Exchange-Value and the Concealment of Theft and Violence
Exploring the phantom-like objectivity of exchange-value, this paper seeks to analyze the ways in which capitalist exchange relations conceal theft, violence, and exploitation. This paper begins with a critical analysis of Marx’s account of the phantom-like objectivity of exchange-value. Then, the paper elucidates the exchange between the worker and capital as an exchange of non-equivalents, while exploring the ways in which exchange-relations and the wage system conceal unpaid labour inside and outside the working day. Finally, drawing on the work of Silvia Federici and Massimo De Angelis, I argue that exchange-value and the wage system conceal violence and exploitation on at least three levels: unpaid surplus-labour, unpaid reproductive labour, and the permanence of primitive accumulation.