Journal article

The Multitude and the Many-Headed Hydra: Autonomist Marxist Theory and Labor History

Verity Burgmann

INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND WORKING-CLASS HISTORY | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2013

Abstract

The autonomist Marxist critique of determinist Marxism offers even more valuable insights for labor historians than that mounted by earlier antideterminists, such as Sartre and Thompson, who emphasized proletarian agency to counter determinist orthodoxy in which the accumulative logic of capital unilaterally shapes the world. Autonomist Marxism is more far-reaching. It places labor at the very beginning of the labor-capital dialectic: Labor can exist independently of capital, but capital needs to command labor to ensure profit; therefore, capitalist development does not occur due to internal momentum but in reaction to labor's tendency to unloose itself from capital. Linebaugh and Rediker of..

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