For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Should Marxists be Interested in Exploitation?"

by Roemer, John E (1985)


The capitalist mode of production... rests on the fact that the material conditions of production are in the hands of non-workers in the form of property in capital and land, while the masses are only owners of the personal conditions of production, of labour power. If the elements of production are so distributed, then the presentday distribution of the means of consumption results automatically.

Key Passage

I have now argued there is no logically compelling reason to be interested in exploitation theory. This claim is not so destructive as might appear to the Marxian enterprise, however, for I think the reasons Marxists have been interested in exploitation theory are important and, to a large extent, distinguish Marxism from other kinds of social science: it is just that these reasons do not justify an interest in exploitation theory which is an unnecessary detour to the other concerns. (p.62)


Marx, Marxism, Critical Theory, Labour Power, Production, Consumption


Roemer, Exploitation, On Marx on Exploitation

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