The Vacuity of Structurelessness: Situating Agency and Structure in Exploitative and Alienated Social Relations

In: Historical Materialism
Xavier Lafrance Associate Professor, Département de science politique, Université du Québec à Montréal Montréal QC Canada

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Replying to Samuel Knafo and Benno Teschke, this article shows how Political Marxism offers powerful conceptual tools to understand modes of production that structure historical processes as fundamentally constituted by exploitative social and political relations. I explain how structure, or rules of reproduction, should be understood as alienated social relations, which are inherent to all class societies. Understanding structure this way leaves ample space for – and makes inevitable – the consideration of agency.

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