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I read some Marx (and I liked it)

The Shadow Chancellor made a blushing confession on the Marr Show—but his politics are not radical enough

By Richard Seymour  

John McDonnell speaks at a May Day rally in Trafalgar Square © Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

On The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, the host asked Shadow chancellor John McDonnell if he is a Marxist. Obligingly, he said “no”—but admitted that he had read Marx and learned from him alongside traditional Labour economists like R H Tawney and G D H Cole. Jeremy Corbyn has since leapt to his colleague’s aid, describing Marx as a “great economist.”

In philistine, managerial British politics, McDonnell’s comments felt like a blushing confession: “I read…

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