The Constitution of Non-Monetary Surplus Values

Dies ist ein Gastbeitrag von Gunther Teubner. Er ist Teil des Symposiums „Constitutions of Value“ (Projekt 03) und wurde zuvor auf dem Verfassungsblog veröffentlicht.

“The value of commodities that is valorizing itself, always striving for its own increase, is the ‘automatic subject’ of society, constituted by human beings by their daily actions, but at the same time subjecting them totally and making them mere functionaries of an anonymous, unconscious process that is out of their control.” This is a quotation from Klaus Kempter’s contribution to this symposium.In style and terminology, it is written in the tradition of Karl Marx, but in its substance, it is not far away from Niklas Luhmann: profit, i.e. the institutionalized pressure to create surplus value, is the anonymous self-regulating principle of the recursive autopoietic self-movement of the economic system – but not only of the economy. This is a decisive difference. The renewed Marxist Wertkritik claims to capture the totality of modern societies. But this is a mistaken totalization of economic value and monetary profit. It ignores the development of social theory after Karl Marx, from Max Weber to Pierre Bourdieu. What follows are six arguments which rebut the primacy of economic profit in advanced capitalist societies, and submit that the imperative to create surplus value is a function of autopoietic systems generally and not merely a product of economic forces. Weiterlesen