134. The Marx Brothers: Cedric J. Robinson

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Cedric J. Robinson reflects on the power and limitations of Marxism while charting the past and prospects of black radical thought.



Further Reading

• H.L.T. Quan (ed.), Cedric J. Robinson on Racial Capitalism, Black Internationalism, and Cultures of Reistance (London: 2019).

• C.J. Robinson, The Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership (London: 1980, reprint Chapel Hill: 2016).

• C.J. Robinson, Black Marxism: the Making of The Black Radical Tradition (London: 1983, reprint Chapel Hill: 2000).

• J. Loggins, “Amid the Uprisings: Cedric Robinson’s Theory of Collective Resistance,” The Nation (May 2022).

• J. Myers, Cedric Robinson: the Time of the Black Radical Tradition (Cambridge: 2021).

• K. Okoth, “Resistance from Elsewhere,” London Review of Books 44.7 (April 2022).

• C. West, “Black Radicalism and the Marxist Tradition” [Review of Black Marxism], Monthly Review (Sept. 1988), 51-6.


Marx himself on 10 November 2023

It is a little awkward that…

It is a little awkward that Marx is discussed before he even has his own episode(s). Nor do you discuss Aristotle before Plato in a history of philosophy.

In reply to by Marx himself

Peter Adamson on 10 November 2023


Yes true, that has obviously come up a lot with the Africana series. It happened when I talked about things like later Islamic and post-Byzantine Greek philosophy, too, like I was referring in those episodes to existentialism and positivism, etc. Soon it will happen increasingly in the "main" series too because I am going to do France/Netherlands, then Britian/Early US, and Germany as separate series for the 17th-18th centuries so I will have to e.g. refer to Leibniz before dealing with him properly. I think this would happen however I organized things actually, there is no way around it because philosophy is simply not one neat chronological story, rather it has always been happening in many places at the same time. My aim is just to try to explain enough that you can follow without presupposing too much knowledge of (in this case) Marx and Marxism, which hopefully worked ok.

In reply to by Peter Adamson

Marx himself on 10 November 2023

Yes, your work is very good…

Yes, your work is very good. I think that you made a very interesting comment.

dukeofethereal on 14 November 2023

Afrocentricity and Afrocentrism

On your old tentative list of episodes of Africana, it was listed you guys would be covering Afrocentricity and Afrocentrism, do you happen to know when that will be ? 




Can we get to know how many scripted and interview episodes they are left since this episode of Cedric Robinson for example was not listed in that tentative script (so I'm interested what other topics you guys have in mind today for an episode that you did not went you made that tentative list).



In reply to by dukeofethereal

Peter Adamson on 14 November 2023

Upcoming on Africana

Yes, Afrocentricity got bumped mostly for practical reasons: it will be episode 136, after this coming Sunday's episode 135 on Silvia Wynter. And then the remaining episodes will be on Critical Race Theory, Cornel West, and Recent Professional Philosophy. That's all the scripted episodes that remain, there will be a couple of interviews in there: hopefully one with Prof West and a final chat with Chike to round things off.


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Cedric Robinson