At the core of the socialist critique of capitalism is the idea that the free market system is inherently exploitative. Marxists agree that capitalists use their ownership of the means of production to extract surplus value from workers, who actually produce goods and services. Where socialists have tended to disagree, however, is on how precisely to define exploitation and whether it makes sense to apply moral concepts such as justice and fairness to economic relations.
In his new book, Exploitation as Domination: What Makes Capitalism Unjust, the political philosopher Nicholas Vrousalis — a student of the late great G. A. Cohen — provides systematic answers to these questions and develops an alternative vision of economic and social relations beyond capitalism. Jacobin interviewed Vrousalis about his theory of exploitation, what a socialist economy might look like, and why the Left should engage seriously with questions around justice.
Read the rest of the interview here.