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WAYS OF DISAGREEING, PANEL 3: MARX AND SLAVERY With Iris Därmann and Michael Heinrich, Presenter: Ruth Sonderegger

The third iteration of “Ways of Disagreeing”, our series of discussions at Roter Salon, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, addressed the consideration of slavery in Karl Marx's writings. Did Marx downplay the reality of slavery to keep his (Eurocentric) focus on the oppression of wage laborers in Europe? Or did he see slavery as a specific form of pre-capitalist exploitation that continued in industrial capitalism in a different form and under different circumstances? Under present conditions of finance capitalism, Karl Marx's labor theory of value is particularly of unwavering relevance. This is due to its thoroughly relational and social understanding of value, which declares value to be the result of abstract work. Recent political theory, however, argues that slavery, not capitalist commodity fetishism, is at the center of the production of world history. In this context, Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna) discussed the role of slavery in Marx's work with Iris Därmann (cultural scientist and philosopher, Berlin) and Michael Heinrich (political scientist, Berlin). Language: German