SOCIAL SCIENTIST
V.28: No. 7-8 July-August 2000 #326-327

Editorial Note, p. 1

"The Communist Manifesto and 'World Literature'," Aijaz Ahmad, p. 3

"The Role of External conomic Policy in Protecting Russia's National Interests and Finding its Way Out of the Economic Crisis," Igor P. Faminsky, p. 31

"Russia: Problems of Regional Integration in Transitional Economy," Galina V. Sdasyuk, p. 42

"Outlying Areas of Russia: Problems and Prospects," V.R. Gevorkov, A.A. Liouty, A.G. Khropov, p. 53

"Prospects of Economic Recovery after Financial Crash," Sergey Y. Glaziev, p. 62

"Outline of Economic Programme to Overcome Economic Crisis in Russia," Igor M. Bratishchev, p. 72

Review Article by Nilima M. Chitgopekar p. 9
Japanese Scholarship on India
Living with Sakti: Gengre, Sexuality and Religion in South Asia. Edited by Masakazu Tanaka and Musashi Tachikawa, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan, 1999.

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Editorial Note

Aijaz Ahmad's lead article in the current number of Social Scientist characterises The Communist Manifesto as a transitional text within the overall oeuvre of Marxism. Precisely for this reason however the Manifesto is both rich and complex, in the sense of being marked by the co-presence of ideas belonging to different levels of perception and hence open to vastly divergent interpretations. The author illustrates this complexity with reference to the famous passage in the Manifesto where Marx and Engels talk about "national one sidedness and narrow-mindedness" becoming "more and more impossible" and "a world literature" arising "from the numerous national and local literatures". Marx and Engels saw the movement towards the creation of a "world literature" not as the outcome of the activity of a group of high-minded intellectuals pursuing a desirable goal, but as a process inherent in the bourgeoisie's need for a constantly expanding market. Notwithstanding the remarkable perspicuity of the vision conveyed by the passage, however, it still remains open to divergent interpretations. On the one hand it can be seen simply as an anticipation of a process of globalisation in general and of an accompanying intensification of cultural exchanges to a point where something like a "world literature" begins to emerge; the Manifesto's anticipation, even on this interpretation, may appear to many to be in the process of getting realised. There is on the other hand however a hint of an awareness in the same passage of the hierarchical nature of the "globalisation" and of the "world literature" that it brings forth (in the reference for instance to the bourgeoisie's "compelling" all nations to adopt "what it calls civilisation"). It is this hierarchical process, Ahmad argues, that is getting realised today. For a true "world literature" to emerge the logic of the capitalist world market has to be transcended.

We also publish in the current number a set of articles by Russian scholars on the Russian economy, which were presented at a seminar

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in Calcutta some time ago. We are pleased to be able to do so for several reasons: first, it is rarely that we in India have any access to writings on the Russian economy by Russian scholars; much of our information comes from Western "advisers" to Russia, or Indian scholars on brief visits, or even the London Economist. Secondly, the scholars we are publishing are not mere analysts gathered together at random, but subscribe to a certain common economic programme for the overcoming of the crisis, and hence constitute some sort of a platform, which makes their endeavour more interesting. Thirdly, several of the problems discussed by them are instructive in the context of our own economy once it has got launched on the trajectory of financial liberalisation. The conclusion of Glaziev's paper that "it is necessary to relinquish the IMF-imposed dogmas of the 'Washington Consensus"' would no doubt strike a chord in most of our readers.

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