Tales from the Raj

Hutnyk, John. 2001. Tales from the Raj. Rethinking Marxism, 13(3-4), pp. 119-136. ISSN 0893-5696 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

What is Empire? What is not? Where is it? Where is it not? The most general backand-
forth questions to begin. We could start by asking whether there is now anything
outside the Empire of capital. Hardt and Negri declare as their initial task “to
grasp the constitution of the order being formed today” (2000, 3). It is undoubtedly
helpful to see an increased arsenal of concepts available for the difficult task of naming
the conjuncture at which contemporary capitalism currently sits, but a deft handling
of concepts requires careful contextualization and consideration. Notions of
difference, hybridity, travel, subsumption, dialectic, multitude, and rights are, in
various ways, all conjured with terms. There will be reason to examine the tricks more
closely. It is also very good news to find these concepts discussed in a “postmodernist”
text that does not pretend that the political heroes of the working class are never-tobe-
mentioned ghosts. Stalin, Lenin, Luxemburg, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh are cited
on occasion; names airbrushed out of the academy far too often are at least given
recognition here. A kind of camouflage-oriented airbrushing wafted for many years
throughout Western scholarship as demonic and un-American activities were reified
and simplified and the notion of Marxism, and the future of Communism, became a
congealed orthodoxy. Such misrepresentation is hard to dislodge, and it is welcome
news that now at least some attempt to rework the terms has arrived.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2010 08:02

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2012 12:53

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)