It must initially appear improbable that disciplinary fields constituted around critiques of capitalism and colonialism have given a meagre reception to liberation theory. I will return to a tendency amongst postcolonial critics to disown liberation discourses and practices, and indeed all forms of anti-colonialist rhetoric and organization.1 But first I want to consider why so few of the major Marxist meta-theorists in Europe undertook to examine the roads taken by Marxism on colonial terrains. Even if we allow that analyses inspired by Leninist strategies for class and anti-imperialist struggles diverged from the epistemological and aesthetic concerns of Marxisms in the advanced capitalist countries, this indifference takes its place within the wider and long-standing exclusion of non-western knowledge from the canons compiled by metropolitan scholars.2 Nor is the propensity amongst European scholars to overlook or underestimate unfamiliar modes of thought, especially when these come out of Africa, limited to the mainstream. In a wide-ranging and provocative essay Göran Therborn acknowledges that Marxism became ‘the main intellectual culture of two major movements of the dialectics of modernity: the labour movement and the anti-colonial movement’.3 Yet when considering ‘Marxism in the New Worlds’, he underestimates the creativity and innovations of Latin American and Asian Marxisms, makes remarkably flimsy allusions to its Chinese form, and joins a larger constituency in rejecting Africa as a player in the discourses of Marxism and modernity. Thus while singling out Fanon, a francophone Martinican, for capturing the violent traumata of modernity in the colonial zone, he goes on to assert that most important Marxist intellectuals of Africa tend to be non-black: ‘Black African culture very different from the Marxist dialectic of modernity, has not (yet) been able to sustain any significant Marxist intelligentsia’ (p. 78).