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Decolonizing Dialectics

Anticolonial theorists and revolutionaries have long turned to dialectical thought as a central weapon in their fight against oppressive structures and conditions. This relationship was never easy, however, as anticolonial thinkers have resisted the historical determinism, teleology, Eurocentrism, and singular emphasis that some Marxisms place on class identity at the expense of race, nation, and popular identity. In recent decades, the conflict between dialectics and postcolonial theory has only deepened. In Decolonizing Dialectics George Ciccariello-Maher breaks this impasse by bringing the work of Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and Enrique Dussel together with contemporary Venezuelan politics to formulate a dialectics suited to the struggle against the legacies of colonialism and slavery. This is a decolonized dialectics premised on constant struggle in which progress must be fought for and where the struggles of the wretched of the earth themselves provide the only guarantee of historical motion.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Ruptures 1 1. Jumpstarting the Class Struggle 23 2. Toward a New Dialectics of Race 47 3. The Decolonial Nation in Motion 75 4. Latin American Dialectics and the Other 103 5. Venezuela's Combatiive Dialectics 123 Spirals 153 Notes 171 Bibliography 219 Index 233

About the Author

George Ciccariello-Maher is Associate Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Drexel University and the author of We Created Chavez: A People's History of the Venezuelan Revolution, also published by Duke University Press.


"Decolonizing Dialectics makes an essential contribution to our understanding of the dialectic of unity and difference and how difference becomes antagonism within and beyond the legacies of colonialism. It is essential reading in the renewal of debate about the philosophy of internal relations and the systematic dialectic." -- Adam David Morton * Progress in Political Economy * "[A] rather unique and sophisticated project that at times leaves the reader breathless from the elegant speed with which it moves through concepts.... [T]his book functions as an opening, by recentering dialectical reason and placing it in service of a radical anti-systemic practice, to successive discussions...." -- Joshua Moufawad-Paul * Marx & Philosophy Review of Books * "Decolonizing Dialectics marks an important contribution to a growing body of literature concerned with decolonizing critical - and, more broadly speaking, political - theory, as well as a worthwhile addition to the works devoted to the dialectical tradition and its critics. In particular, Ciccariello-Maher's readings of Fanon and Dussel offer a valuable new take on their respective engagements with dialectical thought, and on the complex and fraught relationship that dialectics shares with decolonization, theoretically and practically." -- Michael Elliott * Contemporary Political Theory * "Theoretically informed and mindful of the correctives real history offers to speculation, this book is a noteworthy contribution to critical social theory and decolonial discourses. Recommended. Graduate students through faculty." -- B. G. Chang * Choice *

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