Det stumma tvångets historia och teori

Det stumma tvångets historia och teori

Paneldiskussion med Carl Cassegård, Lotte Schack, Carl Wilén, Johan Örestig and Johan Alfonsson. Moderator: Evelina Johansson Wilén. Arr: Röda Rummet.Palme

Unfortunately, Søren Mau has had to cancel his appearance at Marx22. The discussion about the book Mute Compulsion will take place anyway, but will be held in Swedish.

As an intervention into the series on contemporary Marxism in the socialist journal Röda rummet, Søren Mau offers an overview of his upcoming book Mute Compulsion: A Marxist Theory of the Economic Power of Capital (which has been published in Danish and German in 2021 and will be published by Verso in the autumn of 2022). Mau’s presentation is followed up by a dialogue with the panellists and the audience. Already before publication, Mute Compulsion has attracted much attention worldwide. Despite insoluble contradictions, intense volatility and fierce resistance, the crisis-ridden capitalism of the twenty-first century lingers on. To understand capital’s paradoxical expansion and entrenchment amidst crisis and unrest, Mute Compulsion offers a novel theory of the historically unique forms of abstract and impersonal power set in motion by the subjection of social life to the profit imperative. Building on a critical reconstruction of Karl Marx’s unfinished critique of political economy and a wide range of contemporary Marxist theory, Mau sets out to explain how the logic of capital tightens its stranglehold on the life of society by constantly remoulding the material conditions of social reproduction. In the course of doing so, Mau intervenes in classical and contemporary debates about the value form, crisis theory, biopolitics, social reproduction, humanism, logistics, agriculture, metabolism, the body, competition, technology and relative surplus populations. Since Mau’s theorisation of mute compulsion includes an argument about the historically unique and specific features of abstract and impersonal power in capitalism, it also unlocks the door to questions about the history and origin of capitalism, including primitive accumulation.


Johan Alfonsson, sociologist, Gothenburg University.

Johan Örestig, sociologist and contributor to Röda rummet.

Carl Cassegård, sociologist and contributor to Röda rummet.

Lotte Schack, sociologist and contributor to Röda rummet.

Carl Wilén, sociologist and member of the editorial committee of Röda rummet.

Moderator: Evelina Johansson Wilén, researcher in gender studies and member of the editorial committee of Röda rummet.

Röda rummet is the quarterly journal of Socialistisk politik. For more information, see

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