Mute Compulsion: A Marxist Analysis of the Economic Power of Capitalism

Available in German from Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin, in Danish from Klim in September 2021, and in English from Verso Books in 2022.

With a preface by Michael Heinrich, author of The Science of Value (1991) and Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society (2018).

“Not a day goes by without a question imposing itself on the minimally sane mind: how can all this shit around us just go on? In this masterful study, Søren Mau methodically drills into the core of the matter: the deeply entrenched power of some people over others, and of capital over everyone. It is this power that drives the disasters of our time, and it is a specific form of power, one rooted in the most basal layers of existence—the economy, where human bodies are (supposed to be) sustained. Written with verve and clarity, analytically sharp and dialectically shrewd in equal measure, Mute Compulsion reinvigorates historical materialism for the mid-twenty-first century. Through close readings of Marx and critical dialogues with contemporary theory, it throws up fresh insights for a new generation of Marxists, as well as for long-time connoisseurs. A big red book to cherish.” – Andreas Malm, author of Fossil Capital (Verso, 2016), The Progress of this Storm (2018) and How to Blow Up a Pipeline (2021).

“An important book worth reading, which not only poses the question of what the mute compulsion of economic relations actually is, but in the course of doing so also adresses the many debates about Marx in recent years and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of reading Marx.” – Ingo Stützle, managing editor at PROKLA: Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialwissenschaft and author of Austerität als politisches Projekt. Von der monetären Integration Europas zur Eurokrise (2013)