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The Capitalist Form of Life, and How To Deconstruct It

Authors
  • Ronge, Bastian
Type
Published Article
Journal
Open Cultural Studies
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 31, 2020
Volume
4
Issue
1
Pages
122–130
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/culture-2020-0012
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The article sets out the thesis that the social-ontological account based on the form of life concept can be used to analytically and normatively reflect alternative economies and their attempt to overcome capitalistic structures.2 To develop the thesis, I provide conceptual work on the “economic form of life”, pointing at its plasticity due to the general substitutability of economic practices. Against this background, I argue that Capitalism makes use of this plasticity to create a fully commodified, radical contingent form of life. Actors of alternative economies can wake up of from this dream world of Capitalism by using the substitutability of economic practices to deconstruct the capitalist form of life. The two most important practices for doing so are the practices of “in-sourcing” and “solidary out-sourcing”. They also reveal the normative kernel of conviviality, namely to seek to do justice to the economicity of human life. The paper ends with locating the presented form-of-life-account within the strand of literature on alternative economies.

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