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Episode 2.6: The History of Subsumption

Frank Stella, “Die Fahne Hoche!” enamel on canvas, 308.6 x 185.4 cm, 1959.

This week we are discussing the historiography of class conflict. Endnotes critically analyse the Marxist category of subsumption, originating in Kant and Hegel. Kant uses the concept in his epistemological distinction between synthetic and analytic; Hegel extends it to the metaphysical subsumption of one subject to another. Finally, Marx uses the concept into a materialist critique of capitalist social relations, where labour is subsumed by capital. Endnotes establish their critical position in relation to the contemporary literature of Antonio Negri, Jacques Camatte, Theorie Communiste, and the legacy of “programmatism” (Leninism).

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