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A Review of C.L.R. James and Marxism in the United States

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  • Conrad, Daren A.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence on the theoretical dimension of Marxism, advanced by Cyril Lionel Robert James, on the struggles in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s and to explore the influence that this intellectual had in the development of an understanding of Marxism in the U.S. during this period. In order to do so, it is important to chronologically follow James’s life. For the purpose of this paper, I will discuss some of the aspects of James’s Marxism which will allow us to see how he shaped his thoughts as a Marxist and the extent to which he was able to put his theories into practice. A fragment of James’s autobiography serves as a useful illustration: I had been reading…But the people who had passion, human energy, anger, violence and generosity were the common people whom I saw around me. They shaped my political outlook and from that day to this day those are the people with who I am concerned the most. That’s why I was able to understand Marx very easily, and particularly Lenin. When I went into Marxism I was already well prepared…Even in my days of fiction I had the instinct which enable me to grasp the fundamentals of Marxism so easily and then to work at Marxism having the basic elements of a Marxist view – my concern with the common people. James’s method was more or less empirical and his observations formed the basis for his exploration of ideas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46039.

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Date of creation: 09 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46039

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Keywords: Marxism; CLR James;

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