Rethinking the surplus
in The capitalist mode of destruction
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Using Karl Marx’s analysis as its starting point, this chapter argues for the need to define the surplus in an inclusive way that takes into account the wealth and surplus production taking place not just in the capitalist workplace but also in the household and public sectors of the economy. Such a rethinking allows a fuller understanding of the interconnections between these different economic sectors and of the ways the capitalist economic system creates divisions within the producers’ ranks. In particular, a brief overview of some of the dynamics of neoliberal restructuring and austerity shows that labor market competition is not the only structural feature of the capitalist economic system that keeps producers divided. To understand the dynamics that keep producers divided, one has to pay at least as much attention to another structural feature of contemporary capitalist economies: the existence within them of distinct sites of wealth and surplus production.

The capitalist mode of destruction

Austerity, ecological crisis and the hollowing out of democracy


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