Political Theory of 20th Century

In his Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, José Carlos Mariátegui claims to provide a treatment of the socio-economic questions of Peru that is thoroughly grounded in historical materialism. What would Walter Benjamin have to say about this in light of his Theses on The Philosophy of History? Would he applaud Mariátegui’s historical materialism, critique it, or criticize him for having engaged in historicism and the building of a universal history? Your paper should reconstruct Mariátegui’s understanding of historical materialism and its usefulness for understanding the Peruvian reality before turning to what Benjamin would have to say about his work. [This question might be modified to be a conversation between Mariátegui and Césaire. How do these two theorists share a common approach to history? It might also be modified to be a conversation between Césaire and Benjamin. What would Benjamin say about Césaire’s discussion of colonialism and his understanding of history? In both cases, you want to make clear why it is interesting to place the two theorists in conversation.]

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