Accepted paper:

Reflexive Marxism, analytic authority, and the ethics of solidarity

Authors:

Dimitrios Theodossopoulos (University of Kent)

Paper short abstract:

The paper introduces an experimental approach that revisits the problem of Marxist analytic authority, defies singular interpretations of inequality and consciousness, and makes visible the dynamic, open-ended articulation of dependency and compromise in the ethics of solidarity.

Paper long abstract:

What happens when more than one Marxian interpretation compete in local narratives? How can multiple Marxian-views influence the ideological position of the Marxist author, or the product of the Marxist analysis? This paper makes visible the contradictions inherent in ethnographic representation—but also within Marxist-inspired ideological approaches—by splitting the author's voice in two: a hard-idealist and a soft-realist Marxist interpreter. The two voices of the author match two ideological directions regarding humanitarian solidarity and the ethics of giving in austerity-afflicted Greece. One that rejects humanitarian aid—along with the idea of 'charity'—for failing to address the roots of inequality; and another that embraces solidarity initiatives as empowering action that strengthens the socialist consciousness of the giver. The experimental representational mode of the paper provides an example of how 'reflexive Marxism' can refine ethnographic attention on power and inequality, but from a less authoritative and singular interpretative perspective. The introduced approach aspires to advance reflexivity in the Marxist project, add a new model of analysis on the Marxian tool-kit, and provide solutions to the problem of analytic authority in interpretations of inequality, dependency, and compromise.

panel P129
Marx @200: historical materialism for today's world [IUAES Commission on Global Transformations and Marxian Anthropology]