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Moishe Postone Time Labor and Social Domination

Moishe Postone Time Labor and Social Domination

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Published by Erna Von Der Walde

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Published by: Erna Von Der Walde on Aug 26, 2013
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08/26/2013

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Moishe Postone undertakes a fundamental reinterpretation of Karl Marx's mature criticaltheory. He calls into question many of the presuppositions of traditional Marxist analysesand offers new interpretations of Marx's central arguments. He does so by developingconcepts aimed at grasping the essential character and historical development of modernsociety, and also at overcoming the familiar dichotomies of structure and action, meaningand material life.These concepts lead him to an original analysis of the nature and problems of capi-talism and provide the basis for a critique of "actually existing socialism." Accordingto this new interpretation, Marx identifies the core of the capitalist system with an im-personal form of social domination generated by labor itself and not simply with marketmechanisms and private property. Proletarian labor and the industrial production processare characterized as expressions of domination rather than as means of human emanci-pation. This reinterpretation entails a critical analysis of the historically dynamic characterof modern social life. It relates the form of economic growth and the structure of sociallabor in modern society to the alienation and domination at the heart of capitalism. Thisreformulation, Postone argues, provides the foundation for a critical social theory that ismore adequate to late twentieth-century capitalism.
 
Time,
labor, and social domination

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