As we walk into another night of the newest phase of imperialism, this book asks: What is the Marxists’ quarrel with Derrida, especially with Specters of Marx? Why do they seem panic-ridden when Derrida seeks to resurrect the ghosts of Marx? Though Derrida moves far beyond what his deconstructive brief would allow him, certain readings view Specters merely as a work of deconstruction/poststructuralism. This, argues Nissim Mannathukkaren, the Marxists can do only at their own peril. Post 9/11, the Marxist project needs to engage more creatively not only with Derrida but also others like Benjamin, Bloch and Marcuse to rebuild strategies to mount a challenge to the evangelical neo-liberal hegemony and to other religious fundamentalisms. The imperative for this should come from the desire to reinstate the ‘romantic’ Marx-who dreamed of the ‘sensuous, the needing, the feeling human being’-into the Marxist oeuvre. Else, the ghosts of Derrida and others shall come to haunt Marxists.
The cover features Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus (1920). India ink, color chalks and brown wash on paper. Courtesy: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Photograph © Collection, The Israel Museum/ by David Harris.
Nissim Mannathukkaren hails from Muvattupuzha, Kerala. He was trained in Political Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Queen’s University, Canada. He teaches at the International Development Studies department at Dalhousie University, Canada.
‘A clear-headed study of Jacques Derrida’s venture into Marxist political theory.’Frontline