Capital Without Wage-Labour: Marx's Modes of Subsumption Revisited
Economics and Philosophy, Forthcoming
36 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017 Last revised: 19 Nov 2017
Date Written: March 22, 2017
This paper argues that capitalist social relations do not presuppose wage-labour. It defends a functional definition of the capitalist relations of production, in terms of what Marx calls the ‘subsumption of labour by capital’. I argue that there are at least four modes of subsumption, one transitional to and one transitional from the capitalist mode of production. Unlike the capitalist mode of production, capitalist relations of production are compatible with the absence of a labour market, and even with the absence of workplace authority relations. The ambit of capitalist domination is therefore broader than sometimes thought.
Keywords: Exploitation Theory, Historical Materialism, Marxism, Value-Form Theory, Agrarian Capitalism
JEL Classification: P13, P26, P48, B14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation