United States in a World in Crisis

The Geopolitics of Precarious Work and Super-Exploitation


This work by the distinguished Mexican theorist Adrián Sotelo Valencia explores new dimensions of super-exploitation in a context of the structural crisis of capitalism and imperialism. Steeped in a new generation of radical dependency theory and informed by the legacy of his own mentor, the famous Brazilian Marxist Ruy Mauro Marini, Sotelo rigorously examines prevailing theoretical debates regarding the expansion of super-exploitation in advanced capitalism. Building upon a Marinist framework, he goes beyond Marini to identify new forms of super-exploitation that shape the growing precarity of work. Sotelo demonstrates the inextricable link between reliance upon fictitious capital and the intensification of super-exploitation. Poignant contrasts are drawn between US capitalism and Mexico that reveal the nefarious new forms of imperialist dependency.

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Adrián Sotelo Valencia is a professor and researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. He is the author of numerous works on labor, capitalist crisis, and development, including Sub-Imperalism Revisited: Dependency Theory in the Thought of Ruy Mauro Marini (Brill, 2017) and The Future of Work: Super-exploitation and Social Precariousness in the 21st Century (Brill, 2015).
List of Figures and Tables
   John Saxe-Fernández


Part 1: Geopolitics, Imperialism and Neo-Protectionism in the United States

1 Geopolitics and Super-Exploitation
  1 Geopolitics and the Extension of the Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force
  2 Conclusion

2 Donald Trump and Imperialist Praxis
  1 The Vicissitudes of Neo-imperialism
  2 Executive Orders and the North American Crisis
  3 The Wall of Ignominy
  4 Sanctuary Cities: the Dreamers or the Fallacy of the ‘American Dream’
  5 Regional Blocks and the Automotive Industry in Mexico: the Rules of Origin in NAFTA
  6 NAFTA, the Tripartite Negotiations and Donald Trump’s Position
  7 Conclusion

Part 2: Debates on the Extension of Super-Exploitation in Advanced Capitalism

3 Dependence and Super-Exploitation
  1 Theory and Method of Exploitation in Marx
  2 The Marxist Theory of Dependency and Marini’s Ideas
  3 Importance and Validity of Dependency Theory
  4 Formulation Level of the Marxist Theory of Dependency
  5 Point of Departure for a Reevaluation of Marini’s Thought
  6 Globalization and the Law of Value
  7 Dissociation of the Economic Cycle from the Employment Rate
  8 Generalization of the Super-Exploitation of Labor in the Capitalist System
  9 The New International Division of Labor
  10 Redefinition of the State within the Framework of the Democratization Process in Latin America
  11 Democracy and the Fourth Estate
  12 The Sub-imperialism Subject
  13 The Problem of Integration and Overcoming Dependence
  14 Conclusion

4 Approaches and Theoretical Controversies
  1 Generalization of the Super-Exploitation of Labor in Advanced Capitalism
  2 Marini’s Approach
  3 Criticism of the Concept of Super-Exploitation
  4 Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force, or Labor?
  5 Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force: Category or Concept?
  6 Can the Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force Be Extended to Advanced Countries?
  7 Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force or Violation of Labor Force Value?
  8 Super-Exploitation: a Political Category?
  9 A Dependency Theory without Super-Exploitation?
  10 Unequal Exchange and Super-Exploitation
  11 Marini’s Renovated Vision
  12 Conclusion

Part 3: Crisis, Super-Exploitation and the Precarization of the World of Labor in the United States

5 Hypothesis on the Capitalist Crisis and Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force
  1 Dismeasure of Value and Surplus Value
  2 Hegemony of Relative Surplus Value and Super-exploitation
  3 Does the Generalization of Super-exploitation Blur Dependence Relations?
  4 Conclusion

6 Fictitious Capital and Super-Exploitation of Labor in Contemporary Societies
  1 The Globalization of Imperialism and the Crisis of Capitalism
  2 Fictitious Capital, Precarization and Universalization of Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force
  3 Winners and Losers in the Fictitious Regime of Neoliberal Quasi-Stagnation
  4 What Comes after the Terminal Crisis of Neoliberalism?
  5 Conclusion

7 The North American Capitalist Crisis
  1 Crisis of the Pattern of Accumulation and of the Mechanisms of Production of Value and Surplus Value
  2 Crisis and the Relative Decline of North American Supremacy
  3 Conclusion

8 United States: Precariousness of Work and Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force
  1 Crisis, Tension and Social Fragmentation in Neoliberal Capitalism
  2 Work and Social Tension
  3 Precarious Work and Structural Reforms
  4 (Temporary) Employment and Job Insecurity
  5 Unemployment as a Condition of the Super-Exploitation of Labor
  6 The Deterioration of Wages
  7 Salaries versus Productivity in the United States
  8 Two Stages of US Salary History
  9 Living and Working Conditions
  10 The Housing Problem and the Purchasing Power of the Minimum and Average Salary
  11 Purchasing Power of the Salary and Basic Basket of Consumer Goods
  12 Violation and Expropriation of Salary
  13 Conclusion


Academic scholars, students and policy-makers seeking to understand the deepening structural crisis of capitalism and its impact on work will benefit immeasurably from this rigorous application of Marxist dependency theory.