Empirie und Theorie: Die Marxsche Arbeitswertlehre im Licht der Arbeitsgeschichte

Current developments of global labor relations demand a review of those theoretical premises, which have been the basis of labor historiography to date. For this purpose, this paper offers some initial hypotheses. After a critical examination of the Marxist labor theory of value and the historiography based on it, a new model is offered. This model is to do justice to the complexity of labor relations from a historical as well as a current perspective and includes an approach transcending the pure socio-economical but is a concept open to class formation and fragmentation. In the second part of this essay, the author tests his new model of formation and fragmentation of the working class in their negotiation with the current global labor conditions. He attempts to bundle the essential moments of the restructuring of the capitalistic global system, which began in the 1970s, from a perspective from the ground up: universal expulsion from the land, continental and transcontinental migration processes, the emergence of slums and shadow economies, intensified exploitation processes in some threshold countries, the transcontinental shifting of the industrial working class with the implementation of unprotected labour conditions in the metropolises. This is an open process, whose outcome is unsure and in which we are complicit as active observers and actors.

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