chapter  2
Power and the subject
Pages 23

I want now to move into less well-charted territory. In brief, I shall suggest that for Marx capitalism entailed-or was-a revolution in what might without any exaggeration be called the elementary forms of social life: individuality, relationship and community. It is a mistake, however, to understand this in terms of ‘economic determinism’. Marx is arguing, not that capitalism causes distinctively modern forms of sociation to arise, but that it is itself a distinctively modern form of sociation. A ‘mode of production’, he wrote in The German Ideology, is for him far more than merely ‘the reproduction of the physical existence of […] individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part’ (and ‘as individuals express their life, so they are’) (1846a:31). Such is capitalism, and its making involved a cultural revolution-a revolution in human sociality and subjectivity-in the broadest of senses.