A resurgence of interest in social reproduction theory has presented new ways of understanding gendered labour under capitalism. The political economy of Christine Delphy offered an important starting point for such questions, but remains little known in the Anglophone world.
A translation of the Preface to Delphy's Pour un théorie générale de l’exploitation [For a general theory of exploitation] (2006), by Isabelle Courcy and Melissa Blais, is below. Translated by David Broder; original French text here.
The different forms of exploiting labour today
In Quebec, Christine Delphy is often presented as one of the first feminists in France to have denaturalised ‘sex’, and consequently as a pioneer in conceptualising gender. Less common are the presentations that emphasise her contribution to political economy.
"Capitalism according to Piketty has no history—only an unvarying age-old law, occasionally disturbed by accidental events, but always returning to its implacable long-term trend, which leaves no room for conflict between social groups, the real force behind institutional change."Visit Le Monde Diplomatique to read the article in full. Frédéric Lordon is the author of Willing Slaves of Capital: Spinoza and Marx on Desire, and a regular commentator on current events.