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Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society

The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan

By
Gavin Walker
Gavin Walker

Gavin Walker is Assistant Professor of History and East Asian Studies at McGill University.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7420-6
Publication date:
2016

In The Sublime Perversion of Capital Gavin Walker examines the Japanese debate about capitalism between the 1920s and 1950s, using it as a "prehistory" to consider current discussions of uneven development and contemporary topics in Marxist theory and historiography. Walker locates the debate's culmination in the work of Uno Kozo, whose investigations into the development of capitalism and the commodification of labor power are essential for rethinking the national question in Marxist theory. Walker's analysis of Uno and the Japanese debate strips Marxist historiography of its Eurocentric focus, showing how Marxist thought was globalized from the start. In analyzing the little-heralded tradition of Japanese Marxist theory alongside Marx himself, Walker not only offers new insights into the transition to capitalism, the rise of globalization, and the relation between capital and the formation of the nation-state; he provides new ways to break Marxist theory's impasse with postcolonial studies and critical theory. 

 

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