Sveavägen 41 in central Stockholm
Following a series of successful conferences in recent years, transform! europe's member organisation Center for Marxist Studies (CMS) hosts the Marx22 international conference, focusing on primitive accumulation.
The Marx22 international conference takes place from 28-30 October 2022 in Stockholm.
Why did capitalism emerge, and why does it persist? Marx argued that an understanding of capitalism’s blood-soaked prehistory is necessary if we want to understand and change the system. In the present era, when everything – from health care and water to our emotions and outer space – is rapidly transforming into commodities, it is more important than ever to think through the processes of capital accumulation.
For capitalism to exist at all, a class of people must be separated from the means of production and forced to sell their labor power in exchange for wages. But such a working class does not appear out of nothing – it must itself be created. The historical processes that gave rise to our modern class societies were accompanied, every step of the way, by violence and repression against those who resisted proletarianization and the plundering of the commons. Karl Marx called this process “primitive accumulation,” and he described capital coming into the world as “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”
Within the Marxist tradition, the concept of “primitive accumulation” has been used in two different ways. First, the term has been used to delineate a historical period that provided the conditions for the capitalist mode of production to emerge. Second, “primitive accumulation” has been used to name the ongoing processes through which capital creates new markets, expands to new spheres of life, and reinvents itself by incorporating new resources.
Human trafficking, the commodification of water, and the grand plans of Silicon Valley moguls to colonize Mars are only a few examples of how our bodies, life-worlds, and surroundings are incorporated into capital’s process of accumulation. How can we understand these processes? And what can we do to limit and roll back the expansion of capital’s rule?
Interpretation: English, some of the sessions will be held in Swedish
Please find here the preliminary programme schedule of the conference.