A questionable proposition: Theorie Communiste’s bizarre theory of exploitation through the social product
As you probably have already noticed, I have been reading a lot from communization theory. After ignoring the tendency, it suddenly occurred to me that it is actually important. I have no apologies for my late turn. Sometimes I get it and other times things just go over my head. To make up for my previous error, I have been poring over a number of documents from the school.
One tendency I have noticed in the school is the stubborn avoidance of anything that smacks of Marx’s alleged ‘determinism’; which is to say the communization school is trying to argue for communization without invoking Marx’s labor theory of value. Like most Marxists today, TC seems to reject Marx’s labor theory, while trying to retain the power of his critique of the capitalist mode of production.
This approach appears to stem from the idea that Marx’s labor theory of value cannot account for the observed facts of post-war (and, in particular, post-1971) capitalism. The insistence on a non-deterministic critical approach leads to the sort of silly formulations as Theorie Communiste offers of a working class that can be “exploited through the product of their labour and not the sale of their labour-power.”
What TC is trying to account for with this bizarre formulation is the notion of Postone’s superfluous labor time. I figured I would give them some help. Hence this rather overly long post.