Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory

Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory

In this ambitious book, Moishe Postone undertakes a fundamental reinterpretation of Marx's mature critical theory.

These interpretations lead him to a very different analysis of the nature and problems of capitalism and provide the basis for a critique of "actually existing socialism." According to this new interpretation, Marx identifies the central core of the capitalist system with an impersonal form of social domination generated by labor itself and not simply with market mechanisms and private property.

It provides the foundation for a critical social theory that is more adequate to late twentieth-century capitalism.

Reviews of the Time, Labor, and Social Domination: A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory

other merits - useful discussion of most of the Frankfurt School ppl and other western marxists, such as adorno and horkheimer, who aren't often read as value-theory people but should be. - not sure why Habermas is even worth critiquing - Pollock is interesting but also not someone that anyone but Frankfurt School fanboys engage with (his theory of state capitalism which merits quite a bit of discussion here is relegated to a couple pages in most surveys of Marxist theories of the USSR). this is an insight worth engaging with--it situates the core of Marx's theory of capitalism not on the level of property relations but on value itself and the dynamic it generates--but Postone basically fails to integrate that with any consideration of the fact that capital and money did not exist in the USSR. in the end, though, a really influential work that's worth reading, especially because it also represents a key link to the Frankfurt School's work on social theory that doesn't rely on bad translations (Postone studied with Iring Fetscher).

this is: -an attempt at a "new" marxism based exclusively on an interpretation of marx's "grundrisse" -a critical review of the history of western commentaries on marx -a justification for the former in light of/in response to the latter, also in light of/in response to the broad historical trends of the 20th c thing is, postone isn't particularly comprehensive w either of those first two points. i should perhaps get out of the way what i liked first--what saved this from a 2/5 rating postone's articulation of marx's theoretical constructs in the grundrisse is relatively insightful, but his further explanation of how this makes marx's critique truly comparative-historical, not trans-historical, is brilliant; he effectively saves marx's foundational theory from his dreadfully unsuccessful historical forecasting (as seen in capital, the manifesto, and elsewhere) the way postone uses marx's underlying concepts to examine 20th c changes in production technology is surprising and dazzling, a magisterial demonstration of the theoretico-historical force of postone's reinterpretation of marx his most central re-conceptualization revolves around "labour," and he elegantly uses this single concept to tear-down the analyses of the entire frankfurt school of critical theory, the marxism of the second internationale, and the entire leninist tradition while these critiques and his handful of conceptual reworkings r deep and enlightening, they in no way justify the length, unnecessary complexity, and deliberate obscurantism of the text; there are a host of issues tho w postone's overambitious attempt to extend the significance and reach of his arguments postone's critique of fin de siecle comparative-historical analysts like max weber or georg simmel is hypocritical and ill-founded; he makes some unreasonable assertions (tho common misconceptions) abt weber's argumentation: that his theory of rationalization is linear, evolutionary, deterministic, or that he has no concept of the interplay of different 'social spheres' (has postone literally not heard of elective affinity??). furthermore i cannot take seriously any writer who claims to b a comparative-historical analyst, criticizes the work of other actual comparative-historical analysts, all while refusing to engage in any history or comparison. postone seems to completely ignore this when he claims marx's thought was "actually" determined by relative historical moments. postone claims he is addressing "all" of the notable critiques of marx, that such critiques have all misunderstood marx's deeper theory, and that a reinterpretation of the grundrisse will bring to the fore much-needed theoretical apparatus for critical comparative-historical analysis.

For me it clarified capital's distinctiveness as a system that produces abstract labor.

Seine Studie wirft dabei das Hauptaugenmerk auf die Strukturierung des Produktionsprozesses und zeigt Arbeit im Kapitalismus nicht als Objekt von Herrschaft sondern als konstituierende Quelle von Herrschaft im Kapitalismus. Kapital ist nicht Privateigentum, sondern eine Organisationsform der Arbeit zum Zwecke der Steigerung ihrer Produktivkraft. Bei einer einfachen Kooperation wär der kapitalistische Charakter dem Produktionsprozess äußerlich und die Abschaffung des Kapitalismus könnte noch als Aufhebung des Privateigentums gedacht werden. Die auf Planung beruhende Werkstatt ist kein nicht-kapitalistischer Aspekt der modernen Gesellschaft, den man positiv der "Anarchie der Märkte" entgegensetzen müsste. Marx kritisiert Distribution und geplante Produktionsstruktur: Eine Ausweitung der Planung auf die Gesellschaft entspräche der vollständigen Unterordnung des Arbeiters unters Kapital. Die Abschaffung der Kapitalistenklasse (Realsozialismus) ist keine Aufhebung des Kapitals; diese würde eine Aufhebung der Wertform des Mehrprodukts und des Arbeitsprozesses, wie er durch das Kapital geformt wurde, erfordern. Postone: Als Prozess der Schaffung stofflichen Reichtums hört Industrieproduktion auf, notwendigerweise von unmittelbarer menschlicher Arbeit abhängig zu sein, d.h., hier öffnen sich Spielräume für "wahren" Reichtum: den Konsum von Gebrauchswerten, befriedigendere Tätigkeiten und überhaupt "disposable time". Ansonsten wird mit Postone auf gutem Niveau deutlich, was Ware, Wert, Arbeit, Reichtum, Zeit, Klasse, Kapital und Kapitalismus ist, was diese Kategorien gesell. Er zeigt, warum im Kapitalismus auf tiefer systemischer Ebene nicht für den Konsum produziert wird, sondern irrerweise Produktion um der Produktion willen herrscht.

Moishe Postone, son of a Canadian Rabbi, received his Ph.D. from University of Frankfurt in 1983.

  • English

  • Economics

  • Rating: 4.31
  • Pages: 440
  • Publish Date: December 22nd 2005 by Cambridge University Press
  • Isbn10: 0521565405
  • Isbn13: 9780521565400