The Value of Everything? Work, Capital, and Historical Nature in the Capitalist World-Ecology

Every civilization must decide what is, and what is not, valuable. The Marxist tradition makes occasional reference to a “law of value.” It is not a phrase that rolls easily off the tongue, apparently. It sounds quaint, curiously out of step with our times. And yet, the trem-ors of systemic crisis—financial, climate, food, employment—are translating into a new ontological politics that challenge capitalism at its very core: its law of value. Today’s movements for climate justice, food sovereignty, de-growth, the right to the city—and much be-yond—underscore a new set of challenges to capitalism’s value sys-tem, understood simultaneously in its ethico-political and political-economic dimensions. This new ontological politics has long been implicit in radical politics. But it seems to have reached a new stage today.

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Foto: Bernhard Weber

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