Third form of extraction surplus value

Higginbottom, Andrew (2009) Third form of extraction surplus value. In: Historical Materialism 2009; 27 - 29 Nov 2009, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


In Volume 1 of Capital Marx discusses three distinct ways that capital can increase surplus value, but he names only two of these as absolute surplus value and relative surplus value. The third mechanism, reducing wages below the value of labour power, Marx consigns to the sphere of competition and outside his analysis. This paper argues that (southern) wages held below the value of (northern) labour power is a structurally central characteristic of globalised, imperialist capitalism. These social relations require a re-working of Capital to incorporate systemically the additional surplus value extracted from oppressed workers, or 'super-exploitation'. While some authors have attempted analyses taking into account differential rates of exploitation (Emmanuel 1972; Carchedi 1991), much radical political economy either ignores (Choonara 2009) or denies (Callinicos 2009) the concept. This paper will explore examples working through the conceptual reunification of oppression and exploitation

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