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Example text

A re-reading of his Introduction to the Study of Indian History always proves to be an experience, an encounter with not only so much brilliance but also such defiant assertion of rationality. One would surely notice from such reading, a further fundamental element in Kosambi, which pervades all genuinely Marxist efforts to read history: a linking of the past with the present (and future) by a basic commitment to the liberation of the oppressed and the exploited. Kosambi began his writing when India was still under the throes of colonial rule.

The fact that the Magadhan State ‘owned’ the bulk of the means of production and was engaged in a range of economic activities that augmented the productive base of the economy, may suggest that Magadha was an early instance of a situation that according to ultra-Left writers, characterized the Soviet Union at a later date. Several ultra-Left critics of the Soviet Union, including a section of the Trotskyists (though not Leon Trotsky himself) had persistently characterized the Soviet Union as a class-State where the State bureaucracy constituted a ruling class.

23. , p. 3. , pp. 3-4. , p. 2. , p. 3. , p. 3. R. D. Kosambi’, Economic and Political Weekly, July 26, 2008. The Frontiers of Dialectical Materialism 15 53 The proposition that Marxism is necessarily ‘open-ended’ while various strands of bourgeois thought, including liberalism, are necessarily not ‘open-ended’ because of their inherent constraint in refusing to recognize the possibility of the transcendence of capitalism, and hence of having to find the resolution of all problems within the bourgeois system itself is developed at length in P.

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