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 think exploitation conceived of as the unequal exchange of labor should be replaced with exploitation conceived of as the distributional consequences of an unjust inequality in the distribution of productive assets and resources. Precisely when the asset distribution is unjust becomes the central question to which Marxian political philosophy should direct its attention. (p.65)


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


Roemer, Exploitation, On Marx on Exploitation

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