How Exploiters Dominate

Forthcoming, Review of Social Economy

33 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by Nicholas Vrousalis

Nicholas Vrousalis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

Date Written: June 2019


This paper argues that exploitation is a form of domination, domination for self-enrichment. In a slogan, exploitation is a dividend of servitude – a benefit the powerful extract by converting the vulnerable into their servants. The paper argues that what makes exploitation wrong is that it constitutes domination-induced unilateral service to others; that this form of servitude is necessarily cashed out in terms of labour time or effort; that competing accounts of exploitation fail to do justice to the servitude dimension; and that what distinguishes capitalism historically is the way it reproduces a structural dilemma between dominated work and no work.

Keywords: egalitarianism, exploitation, domination, Marxism

JEL Classification: B14, B51, P14

Suggested Citation

Vrousalis, Nicholas, How Exploiters Dominate (June 2019). Forthcoming, Review of Social Economy, Available at SSRN:

Nicholas Vrousalis (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

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