Article Information

WORK AND FREEDOM IN MARXIST AND LIBERAL TRADITIONS 

Igor Goncharov (igor_goncharov_2015@mail.ru)

Pitirim Sorokin Syktyvkar State University, Syktyvkar, Russia

Citation: Goncharov I. (2018) Trud i svoboda v marksistskoy i liberal'noy traditsiyakh [Labor and Freedom in the Marxist and Liberal Traditions]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(5): 209–219 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.5.11

Abstract. The study is connected with the intersection of two opposite traditions in the understanding of freedom and labor: the dialectic of freedom by G. Hegel, which is reflected in the logic of relations between slave and master in the “Phenomenology of the Spirit”, and the Malthusian tradition, realized in the analysis of differential rent by Ricardo, as it was presented in the work of M. Foucault “Words and Things.” The research methodology is connected with the analysis of such concepts as labor and labor force. The concept of labor in the Hegelian tradition is considered in terms of the big logic of the return of an absolute idea to itself. Labor is considered here as a middle term, the relationship of the spirit with its essence, freedom, on the one hand, and nature, ordered by productive labor, on the other. An analysis of the concept of labor force presents it as an irreplaceable resource, alienated from the worker along with his life. The wealth that produces labor is illusory because it relies on the consumption of the worker’s life. The concepts of labor and labor force hide the conflict that is already contained in the works of the early Marx — “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts” and “Manifesto of the Communist Party”. The applied approach helps to consider the problem of radical Marxism and social reformism as the initial contradiction associated with the imposition of two discourses in Marx’s theory: the discourse of labor and labor force. One of these discourses is connected with Marx’s economic studies, which subsequently formed the theory of surplus value and proclaimed the need for a radical transformation of society. In this discourse, the worker overcomes his class framework and turns into a kind of demiurge of political reality. The second discourse is aimed at the formation of a socially homogeneous society of wage labor, which is based on the same principle of capitalist distribution, which forms the society of labor capitalism.

Keywords: work, labor force, freedom, salary, labor capitalism.

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