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Chapter Summary

This chapter draws attention to five problem-areas that stand in the way of conceptualising the findings of global labour history in terms of a Marxist critique of political economy. These are the subaltern and subordinate position of the working class within the analysis of the capitalist dynamic; the tendency toward a 'scientific' objectification and determination of class-contradictions that gives priority to the capital-relation; the privileged and exclusive position of the 'doubly-free wage-worker' within the global class of workers; methodological nationalism; the almost consistently Eurocentric perspective. The chapter formulates a positive interpretation of the findings of the preceding eighteen contributions to the themes of 'labour-history' and the 'concept of labour'. Following the demonetarisation of gold, Italian workerists engaged in a lively debate on money and class-composition. The chapter also considers the first cornerstone of a dynamic critique of the political economy of labour to consist in the use-value of living labour-capacity.

Keywords: class-composition; doubly-free wage-worker; global labour-history; Italian workerists; Marx; methodological nationalism; political economy



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