the minnesota review Special Forum:
After the Law of Value Is 'Blown Apart': Labor as Value in the Contemporary

Edited By Rob Wilkie





minnesota review Special Issue CoverThis forum of the minnesota review is situated in the contemporary dogma that “the future,” as Yann Moulier Boutang writes, “is already here for those who know how to read it” (2011). This is the future in which “the so-called ‘law of value’ (according to which the value of a product is determined by the amount of labor time that went into it), which Marx considers the keystone of modern social relations, is, however, shattered and refuted by capitalist development itself” (Virno 2004). To argue, then, for the centrality of the law of value in contemporary capitalism (or sometimes even to bring up the issue) has become a mark of an unacceptable orthodoxy within Left circles in the global North that have embraced the orthodoxies of the “communism of capital” (Beverungen, Murtola, and Schwartz 2013)—from its “common” to its “commonsense”—which declares, “There is no conflict here between reform and revolution” (Hardt and Negri 2004). Returning to the theory of the law of value from diverse perspectives, however, the writers included in this forum propose that contrary to the declaration that the law of value “is completely bankrupt” (Hardt and Negri 1994), the central issue for cultural theory today is that labor (not just work) needs to be understood as the structure of contemporary culture.

Introduction: After the Law of Value Is “Blown Apart”: Labor as Value in the Contemporary
Rob Wilkie

Gaming Labor: Class, Video Games, and the “General Intellect”
Rob Wilkie

Bound to Labor: Life and Labor in (Early) Marx and (Early) Derrida
Benjamin Noys

Jameson's Spiritual Reawakening: Labor Theory in the Time of Wal-Mart
Robert Faivre

The Oil Paradox and the Labor Theory of Value
George Caffentzis

New Materialism and the Labor Theory of Value
Jennifer Cotter