Anjan Ghosh (1951–2010), an exemplary Marxist sociologist and teacher, belonged to the generation of intellectuals that dreamt of a socialist India, and saw both the rise and demise of the Communist Party in West Bengal. He died a year before Trinamool Congress dislodged the Left from power. But long before his death, the fall of the Soviet Union had initiated a re-evaluation—among Marxists in West Bengal and elsewhere—of the twentieth-century history of socialism. The present crisis of liberal capitalism, however, compels a fresh, critical look at the legacy of the Russian Revolution today.
After the Revolution is a tribute by Anjan Ghosh’s friends and colleagues not only to his memory, but also to the idea of revolution, through a cosmopolitan quest for a liveable alternative to capitalism. It reflects on the Russian Revolution, as viewed from our current location, and re-examines some of the basic tenets of revolutionary theory and practice in the twentieth century, to shed light on the present.
Exploring the limits of capitalism, liberal democracy and socialism, the essays examine a range of issues, including contemporary political movements, Maoism and Indian democracy, the later Marx’s thoughts on Russia, global finance dynamics, and the impact of a revolution aesthetic on literature, music and cinema.
Original, eclectic, insightful, these timely essays are addressed to students and scholars of sociology, history and culture studies.
Partha Chatterjee is Professor of Anthropology, and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African History, Columbia University, New York.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Professor of History and South Asian Languages and Civilization, University of Chicago.
List of Abbreviations
List of Images
1. The Character of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917
2. Partyarchy and the Tyranny of Theory
Interrogating the Russian Revolution
3. Maoism and Indian Democracy
4. Early ‘Marxism’ and the Parapolitics of Revolution
Thinking the Question of Thought
5. Words, Poetry, Music
An Analysis of Leftist Reception Aesthetics
6. Film, Revolution, Politics
Criticism in the Seventies
7. The World of Khoabnama
The Dynamics of Social ‘Unchange’
8. Class Analysis and Political Mobilisation
The Contemporary Conjuncture
9. Financialisation and the Business of the Soul
Pranab Kanti Basu
10. The Real (of) Marx
Adivasi Worlds as Tombstone of the Illicit
11. Politics of Desire in South Asia
12. On Socialism
Notes on Contributors