Class, Surplus, and the Division of Labour: A Post-Marxian by Michal Polák (auth.)

By Michal Polák (auth.)

The conventional Marxian photo of a two-class polarisation turns out a ways faraway from trendy various society. Re-examining the very foundations of the Marxian idea within the strategy, the writer argues that very important opinions can fruitfully be understood and to complete the target, he extends the normal recommendations in cutting edge and unique ways.

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Extra info for Class, Surplus, and the Division of Labour: A Post-Marxian Exploration

Sample text

This is what Wright refers to as the differentiation of the functions of capital, and in his initial discussion (Wright 1978) this is still conceived in essentially Poulantzanian terms, discussing both the gradual differentiation of economic ownership and possession, as well as the partial dissociation between legal and economic ownership. It is clear that regardless of whether the functional differentiation of capital is conceived with the help of these particular distinctions or whether a more fine-grained analysis is employed, the upshot is that structural positions are identified on the basis of the kind of activity routinely attached to them.

We can interpret this, roughly, as saying that just as the division of labour means an increasing differentiation in activities undertaken by different individuals, so the development of private property means an increasing differentiation in the distribution of products of these activities. However, although the insight may be valuable, it is clearly not enough to sustain my interpretation. Instead, in sharp contrast to Poulantzas and several other theorists, I would like to argue that in a sense, there is no ownership other than legal ownership.

If the serfs withdrew with their per capita share of labour-power, they would be better off. Capitalist exploitation, in contrast, is caused in the familiar way by the differential ownership of the material means of production, and need not concern us here. Organisation exploitation, the way Wright understands it, is an attempt to capture the class position of the managerial strata using the Roemerian concept. Wright argues that aside from labour-power, the material means of production, and skills, there is a factor of production which he terms ‘organisation’.

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