7th Sep, 2021


By Peter Hudis


In the face of a global pandemic that underlines the fragility of individual life and the massive protests against police abuse and for Black lives that call for a reorganisation of social life, few books speak more to the present moment than Martin Hägglund’s This Life, Secular Life and Spiritual Freedom. It is not often that a dense philosophical work that engages thinkers ranging from St. Augustine, Spinoza, and Hegel to Marx, Adorno, and Martin Luther King Jr. achieves widespread popularity outside of academia. That Hägglund’s book has done so is due not only to his facility in conveying complex ideas without succumbing to the sin of popularisation; it is most of all because its central argument—that freedom is determined by how we cultivate the finite time at our disposal—speaks directly to the present historical juncture.

            Freedom, he correctly emphasises, is not liberation from external constraints. It is being ‘able to ask ourselves what we ought to do with our time’.1 Taking ownership of our time is what he means by spiritual freedom. It involves secular as against religious faith, since notions of divine transcendence inevitably distract from prioritising the free and collective organisation of the limited time available to us. All living beings devote time to activities not directly related to maintaining their material existence. What characterises humans (for better or worse) is that we can reflect and act upon how to manage this surplus time. ‘It underlies all normative considerations, since what I do with my time is what I do with my life. Every question of what I ought to do—or ought not to do—is ultimately a question of what I ought to do with my time’.2 However, we can seize the time only if we acknowledge that time is finite; if we believe our lives are potentially infinite, there is no urgency to cultivate lived life as the highest value.

Hägglund’s critique of religion has nothing to do with the crude materialism of ‘new atheists’ or many orthodox Marxists. He is not suggesting that religious people are incapable of spiritual freedom, only that their pursuit of it is at odds with a belief in eternal life. Believers who help the poor out of fear (or love) of God actually treat them as means to an end instead of as ends-in-themselves; their standpoint is instrumental. I can treat someone as an end in itself only if in caring for them I affirm that their lives are not a mere way-station on the road to eternal bliss. Hägglund pulls no punches: ‘Freedom as an end in itself is not promoted by any of the world religions or by any of its founding figures. Neither Jesus nor Buddha nor Muhammad has anything to say about freedom as an end in itself. That is not an accident but consistent with their teachings. What ultimately matters from a religious perspective is not freedom but salvation, what ultimately matters is not to lead a life but to be saved from being alive’.3

While Hägglund’s critique of monotheistic religions (as well as Buddhism, which defines nirvana as liberation from contingency and finitude) is extremely cogent, it is less clear that it applies to animism (common among many indigenous peoples), which denies any categorical distinction between the physical and the spiritual (Hägglund does not address the issue). Nor is it so clear that religion per se necessarily reflects an alienated society (one is reminded of Hegel’s praise of Greek religion for fusing religious imagery with ethical life, despite his criticisms of its accommodation with slavery). In any case, Hägglund does not presume that religion can be annulled by enlightened critique; he follows Marx in holding that, since religious alienation is an expression of alienated social relations, the former will persist as long as the latter remains to be uprooted.

The most important part or the book is the second half, which consists of a creative (if not totally original) reading of Marx’s critique of capital. Though few deny that the theory of value is integral to Marx’s critique of capital, many have attributed to him the view that ‘labour is the source of all value’. But this is clearly incorrect. The value of commodities is not determined by the number of hours employed in making them but by the average amount of time in which it is necessary to do so. If it were otherwise, producers would be made to work slower rather than faster, since the greater the quantity of labour time, the greater would be the value of the product. Hence, concrete labour is not the source of value; its substance is abstract or homogenous labour—labour forced to conform to a constantly-shifting average irrespective of the needs of the producers. Hägglund brilliantly shows that ‘socially necessary labour time as the measure of value is specific to the commodity form and becomes the essence of value only in the capitalist mode of production. Labour time as the measure of value is not transhistorically necessary but the historically specific essence of capitalism, which is contradictory and can be overcome’.4

Sadly, many Marxists view value production as a transhistorical necessity that cannot be overcome. They are so overburdened by the unequal distribution of value that permeates modern society that they overlook the need to uproot the human relations that makes value production possible in the first place. The emphasis on a ‘fair’ redistribution of value rather than the abolition of social relations which compel wealth to assume a monetary form defines not just the failed efforts to promote a ‘transition to socialism’ in the twentieth century but also much of the rebirth of interest in socialism in much of the world today. The critique of capitalism remains on the superficial, phenomenal level of targeting property forms and exchange relations rather than what is essential—the domination of abstract universal labour time. It is not hard to see that a superficial critique of the logic of capital that leaves aside its critical time determinant leads of necessity to an impoverished notion of socialism that stops short of a new humanism.

            Before turning to the broader implications of Hägglund’s reading of Marx, it is worth noting that it speaks directly to subtle but crucial shifts underway in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic—even though This Life was published prior to it. I am referring to the fact that millions of workers in the US and elsewhere are deciding not to return to work now that social restrictions in many countries are being lifted—even though there is an enormous pent-up demand for their labour power. As one report put it, ‘On a more philosophical level, the constant threat of illnesses, more time with family members, leisure time that gave way to new passions—all may have prompted some workers to reassess how they want to spend their time. Burned out, some people have left their jobs for once-on-a-lifetime experiences, like traveling the world. Others have seen an opportunity to shift careers or branch out on their own’.5 Another report notes, ‘Many are rethinking what work means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. It’s leading to a dramatic increase in resignations—a record four million people quit their jobs [in the US] in April alone, according to the Labor Department’. It cites a worker saying, ‘I think the pandemic has changed my mindset in a way, like I really value my time now… I think the pandemic has just allowed for time. You just have more time to think about what you really want in life’.6

            This hardly reflects the experience of all workers; many (especially in the health care profession) found that the pandemic left them with much less time. But we should not overlook the dramatic sea change in attitudes spurred by the pandemic. Faced with constant reminders of how fickle and uncertain is our finite existence in the face of millions of deaths, increasing numbers of people are rethinking their priorities—especially when it comes to deciding how to organise their time. Without realising it, they are grappling with a problem that is central to the Marxian critique of the capitalist mode of production.


It may seem that Hägglund’s critique of the anxiety felt by many religious and philosophical currents when it comes to accepting the finitude of the human condition does not apply to secular leftists, who are devoted to more mundane matters than the pursuit of everlasting life. However, this is not the case. Marx is often credited or condemned for having a ‘perfectionist’ view of human nature, which implies that socialism ends not just class conflict but all basic conflicts. Others hold that socialism transcends natural necessity, often taken to mean that it abolishes labour—even though Marx held, ‘Labour, as the creator of use-values, as useful labour, is a condition of human existence which is independent of all forms of society; it is an eternal natural necessity which mediates the metabolism between man and nature, and therefore human life itself’.7 It can be argued that secular standpoints that envision a new society freed from such considerations express a disquiet with finitude similar to that found in many religious traditions.

            Marx, of course, conceived of socialism as the end of class society, the transcendence of alienation, and the abolition of alienated labour. However, that is a far cry from suggesting that he conceived of the realm of freedom as bidding adieu to natural necessity. As he put it in his 1844 critique of Hegel, ‘Humanity is directly a natural being … [and] as a natural, corporeal, sensuous, objective being it is a, conditioned, and limited creature, like animals and plants’. For Marx, the aspiration to overcome our limited, sensuous being is possible only as ‘a product of pure thought (i.e., of mere imagination)—an abstraction’.8 That is why he stressed, ‘to be sensuous is to suffer’.9 A new society does not put an end to suffering, it puts an end to needless suffering, and it enables us to face our suffering by giving meaning to our life’s accomplishment and setbacks through the free organisation of our time.

That many are reluctant to acknowledge this is reflected in the widespread prohibition against discussing a postcapitalist society. There are good reasons for caution in trying to specify the content of a socialist or communist future, as suggested by Marx’s critique of the utopians. But many have taken this further, by applying the religious prohibition against making images of God to efforts to describe a new society freed from alienation. Perhaps the foremost expression is Theodor Adorno’s invocation of Bilderverbot in Negative Dialectics: ‘Such absence concurs with the theological ban on images. Materialism brought that ban into secular form by not permitting Utopia be positively pictured; that is the substance of its negativity. At its most materialistic, materialism comes to agree with theology’.10

There are serious problems with this perspective. It makes sense for a monotheist to prohibit positive descriptions of the ‘absolute,’ since doing so represents the infinite in finite terms. The most that can be done is to say what God is not (via negativa). But communism is not a substitute for God: the latter is unconditioned and freed of finitude whereas the former is historically conditioned and immersed in finitude. It is for good reason that Marx proclaimed, ‘communism is not the end, the goal, of human development’.11 There can be no ‘end,’ since development is impossible without an internal lack or limit. As Hegel never ceases to remind us, negativity is immanent in Spirit. Marx knew this well, as seen from his discussion of the ‘defects’ that define the lower phase of communism in The Critique of the Gotha Programme. He does not suggest that abstract labour, value production, or class domination persists in the lower phase; these are all superseded from the inception of socialism. However, the realm of freedom also undergoes self-development. The needed revolutions never end. Which is why the Grundrisse defines a society that frees material wealth from its value integument is one defined by ‘the absolute movement of becoming’.

            But the question remains—is it possible to positively envision an alternative to capitalism without falling into the shortcomings associated with utopian speculation?

Perhaps the most original aspect of This Life is its discussion of how Hegel’s thought speaks to this. Many will object that Hegel was an idealist who glorified the Prussian state and had little to offer in the way of a critique of capital. Much of contemporary Hegel scholarship undermines such stereotypes and Hägglund puts it to good use. It is true that ‘the absolute’ in Hegel involves mutual recognition between individuals and the state, but, by ‘the state’, he means social institutions that embody the idea of freedom. An idea of ‘freedom’ that lacks concrete embodiment is formalist and empty. Hegel therefore contends that the quest for other-worldly religious salvation turns us away from the true object of devotion—freedom’s embodiment in forms of collective social praxis in which no one is considered free unless everyone is free. Such institutions are finite; but, like the Christian God, the idea of freedom must be embodied in a material form that is reconstituted (or born anew) when faced with death—that is, the rise of a new era that renders obsolete older forms of social praxis. Hence, Hägglund writes, ‘The aim of Hegel’s Phenomenology can be seen as a secular “reconciliation” with our finitude, in the sense of grasping that our finitude is not a limitation that blocks us from attaining the absolute. Rather … the absolute knowing of absolute spirit is not the act of a divine mind, but our philosophical grasp of the conditions of spiritual life’.12

Hägglund, nevertheless, acknowledges Hegel’s limits, since ‘On Hegel’s account, only the philosopher can attain the “absolute knowing” that we are the source of the authority of our norms and that our freedom—the highest good—is possible only through our mutual recognition of one another as essentially social, historical, material, and finite living beings’.13 Hegel makes this plain enough in The Philosophy of Religion: ‘How the actual present-day world is to find its way out of the state of dualism [between individual self-interest and collective praxis] and what form it is to take, are questions which must be left to itself to settle and to deal with them is not the immediate and practical business of philosophy’.14 Herein lies the fundamental philosophical divide between Marx and Hegel. As Hägglund puts it, ‘For Marx, on the contrary, absolute knowing cannot be limited to a theoretical achievement of the philosopher. Rather, absolute knowing must be a practical achievement that in principle can be taken up and sustained by everyone’.15 This is the meaning of the Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach—not that we forgo the effort to think the absolute, let alone the need to think philosophically, but that we change the world by creating conditions in which the absolute can be known—and so that we can be known.

As Gillian Rose magnificently put it several decades ago, ‘Hegel’s philosophy has no social import if the absolute cannot be thought’.16 It can likewise be said that Marx’s philosophy has no social import if the new society cannot be thought. This is because the absolute is immanent in our mundane earthly existence. Which means, ‘If the absolute is misrepresented, we are misrepresenting ourselves, and are correspondingly unfree. But the absolute has always been misrepresented by societies and peoples, for these societies have not been free, and they have re-presented their lack of freedom to themselves in the form of religion’.17

Insofar as the ‘absolute,’ when viewed from the vantage point of Marx’s transformation of Hegel’s revolution in philosophy into a philosophy of revolution, is the expression of a new society that transcends alienation, Hägglund’s book provides a powerful counter to the prevailing prejudice that envisioning the alternative to capitalism is pointless or counterproductive.


There is still more to be said, however, as to whether is it possible to envision an alternative to capitalism without falling prey to the shortcomings associated with utopian speculation.

Many no doubt think that any effort to do so runs counter to Marx’s insistence that ‘Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things’.18 Yet I would argue that Marx’s opposition to defining the future irrespective of actual movements is precisely what compels us to spell out an alternative to capitalism. Marx made no secret of the fact that he considered the most vital accomplishment of the workers’ movements of his time to be its rejection of the capitalist organisation of time. The chapter on ‘The Working Day’ in Volume One of Capital goes so far as to call the movement for the eight-hour day a greater step in the fight for freedom than the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The question of time was hardly restricted to ‘when does my working day begin and end’; it extended to questioning the timing and rhythm of the work process itself, which Marx takes up in his critique of the despotic plan of capital at the point of production.’

            This has taken on greater importance in recent decades in light of struggles against automation and artificial intelligence, objections to digital capital’s extension of the working day, criticisms of the enormous time constraints placed upon women burdened with unpaid domestic labour, and attacks on the prison industrial complex that offers victims of deindustrialisation little more than prison time for committing the pettiest of offenses—especially if they are Black, Latinx, and Native American.

Hägglund’s argument that socialism consists, first and foremost, of replacing socially necessary labour time with free time as the measure of social relations may not constitute an outline of a new society, but it surely provides conceptual ground for developing one. He stresses, ‘Socially available free time is not merely leisure time but time devoted to activities that we count as meaningful in themselves. These activities can range from participation in forms of labour that we recognize as necessary for the common good, all the way to the pursuit of individual projects that challenge the given norms of what may be a meaningful activity’.19 The abolition of socially necessary labour time does not end labour as such, since there will always be a need to reproduce our means of subsistence. It rather means that necessary labour will be reduced to a minimum, while its character and form—like all kinds of activity—will be freely determined: ‘Even our socially necessary labour can be an expression of our freedom if it is shared for the sake of the common good. The aim, then, is to decrease the realm of necessity and increase the realm of freedom by making the relation between the two a democratic question… we need to negotiate… how to cultivate the finite time that is the condition of our freedom’.20

Although Hägglund’s interpretation of Marx’s theory of capital is incisive, it raises a number of critical questions.

First, the term ‘value’ has two distinct meanings—one refers to economic valuation (‘what’s the value of your mortgage?’), the other to moral valuation (‘I value your love and friendship’). The first treats value as a quantity of money; the second cannot be quantified in terms of money. The two are, at times, conflated by Hagglund, as in, ‘The revaluation of value as the foundation for Marx’s arguments has generally been overlooked and never fully understood, partly because Marx restricts his own use of the term “value” to the capitalist conception of value as the quantity of labour time’.21He is right about this, but Marx has very good reasons for discussing ‘value’ in a purely economic sense. As Hägglund notes elsewhere, Capital is an immanent critique of capitalist society; it employs terms that are adequate to its concept. Value in an economic sense serves as Capital’s object of critique, since that is the only ‘value’ that is acknowledged by capital. This does not mean that a revaluation of value is not extraordinarily important; the creation of an alternative to capitalism hinges on developing social values that break from the notion that only that which augments profit is valuable. However, not alerting the reader to the divide between these two uses of ‘value’ can lead to lack of clarity.

Take the statement, ‘The measure of value is thus different in the realm of freedom than in the realm of necessity. The value of an object or an activity in the realm of freedom is not directly correlated with the amount of labour time required to produce or maintain it’.22 The ‘measure of value’ is indeed different in these two realms since the annulment of alienated or abstract labour puts an end to value production. It is impossible to ‘measure’ what does not exist. Things continue to be valued in socialism but not in terms of socially necessary labour time.

However, Marx clearly states—in the Grundrisse, Capital, and The Critique of the Gotha Programme—that actual labour time (not to be confused with socially necessary labour time) will serve as a measure of social relations in at least the initial phase of socialism or communism (Marx treats the two as indistinguishable, not as distinct historical stages). When Marx, in Capital, calls upon the reader to ‘imagine, for a change, an association of free people, working with the means of production held in common,’ he describes this postcapitalist, socialist society as follows: ‘The share of each individual producer in the means of subsistence is determined by his labour-time. Labour-time would in that case play a double part’—it would be the basis of ‘a definite social plan [that] maintains the correct proportion between the different functions of labour and the various needs of the associations’ as well as ‘a measure of the part taken by each individual in the common labour’.23 Actual labour time—the number of concrete hours one works—becomes a measure of social relations. Nowhere does Marx speak of the measure of value in a socialist or communist society, since actual labour time in no way implies the existence of socially necessary labour time. Since abstract labour is the substance of value, the abolition of the dual character of labour by the freely associated producers eliminates the very basis of value and surplus value in the economic sense. What is abolished is not labour, but social relations in which it is treated as a means for augmenting wealth in monetary form. As Marx discusses in The Critique of the Gotha Programme, once society dispenses with exchange value, commodity exchange and capital and subsequently distributes the social product based on the actual number of hours of labour performed by the individual, we will have reached the initial phase of freedom which prepares us for a higher one in which free time rather than labour time serves as a measure. 

Second, while This Life has much to say about the measure of value, it has much less on the substance of value—abstract labour. The two are closely related: labour becomes a value-creating substance insofar as it is subjected to an abstract time determination that is beyond the producers’ control. But labour time is not necessarily correlated to abstract universal labour time; in fact, for most of human history the latter did not even exist. Nevertheless, Hägglund writes, ‘As long as we measure our social wealth in terms of labour time, technological development is bound to intensify exploitative methods for extracting relative surplus value from workers’.24 This is, again, not consistent with Marx’s discussions of a postcapitalist society.

That Marx—briefly and very much in outline—presented a conception of what life would be like following capitalism does mean it should be followed as a blueprint. We do need to take seriously, however, why Marx distinguishes between actual labour time and socially necessary labour time—especially since the point is lost on the part of almost all of his commentators. Take Hägglund’s statement, ‘As soon as the satisfaction of our needs depends on the contribution of our labour, we are back to the form of coercion that Marx sought to overcome through his critique of wage labour’.25 This not only overlooks the fact that some kind of labour contribution will be needed in any society; it also leaves unclear what is meant by a ‘contribution of labour’. Does it refer to producing goods and services in accordance with an average amount of time that is determined by the market or the state? Or does it refer to the actual number of hours of labour performed by freely associated individuals in communes or cooperatives? The two are not just different, they are diametrically opposed. If ‘contribution of labour’ is understood in the first sense, Hägglund is right; if it is understood in the second sense, he is not.

These problems may stem from the debt that This Life owes to Moishe Postone’s Time, Labour, and Social Domination. As I have discussed elsewhere,26 although the book is an important contribution to Marxist scholarship, it suffers from serious theoretical limitations. These appear in its most important contribution—its correct contention that the split between concrete and abstract labour (and value production generally) is specific to capitalism and is not a transhistorical fact of human existence. That, in itself, is no discovery of Postone’s; it was pointed out decades earlier by such figures as Rosa Luxemburg, Raya Dunayevskaya, and Karel Kosik. What is new in Postone’s ‘reinterpretation’ of Marx is the claim that concrete labour becomes so dominated by abstract labour as to become virtually indistinguishable from it. He well knows that both are generated in the same instant; but he argues that since concrete labour is the mode of expression of abstract labour, the logic of capital effaces any distinction between labourers and the value-form of labour power. The logical conclusion is that any appeal to subjective human forces to uproot capital (whether through class struggle or other kinds of human resistance) is futile; the subject of liberation is not living labour but dead labour, capital.

Postone largely draws his interpretation from the section of Marx’s Grundrisse on the automaton, which envisions a point at which living labour becomes so totally displaced from production that ‘labour time ceases and must cease to be a measure’27 of social wealth. Value production comes to an end through the very principle which governs it—the drive to squeeze out more value in less amounts of time through labour-saving devices.

            But there are problems with such appropriations of the Grundrisse. First, Marx takes a different position in Capital, writing ‘Only the abolition of the capitalist form of production would permit the reduction of the working day to the necessary labour time. But even in that case. the latter would expand to take up more of the working day’.28 Second, as Dunayevskaya pointed out as early as 1958, since the Grundrisse was written during the politically quiescent 1850s, it falls short of dialectically connecting the objective laws of capitalism with subjective forms of resistance—unlike Capital, which was written under the impact of the campaigns for the eight-hour day and the struggles of African Americans against slavery. As she put it, ‘there is too much emphasis in the Grundrisse on machinery as providing the material basis for the dissolution of capital’.29 The effort to expunge class struggle and other forms of resistance from Marx’s value-theoretic categories—as if the former concerns the ‘exoteric’ Marx which can be put aside in favour of the ‘esoteric’ theory of value—rests on very shaky ground.

            Hägglund takes aim at the claim that dead labour is the emancipatory alternative, writing, ‘In Postone’s story of the transition from capitalism to socialism, historical agents do not have the power to change anything… he offers no account of what we will be free to do and why our freedom matters’.30 He rightly holds that Postone’s ‘indeterminant conception of freedom is incompatible with democratic socialism’.31However, while these defects may be related to Postone’s failure to argue for a re-evaluation of value, it has much more to do with his peculiar reading of Marx’s theory of value, in which abstract labour effaces concrete labour to the point of foreclosing any human agency—and hence the kind of re-evaluation Hägglund is arguing for.

            Hägglund’s project would be strengthened by engaging the Marxist-Humanist tradition, which decades before Postone, the Neue Marx-Lektüre, and value-form theorists, argued for the historical specificity of Marx’s theory of value, opposed the view that the abolition of private property and competitive markets ensures an exit from capitalism, and held that the elimination of socially necessary labour time in favour of freely associated time is the cardinal principle of socialism. As Dunayevskaya wrote in Marxism and Freedom, ‘The capitalist organisation [of society] is where all labour, no matter what its concrete nature, is timed according to what is socially necessary. It becomes one mass of abstract labour precisely because the labourer himself is paid at value’.32 Notice, here, that the duality of labour under capitalism is posed not only in terms of concrete versus abstract labour, but of the labourer versus the value-form of its labour power. Skipping over such potential internal resistance to the value-form renders value theory, and by extensive Marxism, arid, objectivist and non-humanist.

            Marx’s critique of the value-form of mediation, however, is thoroughly humanist—contrary to the claims of Postone and many others. Marx’s value-theoretic categories are thoroughly rooted in class relations, not because he was a class reductionist, but because his fundamental object of critique is the reified form of human praxis that defines modern society—beginning with social relations at the point of production, but hardly ending there. As Dunayevskays argues, ‘Marx’s analysis of labour—and this is what distinguishes him from all other Socialists and Communists of his day and of ours—goes much further than the economic structure of society. His analysis goes to the actual human relations’.33 Grasping and developing this is the fundamental challenge facing all revolutionary theory today, especially when it comes to extending Marxism beyond issues of class to that of race, gender, and sexuality. ‘Marxism is a theory of liberation or it is nothing’.34 Each generation must find its way to meeting that perspective, most of all our own.

The issues raised by Hägglund’s study are of the foremost importance. For, if the logic of capital effaces subjective human resistance, it can only mean (as Postone and many capital-logic theorists openly affirm) that capital is the ‘absolute’ of modern life. And, if that is the case, it follows that we who resist capital are not part of the absolute. The absolute once again gets viewed as outside or beyond us. That is an egregious misrepresentation of the absolute. The claim that the human can no longer be thought—a central premise of much of contemporary left-wing thought—cannot but misrepresent ourselves as well as freedom itself. But the absolute—whether understood in Hegelian terms as the unity of subject and object or in Marxist-Humanist terms as the new society—can be thought, if only we are daring enough to think it.


Adorno, T. 1973. Negative Dialectics. New York: Seabury Press.

Dunayevskaya, R.1973. Philosophy and Revolution, from Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao. New York: Dell.

Dunayevskaya, R. 2000 [orig. 1958]. Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 Until Today. Amherst NY: Humanities Books.

Ember, EW. 2021. ‘Record Numbers Are Quitting Jobs as Virus Wanes, The New York Times, June 21.

Hägglund, M. 2019. This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom. New York: Pantheon.

Hägglund, M. 2021.

Hegel, G.W.F. 2007. Lectures on the Philosophy of Revolution, Vol. III: The Consummate Religion, ed. Peter C. Hodgson. Oxford: Clarenden Press.

Hsu, Andrea 2021. ‘The Great Resignation: Why Millions of Workers are Quitting Their Jobs,’ National Public Radio, June 24.

Hudis, P. 1995. ‘Labour, High Tech Capitalism, and the Crisis of the Subject: A Critique of Recent Developments in Critical Theory,’ Humanity & Society, 19 (4) November, pp. 14-20.

Hudis, P. 2000. ‘The Death of the Death of the Subject,’ Historical Materialism, 12 (3), pp. 147-69.

Hudis, P. 2103. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Marx, K. Marx, K. 1975 [orig. 1844]. Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. In Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol. 3. New York: International Publishers.

Marx, K. 1977 [orig. 1867]. Capital, Vol. 1. New York: Penguin

Marx, K. 1987 [orig. 1858]. Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy, in Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol. 29. New York: International Publishers.

Marx, K. and Engels, F. 1976 [orig. 1846]. The German Ideology, in Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol. 5. New York: International Publishsers.

Rose, G. 2009 [orig. 1981]. Hegel Contra Sociology. New York and London: Verso Books.



  • 1. Hägglund 2019, p. 11.
  • 2. Ibid., p. 191.
  • 3. Ibid., p. 375.
  • 4. Hägglund, p. 252.
  • 5. Ember 2021.
  • 6. Hsu 2021.
  • 7. Marx 1977, p. 133.
  • 8. Marx 1975, pp. 376, 377.
  • 9. Ibid. p. 377.
  • 10. Adorno 1973, p. 207.
  • 11. Marx 1975, p. 308.
  • 12. Hägglund 2019, p. 365.
  • 13. Hägglund 2021.
  • 14. Hegel 2007, p. 162.
  • 15. Hägglund 2021.
  • 16. Rose 2009, p. 98.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Marx 1976, p. 49.
  • 19. Hägglund 2019, p. 344.
  • 20. Ibid., p. 25
  • 21. Ibid., p. 262.
  • 22. Ibid., p. 223.
  • 23. Marx 1977, p. 172.
  • 24. Hägglund 2019, p. 264.
  • 25. Ibid., p. 273.
  • 26. See Hudis 1995, Hudis 2000, and Hudis 2012.
  • 27. Marx 1987, p. 91.
  • 28. Marx 1977, p. 667.
  • 29. Dunayevskaya 1973, p. 70.
  • 30. Hägglund 2019, p. 277.
  • 31. Ibid., p. 278.
  • 32. Dunayevskaya 2000, p. 86.
  • 33. Ibid., p. 60.
  • 34. Ibid., p. 22.