Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Marxist approach to rights

Prabhat Patnaik's article in the latest EPW on how the Left must adopt a "rights-based approach" to development makes for enjoyable reading. Patnaik has long been the key economic thinker for the CPI(M), so he speaks for more than himself. In painting "rights" red, Patnaik must perform a two card trick. The first card is to dissociate rights from it bourgeouis origins. The second card is to place it within the Marxist canon; this despite Marx's own contempt for human rights as giving workers the unfettered "right" to sell their property to a grasping economic structure. For legal thinkers hungry for a Left economist trespassing into their domain, bon appetit!
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