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Archaism and Actuality: Japan and the Global Fascist Imaginary (Theory in Forms)

Archaism and Actuality: Japan and the Global Fascist Imaginary (Theory in Forms)

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Publication Date: November 17th, 2023
Duke University Press
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In Archaism and Actuality eminent Marxist historian Harry Harootunian explores the formation of capitalism and fascism in Japan as a prime example of the uneven development of capitalism. He applies his theorization of subsumption to examine how capitalism integrates and redirects preexisting social, cultural, and economic practices to guide the present. This subsumption leads to a global condition in which states and societies all exist within different stages and manifestations of capitalism. Drawing on Japanese philosophers Miki Kiyoshi and Tosaka Jun, Marxist theory, and Gramsci's notion of passive revolution, Harootunian shows how the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and its program dedicated to transforming the country into a modern society exemplified a unique path to capitalism. Japan's capitalist expansion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rise as an imperial power, and subsequent transition to fascism signal a wholly distinct trajectory into modernity that forecloses any notion of a pure or universal development of capitalism. With Archaism and Actuality, Harootunian offers both a retheorization of capitalist development and a reinterpretation of epochal moments in modern Japanese history.

About the Author

Harry Harootunian is Max Palevsky Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Chicago and Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books, most recently, The Unspoken as Heritage: The Armenian Genocide and Its Unaccounted Lives, also published by Duke University Press.