Sunday, 13 July 2008
Capital, subsumption and the history of the class relation - Nick
The central question with which we are confronted is that of how to understand the specificity of the present moment in the history of the capital–labour relation. It seems evident that on some fundamental level, the capital–labour relation today is different from previous times; yet at the same time whatever novelty there is here, it also seems clear that capital remains capital, and that its Marxian critique still holds. This world is still one oriented primarily around the accumulation of surplus-value, dependent upon wage labour, and in which personal reproduction is first and foremost something to be won through the sale of labour-power. The systematic critique which Marx developed in Capital, and its later development through value-form theory and systematic dialectic are essential in understanding our present situation yet – in themselves – considered only as the systematic characterisation of the core logical structure of capitalist social relations, these theories cannot tell us much about the historical development of these relations.