In 1848, when the Manifesto was published, the West was the centre of the world and the world revolution, and the East figured in the document – as in many other pronouncements of the founders of marxism – as a mere remnant of the past. I have already quoted some of the relevant passages above. Not only are they steeped in Orientalist common sense, they are also fully in line with the metaphor of darkness and light that is the central organizing principle of the Enlightenment. I have however, quoted these passages not to say that Marx was an Orientalist or racist. The point is precisely the reverse: Even for a revolutionary like Marx, it was not possible to apprehend these forms/formations by stepping outside the discursive horizon of his times. What were different societies, different cultural configurations located outside the physical space of the Enlightenment, became transformed and constituted as temporally prior – as relics of the past whose dissolution had to be welcomed as they represented backwardness. The East was backward because of its superstitious beliefs in religion, magic, sorcery and the like; never mind if mathematics, print technology and gun powder – the three major powers of modernity and colonialism were discovered/ invented in the East. It had to wait for the West to civilize it, to bring it to light.

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