Acceptance Speech for World Marxian Economics Award (I)

By Amin, Samir | World Review of Political Economy, Winter 2016 | Go to article overview

Acceptance Speech for World Marxian Economics Award (I)


Amin, Samir, World Review of Political Economy


June 17, 2016

Mr. President, Dear friends of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE), Dear participants,

Allow me first to congratulate the winners of the Award as well as the winners of the Prize. It is a big honour for all of us. It is indeed for me a great honour to open this session with my speech.

Our association does a good work. It considers in the best scientific tradition all the major challenges which the working classes and the oppressed peoples are facing in our contemporary world, that of late capitalism and aggressive imperialism. It does it in a way which promotes the spirit of all peoples' internationalism. Today more than ever such a spirit is needed.

I consider myself as a Marxist rather than a Marxian, even if the qualification of Marxian has become widespread, particularly in the last decades. Marxian sounds to me as the name of an academic school of thought, along with others, all of which claim to understand the world, its economy and its politics. Marxism is far more than that. It claims simultaneously to understand the world, our capitalist global world at each stage of its deployment, and provides the tools which make it possible for the working classes and the oppressed peoples, i.e., the victims of that system, to change it. Marxism does not separate theory from practice; Marxist praxis associates both. Marxists try to understand the world through the processes of action to change it. You do not understand first through a process of academic research developed in isolation and then after eventually try to modify reality by making use of the theory. No. Marxist praxis is a process which involves simultaneously theory and practice, mobilising all ordinary people, the working classes and the oppressed nations. While you progress in your struggles, you understand better the reality that you are fighting against. The common enemy of working classes and oppressed peoples is capitalism. The final target of their struggles is to replace capitalism by communism; communism being understood as a higher stage of human universal civilisation; not as "capitalism without capitalists," i.e., not simply a new mode of production more efficient and less unjust for the majorities.

That is my understanding of being Marxist. That is my understanding of what is our "political economy"; not a new and better "economics," but the historical materialist understanding of modern world, which is a capitalist world; an understanding of the challenges and the identification of the best tools to conduct the struggles for communism. Those thoughts and strategies for action associated to them, i.e., "political economy," need to be constantly developed and reformulated in accordance with the evolution of capitalism.

The road to communism is a long road, a very long road. Victorious struggles permit achieving revolutionary advances-I say revolutionary advances and not "the revolution" that would permit an immediate and fast transition to communism. Revolutionary advances create the conditions favourable to eventual further revolutionary advances. Those successive advances-let us call them socialist steps ahead-are necessarily unequal from a country to another. …

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