Raju Das


February 21, 2018, 7:30-9:30pm, Centre for Social Innovation (Annex)


I begin my presentation with a critical overview of the ways in which certain Marxist writers theorize class as well as capitalism. I deploy dialectical philosophy, and especially the form-content analysis, to present an alternative framework for understanding capitalism, a framework that emphasizes the relation between capital and labour at the point of production. In doing so, I build on Marx’s often-neglected and often-misunderstood discussion in Capital Volume 1 on hybrid, formal and real subsumptions of labor as forms of the capitalist class relation. The transition from formal to real subsumption with associated technological change is not automatic, but mediated by class conflict, which occurs in the context of a whole host of geographically-specific factors, including state interventions, spatial fixes and imperialism. There are several political implications of theorizing capitalism as a class relation, and some of these will be discussed with regard to contemporary class struggles against capitalism and imperialism.

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Raju Das is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at York University. His research includes radical political economy, international development, state-society relations, and theories of class and class struggles. He is on the editorial board of Science & Society and is also a member of its manuscript collective. As well, he is a member of the editorial board of Professional Geographer, Class, Race and Corporate Power, and Dialectical Anthropology. Das’s recently published book is Marxist Class Theory for a Skeptical World.


Chapter 8 – Subsumptions of Capital by Labour