ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Demystifying Delusion and Unveiling the Crypt

The Indian Economy in Transition: Globalization, Capitalism and Development by Anjan Chakraborty, Anup Dhar and Byasdeb Dasgupta; New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2016; pp xx + 422, price not indicated.

Indian economy is at crossroads. The post-reform changes and the history of the present have to be explained by theory. Changes in policy and their impacts are accompanied by something that has not changed. The unchanged is often lost, hidden and buried under the spectacle of capitalist development. That unchanged is the story of exploitation, original accumulation and the intractable “constitutive outside” of the circuit camp of global capital. This is where the noise remains and perturbs the serenity of capitalist development.

The present book is primarily about theorising the change, defining and problematising transition and its crisis, and the evolving tension between two signposts of contemporary change, neo-liberal globalisation and inclusive development. It draws from post-deconstructive Marxism in the tradition of Resnick and Wolff explaining realities from a class-focused approach—realities as decentred and differentiated—without any essentialist core and telos. It takes off from Gibson– Graham rejecting capital-centrism but goes beyond in explaining how capital becomes hegemonic within coexisting and overdetermining disaggregated heterogeneous class processes. This is different from the Gramscian notion of hegemony; rather the idea evolves from post-Lacanian psychoanalyses defining hegemony as “spectral” and capitalism as “delusional cosmology.” This delusion is symbolic making the world appear capital-centric. The book is about demystifying this delusion and at the same time unveiling the concrete of the “other,” the dark “other” that has not been co-opted hitherto by global capital. The agenda, as the authors say, is to explore “what contemporary India can mean to Marxist’s today as also what sense can contemporary Marxist’s make of India today.”

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