Bringing Capitalism Back for Critique by Social Theory: Volume 21

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Table of contents

(11 chapters)

No Marxist has written more about “accumulation of capital” theoretically than Rosa Luxemburg and the problems she analyzed have been almost always swept under the bed. With two major issues at stake, criticism of Marx's Capital within Marxism and the character of the dynamics of capitalism, the paper first reviews her 450-page The Accumulation of Capital. It then analyzes her post-humous critics, including Bukharin and Grossmann, council communists represented by Pannekoek and Mattick, ‘independent’ Marxists including Sweezy and Rosdolsky among others, and the Hegelian Marxist Dunayevskaya. The paper finds Luxemburg's work very important and is appreciative of Joan Robinson's reading of it.

We have entered a new moment of negotiation over gender, class and women's relationship to work at home and for pay that will shape policy formation in coming decades. I argue that underlying such debate is a profound transformation of women's labor. Focusing on the United States, I outline the recent breakdown of the gender division of labor among women of all backgrounds which has accompanied women's turn to paid work in the post-World War II years, and its consequences for both the market economy and the realization of new social policy. Women's move from household to wage work, like men's shift off the land, is opening struggles to replace lost arrangements for care, while also providing new legitimation and leverage for such rights. However, uneven breakdown of the gender division of labor, accentuating differences of race/ethnicity and class, threatens to derail such efforts. This perspective furthers development of a dynamic historical dimension in gender and social policy formation.

In recent years there has been a veritable explosion in Fanonian studies and this would be a welcome development given the scope and depth of Fanon's insights. Unfortunately, Fanon's work itself has been “post-alized” in recent years especially in the Western literary academy. This exploration of Fanon's work has, for the most part, been in the form of “textual” analyses which tend to obfuscate the radical humanistic underpinnings of Fanon's writings. Many postcolonial and postmodern discourses which have appropriated Fanon to buttress their valorization of “difference” and “identity politics” in an era hostile to universalism and humanism have, in effect, excised the critical, normative, and revolutionary humanist vision which informs Fanon's oeuvre. As such, these renderings have robbed Fanon's work of the critical insights and interpretive frameworks that it offers in confronting some of the pressing issues of our day: questions of identity politics, difference, class, agency, political struggle, etc. The intent of this paper is to argue that Fanon offers a dialetical framework for discerning relationships of identity as ideological constructions which mediate between structurally located hegemonic blocs and the conciousness of empirical subjects, and, which clearly situates identity and difference within broader networks of domination and exploitation by navigating a course between the Structure/ agency; humanism/anti-humanism binaries that have dominated contemporary social thought.

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Book series
Current Perspectives in Social Theory
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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