Marxism and historicism in the thought of Abdullah Laroui
in Colonial exchanges
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Like many of his generation of Arab thinkers, the Moroccan historian Abdullah Laroui is often described as a defector from Marxism. This chapter presents a broad overview of Laroui's political thought that turns around the axis of historicism. It uses Laroui's early works, Contemporary Arab ideology (CAI), Arabs and Historical Thought (AHT), and The Crisis of the Arab Intellectual to elucidate his notions of traditionalism and historicism and the way they related to political action. Although acknowledging the relevance of twentieth-century critiques of historicism, humanism, and liberalism, Laroui insists that the historicist expression 'cultural retardation' is nevertheless the best way to describe the condition of Arab culture today. Laroui posits that European critiques of liberal notions of history, attractive as they may be for anti-colonial Arab intellectuals, assume liberal modernity, if in the form of a reaction to it.

Colonial exchanges

Political theory and the agency of the colonized

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