Social Scientist. v 5, no. 58-59 (May-June 1977) p. 9.


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DA VID SELBO URNE

On the Condition of a People

IN that realm of ideology and epistemology where both encounter the ^question' of China., and the nature of the lives of its people—a ^question5 which I found., unsurprisingly, to be an obsessional problem in the minds of members of India's ruling class, but a source of hope in the midst of misery and sorrow for the ^politically-conscious9 of India's toiling millions—an act of rescue is needed. That is, the real circumstances of the present condition (moral, political, social, physical, economic, cultural) of the Chinese people have to be rescued not only, and most obviously, from the managerialist perspectives of the theorists of ^power9 and ^power struggle5, but also from the philistinism of professional ^Marxology'. They are, ideologically, close relations, though that is not a subject I want to pursue in detail now.

It is the latter—the Marxology—to which I wish to give attention here. In any case, the former epistemology in general embodies only an abstract and technical understanding, put straightforward and mechanically to the service of the production and reproduction of the west's ideological interests vis-b-vis the f question' of China. The f question' merely determines the e answer'. Moreover, the procedure is quite incapable of accommodating within its structure of alienated perceptions—except as managerial problems and solutions, and often also determined by a



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