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200 years of Marx: Capitalism in Decline

Wim Dierckxsens y Andrés Piqueras Eds. :: 22.02.19

Two hundred years after the birth of Marx, in this book, to be published soon, we address the contradictions and economic and political implications of the rationality of the capitalist mode at this time in history, which is increasingly inadequate in terms of social relations, since it can no longer accommodate a growing workforce, , in terms of relations with nature since it can no longer guarantee its reproduction, and in terms of the crises, which are structural in character and of increasing dimensions, that it unleashes within itself. This forces us to define the concepts of productive and unproductive labor from two possible angles: that of the dominant social form or capitalist relationship and that of its content. Productive labor specific to the capitalist mode of production is work that produces surplus value. For Marx, the concept of productive labor for capital, that is, productive work from the perspective of its form, is a historically specific concept. Capitalist relations require productive labor for capital to be distinguished from productive work in general. This is a subject that Marx addresses in the unpublished ‘Chapter VI’ of Capital and which belongs in its logic to the first volume, in which he carries out his analysis without making a distinction between the angle of individual capital and that of capital in its totality.

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