In this article, I want to explore some complexities of a politics grounded on social reproduction. Among the many possible objectives of the commons, the most important for the purpose of thinking through a process of trans-formative social change are those that aim at reclaiming the conditions of social reproduction and subject these to new value practices. A politics based on social reproduction would imply the progressive subtraction of social and natural wealth and labor time from the control of capital, and their (re)production and circulation in the processes of the commons. The complexity of this progressive subtraction must of course be pointed out, because the power of capital is founded on a complex assemblage of social relations, resources, discourses and narratives, rights, state policies, and, ultimately, the institutionalized monopoly of violence that aims at protecting and increasing this power. For this reason, any viable strategy of postcapitalist transformation must rely on the disarticulation of these assemblages while at the same time reproducing bodies and ecosystems. Hence the focus on social reproduction.
Social Reproduction and the Transformation at the Edge of Chaos
Massimo De Angelis is a professor of political economy and social change at the University of East London, and founder and editor of the web journal The Commoner (www.thecommoner.org). His previous books include The Beginning of History (2007) and Omnia Sunt Communia: On the Commons and the Transformation to Postcapitalism (2017).
Massimo De Angelis; Social Reproduction and the Transformation at the Edge of Chaos. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2019; 118 (4): 747–766. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7825588
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