Marx, Foucault, Neo-Zapatismo
Chapter Two: Marx’s Teaching(s): Social Power(s), Human Power(s)
Social power, which is to say, the force of multiplied production, which arises by dint of cooperation among different individuals through the division of labor, appears to these individuals, whose cooperation is not voluntary but natural, not as an associated power of their own, but as a foreign power, located at their margins; knowing neither where it comes from nor where it is going, they can no longer dominate it. Rather, on the contrary, it progresses through a series of phases and stages of development, particular to and independent of the will and acts of men, and it even directs that will and those acts.
Karl Marx, The German Ideology, 1846
To properly locate the role and magnitude of Marx’s theorization of power in general and political power in particular (the latter known in recent decades as the ←27 | 28→“Marxist theory of politics” or “Marxist political theory”) within the vast corpus of his intellectual legacy, we must remember that his theorization of power and political power is contained within Marx’s own materialist conception of history. It is also contained within his ambitious and unfortunately unfinished global project: not only a “critique of political economics,” but also, and beyond it, a true global critique of capitalist civilization as such.
This double vector explains both the historical density of and the heights attained by his theory in a specific and problematic field: the field of power and political power. Likewise, it explains his incisive contextualization...
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