Marx after marxism: Value, critique, crisis

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The article distinguishes between two fundamental dynamics in Marx’s critique of capitalism: The humanist, cyclical, perpetually-renewed struggle between capitalists and wage labor over profits, wages, and the distribution of social wealth more generally and what I term a “posthuman” dialectic between humans and machines, unfolding as the unilinear historical dynamic of automation and the corresponding decreases it brings to the capacity of living labor to produce surplus value. The consequence of this posthuman dialectic is both the growing superfl uity of living labor relegated to a planet of slums and the actual and coming collapse of valorization as a global process (as opposed to its operation in any single unit of capital). If the former, humanist dialectic remained predominant in what Moishe Postone has termed “traditional” Leninist Marxism, the contemporary context of the “Second Machine-Age” and the expanding automation of virtually all production and services points to a collapse of valorization that philosophers such as Michel Henry and Robert Kurz identified in Marx’s conceptualization of capitalism as “the moving contradiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • History
  • Philosophy


  • Automation
  • Economic crisis
  • Value theory


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