Mediating Capitalism’s ‘Rules of Reproduction’ with Historical Agency

Political Marxism, Uneven and Combined Development and Settler-Capitalism in Canada

In: Historical Materialism
Jessica Evans Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Ryerson University Toronto, Ontario Canada

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This article responds to Samuel Knafo and Benno Teschke’s recent critique of Political Marxism and their proposal for an alternative, ‘radical agency-centred’ historicism. While sympathetic to the critiques raised by the authors, I am less convinced by the conclusions they reach. Rather than abandon Political Marxism altogether, I argue that there remains much of value in the tradition. Through an analysis of the differential path of capitalist development in settler-colonial Canada, I suggest that bringing the methodological insights of Uneven and Combined Development to bear on the theoretical material of Political Marxism can alleviate the problems identified by the authors.

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