves assigned to them, in accordance with the circumstances of their publication.

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