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Red Library: A Political Education Podcast for Today's Left

Mar 17, 2019

Comrade/Professor Noah De Lissovoy joins me this week to discuss his recent article, Value and Violation: Toward a Decolonial Analytic of Capital. Get ready for a dynamite episode on engaging Marxism in a critical dialogue with postcolonial theory and ways to expand its core concepts. We talk a lot about the actual theoretical and political work required for being anti-imperialist on today's Left. Spoiler: it means we have to do all that tough-ass theorizing and reading we strongly advocate on this show.

We end on some very important ideas related to creativity and expanding our analysis of globalized capitalism and colonialism which are essential for building radical, revolutionary movements that can be effective in achieving their aims. 

Some key thinkers and ideas in the episode:

Enrique Domingo Dussel Ambrosini (born December 24, 1934) is an Argentine and Mexican academic, philosopher, historian, and theologian. He served as the interim rector of the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México from 2013 to 2014.

José Carlos Mariátegui La Chira (14 June 1894 – 16 April 1930) was a Peruvian intellectualjournalistpolitical philosopher, and communist. A prolific writer before his early death at age 36, he is considered one of the most influential Latin American socialists of the 20th century. Mariátegui's Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928) is still widely read in South America, and called "one of the broadest, deepest, and most enduring works of the Latin American century".[1] An avowed self-taught Marxist, he insisted that a socialist revolution should evolve organically in Latin America on the basis of local conditions and practices, not the result of mechanically applying a European formula.

-  Primitive accumulation is the process by which precapitalist modes of production, such as feudalism and chattel slavery, are transformed into the capitalist mode of production. Marx was not the first to consider the way in which feudal production was transformed into capitalism.

Surplus value is a central concept in Karl Marx's critique of political economy. Surplus-value is the difference between the amount raised through a sale of a product and the amount it cost to the owner of that product to manufacture it: i.e. the amount raised through sale of the product minus the cost of the materials, plant and labour power. Conventionally, value-added is equal to the sum of gross wage income and gross profit income. However, Marx uses the term Mehrwert to describe the yield, profit or return on production capital invested, i.e. the amount of the increase in the value of capital. Hence, Marx's use of Mehrwert has always been translated as "surplus value", distinguishing it from "value-added". According to Marx's theory, surplus value is equal to the new value created by workers in excess of their own labor-cost, which is appropriated by the capitalist as profit when products are sold.

- Postcolonialism or postcolonial studies is the academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands.


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