Value and exploitation

  • Geoff Mann Centre for Global Political Economy & Dept. of Geography Simon Fraser University
Keywords: labour, value


This paper argues for the continuing centrality of the category of value for radical critique. Via an examination of the common understanding of exploitation as a violation of the labour theory of value qua what one might call an 'ethical rule-of-thumb', I argue that the theory of value is in fact the theory of the stakes in the labour-capital antagonism. Any politically adequate theory of those stakes must overcome both the scientific pretensions and the depoliticization of capitalist social relations that underwrite 'everyday' understandings of value and exploitation.
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