Infecting capitalism with the common: The class process, communication, and surplus

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Carlone, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This paper makes two moves in considering the question of the communism of capital. First, it draws upon diverse economies scholarship to conceptualize class as the process of creating, appropriating, and distributing surplus labor. Second, the paper relies upon autonomist Marxism to conceptualize communication as an instance of the common informing immaterial labor. These two moves situate communication as an intervention into the class process, offering new avenues for the production of capitalist surplus value. In so doing, however, capital does not capture the common. Rather, communication infects capitalism with non-capitalist practices and values. To support this argument, this paper analyzes field data from a job-training program for economically dislocated workers. The analysis highlights unexpected outcomes, including varying routes to the creation of surplus value, differing notions of value, and possibilities to rethink and restructure capitalism.

Additional Information

ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 13, 527-554
Language: English
Date: 2013
diverse economies, surplus value, Autonomism, communication

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