Marxism and Multiculturalism.
Most current debate on multiculturalism revolves around fundamental conflicts within liberalism. The liberal hegemony has meant that the intense and detailed debates that accompanied the evolution of Marxist social democracy have been relegated to the historical margins. There is an irony here as multicultural theory itself originally grew out of developments within Marxism – developments that began as criticisms of emphasis but ended up rejecting fundamental Marxist principles. The Marxist debate starts from a very different perspective. Its focus is not the individual, but society as a whole. The contention of this paper is that a reexamination of these debates and of their historical interpretations can throw a new light on issues today. An evolutionary history of the ideas will be accompanied by an examination of how they were enacted in a geographical context that is continuing to make multicultural history: London’s East End.