The Micropolitics of Class and Class Consciousness: A Reading of Akhtaruzzaman Elias’ Khoabnama
S A M Raihanur Rahman
Abstract: In classical Marxism, the logic of class struggle is located in the antagonism between two major classes of the capitalist system. However, the “agrarian question,” and uneven development of capitalism across the globe – along with colonial and postcolonial realities – have problematized the bipolar idea of class and revolutionary politics. Bangladeshi writer Akhtaruzzaman Elias’ fictions embody the contradictions arising from the disparity between the structural dimension of class and its articulation in emancipatory movements. This paper, focusing its investigation on Elias’ magnum opus Khoabnama, explores the micropolitical and dynamic dimensions of class by addressing Elias’ depiction of the inner contradictions of subjective experiences and internal dialectics of class struggle. The micrological divisions within a class and the implications associated with such divisions are outlined here. Besides, the paper also offers an organic understanding of class consciousness which develops from the subjective experience of exploitation and resistance and the negotiation with the immanent potential of social transformation.
Keywords: Class, Class Consciousness, Micropolitics, Contradictions, Overdetermination
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Published in September 2020