In the face of the overarching structural social transformations of recent decades, which were rendered manifest by the crash of 2008 and its aftermath, there has been a resurgence of critical approaches to capitalism. Nevertheless, it is not always evident how “capitalism” is understood and how that understanding helps illuminate the contemporary global crisis. This paper suggests that a fundamental, post-Marxist reinterpretation of Marx’s Capital
as a theory of an abstract and temporal form of domination, historically unique to capitalist modernity, could help illuminate the contemporary dual crisis of environmental degradation and the hollowing out of working society. As such, it might be able to contribute to the process of rethinking transformative politics today.
Moishe Postone is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Modern History and the College, as well as the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. Furthermore, he is co-director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory. From September 2017 to June 2018 he is a Visiting Fellow at the IWM.