autonomist marxism

sj at sj at
Tue Dec 27 01:25:31 MST 1994

>From rwolff at Tue Dec 27 08:16:10 1994
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<sj at>; Tue, 27 Dec 1994 08:16:08 +1100
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 1994 16:15:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolff <rwolff at>
Subject: Re: autonomist marxism

	What several of us here found striking in your recent
communication concerned your notice - but not any follow-up discussion
about - the issues entwined in the separation, for analytical/political
purposes, of exploitation and oppression/domination. This is a crucial
issue lurking just below (and often directly at) the surface of a whole
host of debates on the left in the US (as elsewhere).
	It is an important separation - above all for its returning to
the forefront of discussion the relationship between exploitation (seen
as the appropriation of surplus labor or its fruits by persons other than
those engaged in such labor) and other social relations such as
political, cultural and other forms of domination/oppression. It is a
major step to stop reducing exploitation to a mere form of domination or
vice versa - precisely the either/or debating stances of most of the 20th
century on the left. Now the trick is to grasp how various kinds of
exploitation (capitalist and other) condition and are conditioned by
various kinds of oppression (gender, ethnic, etc.) in varying social
contexts. One result of this kind of approach - where a central linking
concept is "overdetermination" a la Althusser and others - is precisely
the discursive exploration of possible coalitions of individuals sharing
an agenda on which both anti-expoloitation and anti-oppression items
appear as necessary.....a point also touched upon but not developed by
sj's intervention.

Rick Wolff


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