Māori Mārx

Some Provisional Materials


  • Simon Barber




Māori, Marx, indigenous theory, settler colonial studies, historical materialism


This article gathers together some provisional materials for the construction of a Māori Mārx. I begin by following Marx’s thought as he continually complexifies his understanding of the determinants of history in his search for the proper starting place for a materialist dialectics. I leave historical Marx at the close of his life, occupied with the passionate study of Indigenous modes of life. Returning his gaze, I read Marx from an Indigenous perspective, sketching some of the lineaments of a Māori Mārx for whom whakapapa is the central concept. From this perspective, I describe an Indigenous, comparative, and historical materialism, termed ‘geometry of life’, that seeks the consistency between modes of life and the modes of thinking that emanate within them. I close by suggesting that we must conceive of ourselves as part of the ensemble powers of a proletarian Papatūānuku if we are to conserve the earth and abolish capital.


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