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How does exploitation happen?
New this weekend in CounterPunch
Here is an excerpt from my article, “The Mechanics of Exploitation,” published for CounterPunch’s Weekend Edition:
Kropotkin’s pointed reference to Karl Marx’s theory of surplus value is worthy of remark: Kropotkin followed anarchist pioneer Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in putting a fine point on the causal question—the question of exactly how it is that exploitation becomes possible. This was and is no small thing to anarchists, whose political theory posits a symbiotic and mutually dependent relationship between capital and the state. Capital accumulates—and so dominates labor—precisely due to a foundation laid by state power. And capital maintains its power and dominance through the active, coercive intervention of the state on its behalf. Kropotkin is clear that the state is the ultimate source of capital’s power and that ending capitalism must mean abolishing the state.
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