On Your Marx!

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  • September 2012
    Review Essay

    When the Berlin Wall was brought down in 1989, followed by the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union, one is unsure whether Francis Fukuyama was actually singing a ditty with the ‘End of History’ as the tag line (to the tune of ‘We Are the World …’, the famous Michael Jackson song). Fukuyama celebrated his ‘free at last!’ moment by writing a book called End of History, for which he has had to apologise a few times since.

    On a more serious note, those fast unravelling moments of history were also liberating for another vast set of people who were known as Marx/Marxist scholars. They could finally throw away the Soviet yoke and read Marx the way he wrote it, without a contrived Leninist juxtaposition or a Stalinist twist. They did not need to justify the Soviet state any longer.