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New Left Review 90, November-December 2014

gopal balakrishnan


The opposition of an early and a late Marx may seem to be a topic of little contemporary moment. Notably, the current round of interest in Marx, in contrast to previous ones, is focused on his later economics to the exclusion of the earlier work. The association of his early writings with philosophy always attenuated its appeal for the more empirically oriented, while these days its reputation for humanism, teleology, and Eurocentrism can diminish it for the more theoretical. In any event, contentions over the intellectual continuity of purpose across various differently demarcated phases of his work took place in a political context in which this was still a matter of some doctrinal significance. The perceived stakes of the philosophical, alternatively methodological, periodization of Marx’s career largely faded away with the end of Western Marxism as a distinct, heterodox historical formation of the workers’ movement.

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Gopal Balakrishnan, ‘The Abolitionist—1’, NLR 90: £3

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