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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 31, 2020

The Capitalist Form of Life, and How To Deconstruct It

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From the journal Open Cultural Studies


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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Received: 2019-12-20
Accepted: 2020-06-23
Published Online: 2020-12-31

© 2020 Bastian Ronge, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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