A number of scholars have criticised the methodological nationalism of the mainstream study of capitalist diversity for ignoring a global convergence trend triggered by global competition. This contribution agrees with this criticism but insists on the need to take the diversities into account in order to understand the dependence of capital on the geographical concreteness of living labour and its social context. At the same time, the paper outlines an analytical framework that sheds light on the process that makes this dependency invisible, hidden behind the convergence trend. This framework further develops Karl Marx’s and Evgeny Pashukanis’s notion of fetishism by drawing on accounts of state theory and economic sociology with a view to outlining the complex interplay of economic and extra-economic processes enabling this disguising. It assigns this process relative autonomy, and thus highlights another type of dependence of capital in its drive towards the realisation of surplus value.
Capital and Class, 2014, Vol 38, Issue 1, p. 184-196