Autonomist Marxist Theory and Practice in the Current Crisis

  • Brian Marks University of Arizona School of Geography and Development
Keywords: autonomist Marxism, working class, representation, power, capitalism, crisis, recomposition, decomposition


Autonomist Marxism is a political tendency premised on the autonomy of the proletariat. Working class autonomy is manifested in the self-activity of the working class independent of formal organizations and representations, the multiplicity of forms that struggles take, and the role of class composition in shaping the overall balance of power in capitalist societies, not least in the relationship of class struggles to the character of capitalist crises. Class composition analysis is applied here to narrate the recent history of capitalism leading up to the current crisis, giving particular attention to China and the United States. A global wave of struggles in the mid-2000s was constituitive of the kinds of working class responses to the crisis that unfolded in 2008-10. The circulation of those struggles and resultant trends of recomposition and/or decomposition are argued to be important factors in the balance of political forces across the varied geography of the present crisis.
How to Cite
Marks, B. (1). Autonomist Marxist Theory and Practice in the Current Crisis. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 11(3), 467-491. Retrieved from