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Jairus Banaji of University of London, London with expertise in: History of History. Read 35 publications, and contact Jairus Banaji on ResearchGate, the. Visit ‘s Jairus Banaji Page and shop for all Jairus Banaji books. Check out pictures, bibliography, and biography of Jairus Banaji. subscribed to this epistemology was Jairus Banaji, who participated in the in common with Banaji: an attempt to banish the concept of unfree labour.

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The continuity is simply that of Marxist theory itself. Historical materialism as Marx understood this was an integrated conception or field of research, not one divided into disciplines. So I see my work as a unified intervention at very different levels, in rather different fields. To try and get some sense of where Indian capital was at, a colleague of mine who now runs a federation of independent unions here in India and I jointly conducted close to interviews with people across the financial and industrial sectors fund managers, auditors, company directors, analysts, etc.

So we made this the focus but the study itself and the interviews were not confined just to that, we covered a wide range of topics including the way big businesses were controlled the mechanisms used to structure promoter control of massive companies and how threatened Indian capital felt by the influx of foreign firms into the market.

Relations of production are all the relations of a given mode of production, including those that belong to the sphere of competition under capitalisma subject Marx never got around to dealing with. To conduct this demonstration Marx has to start with value, explain what money is, and then deal with the labour-process as a site for the production of value and surplus-value. Let me make a further point here. Marx inevitably identified capitalism with the modern capitalism that was rapidly developing in his day.

But pre-modern capitalism has been widespread in many parts of the world from China under the Southern Sung to large sectors of the Muslim world, cf.

Babaji is the claim being made that these forms of production drove the rest of the economy. But what we now come away with is the perception that workers have been exploited by capitalists for much longer swathes of history than we usually imagine. Capitalism is characterised by the drive to accumulate capital regardless of the specific form in which labour is dominated and surplus-labour extracted.

To the individual capitalist it makes no difference whether the worker is free or unfree, works at home or in a factory, and so on.

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Those decisions are purely economic and technical; they relate to issues like costs of production, availability of labour, and whether a certain kind of worker female, home-based is more suitable for a certain kind of production. However, from the standpoint of the total social capital the mobility of labour is obviously important because capitalists compete for workers and the market has to allow that process of competition to work efficiently.

The southern planters in the US were in any case heavily indebted to the northern financial institutions, just as Cuban slave plantations were inseparable from the Havana merchant houses and the US banks and brokers they were tied to. It ties to re-establish the balance between finance and production. This is done partly by making fictitious capital a central category of analysis.

Jairus Banaji, Seasons of Self-Delusion: Opium, Capitalism and the Financial Markets – PhilPapers

By the time we come to Volume Banxji we realise that capitalism cannot function without credit, credit is its whole basis, as Marx tells us. Once this is conceded, we have to be able to integrate it into all further analysisnot ignore it! If credit is the basis of modern jairjs economies, then the financial markets are central to accumulation and we have to be able to understand how they work.


How today can we isolate capital from the state or the state from the media or the media from capital? As soon as these interdependencies are conceded, the whole analysis becomes more complex and we need new categories to structure it. Indeed, do we even have a Marxist theory of the modern capitalist state? The two most powerful capitalist jalrus in the world today China and the US emerged through radically different histories. What is denied is any rigid succession of modes of production.

There were whole centuries in the western parts of the former Roman empire when the rural labour force comprised workers who cannot be characterised either as slaves or as serfs but who were subject to new forms of domination that retained considerable coercion. Marx said as much in his famous reply to Mikhailovsky. And what about those sectors of the Near East and the Mediterranean that fell to the Muslim armies over the middle mairus late seventh centuries and in Spain early eighth century?

Here the model for Marxist historians is offered by the way Manuel Acien Almansa rejected traditional characterisations and sought to rethink Islamic social formations in an entirely original way, influenced in part by the work of Guichard. Such is not the case and the fabric of history is much richer even from a strictly materialist standpoint that deals primarily with social and economic history. To take an obvious example, how do we characterise the momentous changes that have transformed both bxnaji Soviet and the Chinese economies in the last few decades?

This is ironic because when he goes on bnaji deal with bnaji state, he makes reproduction the central category. As I said, he is very good on the state and on state bnaji and we have a lot to learn from these parts of his work. But that characterisation, though true in some very rudimentary sense, is simply not enough.

If the state is a single or combined capitalist, the capitalist is also a state. China is particularly complex but both Russia and China have had long histories of state domination. You get a much better sense of what capitalism is like in China today, at the fag end of several decades of state mairus and repression, than from any number of texts that simply reiterate the most rudimentary commonplaces of theory.

We just do not have the categories to confront capitalism of this magnitude! In India today one can see why masses of deracinated male youth who have been completely ignored and unaddressed by the Left parties have gravitated in large numbers to the far right.

The culture that grooms them is replete with the most violent and authoritarian ideas caste, sexism, communalism and forms of behaviour and with a massive dose of sexual repression that distorts the lives of the young, both male and female. Mass domination is the basis of every fascist regime but Marxist theory has scarcely begun even to look at how this works and how it can be broken. Theory jqirus fundamental, it is indispensable, but it will not grow in a vacuum, it will only emerge and flower when a new political culture and movement jairis on the Left which gives it the conditions for its emancipation from scholasticism, academic layering, dogmatic impoverishment, etc.

And a Left that does not take ideas seriously, does not steep itself in theory and broaden its conception of theory will likewise not be able to generate that kind of culture and revolutionary movement.


The precondition jairu its own growth as a major political force in the world today lies in the banajk of new working classes or new layers of the working class that recover some sense of their own collective initiative and power and of what it means to be a class that can aspire to shape society. jajrus

Capital has done its best to thwart the emergence of these conditions, having learnt quickly from the challenges of the post-war period jairks to the late sixties that the Malthusianism that Sartre decried in the case of France and the French bourgeoisie was in fact their best option even if it meant breaking up welfare states, repudiating social contracts, and atomising production to scales and degrees of dispersion where economies of scale were being given up.

The working class Marx envisaged in Capital exists, alas, in a much less powerful and concentrated form today. The optimism that runs through the whole of the Communist Manifesto is one where there is no room for this power of capital to intervene to shape production actively in its own interests to make sure it no longer confronts masses of workers concentrated in single sites of production.

So if production remains central to the strategies of the Left, this is where we have to start. How will be the mass of the unemployed become part of an organised movement? And how can a real solidarity be constructed when the mass of wage-earners are so deeply fragmented and divided?

Towards a New Marxist Historiography. Should one consider this various interests as different interventions within heterogeneous fields of research or is there a continuity and systematicity to be found in your work? Could you elaborate on this distinction and explain why the inability to distinguish between these concepts dooms Historical Materialism to formalism? What does Sartre bring to a demystifying critique of wage-labor that, say, Marx’s critique of fetischism or Lukacs’ critique of reification don’t?

In chapter 4, you indeed argue that wage labor was actually a widespread form of exploitation of labor in Ancient Rome and gave rise jaieus specifically wage laborers demands and organization. What would according to you characterize the capitalist mode of production, then? You recently focused on analyzing the financialization of capitalism. For this, you banani looked at two distinctive theoretical sources: What are the pros and novelty of these two approaches to analyze that contemporary phenomenon?

Stressing as you do the variety of forms of exploitation and relations of production that capitalism can subsume and denying any historical validity to the classical model of the succession of modes of production primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialismhow does jaiirus theorize ruptures and qualitative leaps in history? And what strategic conclusions can one draw from this multilinearization of Historical Materialism?

If you take into account a diversity of transition paths, what differentiates your approach from an Althusserian notion of “articulation jairjs modes of productions” a notion that you seem to reject? And indeed, what about the Soviet Union and China, what kind of societies were they?

Jairus Banaji

Is the notion of State capitalism relevant in that case? What is the contribution of Western Marxism Marcuse, Reich, Sartre to the contemporary challenge of fascism? What is the strategic role of theory today on the Left in India and perhaps elsewhere in Europe?