United States in a World in Crisis

The Geopolitics of Precarious Work and Super-Exploitation

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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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Biographical Note
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 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).
Table of contents
List of Tables and Figures
Foreword
by John Saxe-Fernández

Introduction

PART I: GEOPOLITICS, IMPERIALISM AND NEO-PROTECTIONISM IN THE UNITED STATES

1. Geopolitics and Super-Exploitation
Geopolitics and the extension of the super-exploitation of the labor force
Conclusion

2. Donald Trump and Imperialist Praxis
The vicissitudes of neo-imperialism
Executive orders and the North American crisis
The wall of ignominy
Sanctuary Cities: the Dreamers or the fallacy of the ‘American Dream’
Regional blocks and the automotive industry in Mexico: the rules of origin in NAFTA
NAFTA, the tripartite negotiations and Donald Trump’s position
Conclusion

PART II: DEBATES ON THE EXTENSION OF SUPER-EXPLOITATION IN ADVANCED CAPITALISM

3. Dependence and Super-Exploitation
Theory and method of exploitation in Marx
The Marxist Theory of Dependency and Marini’s ideas
Importance and validity of dependency theory
Formulation level of the Marxist Theory of Dependency
Point of departure for a reevaluation of Marini’s thought
Globalization and the law of value
Dissociation of the economic cycle from the employment rate
Generalization of the super-exploitation of labor in the capitalist system
The new international division of labor
Redefinition of the State within the framework of the democratization process in Latin America
Democracy and the Fourth Estate
The sub-imperialism subject
The problem of integration and overcoming dependence
Conclusion

4. Approaches and Theoretical Controversies
Generalization of the super-exploitation of labor in advanced capitalism
Marini’s approach
Criticism of the concept of super-exploitation
Super-exploitation of the labor force, or labor?
Super-exploitation of the labor force: category or concept?
Can the super-exploitation of the labor force be extended to advanced countries?
Super-exploitation of the labor force or violation of labor force value?
Super-exploitation: A political category?
A dependency theory without super-exploitation?
Unequal exchange and super-exploitation
Marini’s renovated vision
Conclusion

PART III: 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
Dismeasure of value and surplus value
Hegemony of relative surplus value and super-exploitation
Does the generalization of super-exploitation blur dependence relations?
Conclusion

6. Fictitious Capital and Super-Exploitation of Labor in Contemporary Societies
The globalization of imperialism and the crisis of capitalism
Fictitious capital, precarization and universalization of super-exploitation of the labor force Winners and losers in the fictitious regime of neoliberal quasi-stagnation
What comes after the terminal crisis of neoliberalism?
Conclusion

7. The North American Capitalist Crisis
Crisis of the pattern of accumulation and of the mechanisms of production of value and surplus value
Crisis and the relative decline of North American supremacy
Conclusion

8. United States: Precariousness of Work and Super-Exploitation of the Labor Force
Crisis, tension and social fragmentation in neoliberal capitalism
Work and social tension
Precarious work and structural reforms
(Temporary) Employment and job insecurity
Unemployment as a condition of the super-exploitation of labor
The deterioration of wages
Salaries versus productivity in the United States
Two stages of US salary history
Living and working conditions
The housing problem and the purchasing power of the minimum and average salary
Purchasing power of the salary and basic basket of consumer goods
Violation and expropriation of salary
Conclusion

Epilogue
Bibliography
Index
Readership
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.
Index Card