Mute Compulsion:

A Marxist Theory of the Economic Power of Capital

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

Read my summary of the book in the journal Historical Materialism (in English), or in the journal PROKLA (in German).

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)


OXI – Wirtschaft Anders Denken: Neues zu Marx

Parlamentsreport, DIE LINKE: Rezension: Ein dritter Typus von Macht

Politiken: Ingen pisker os, og alligevel arbejder vi og lader os stadig udnytte.

Information: Søren Maus bog er et nybrud i en debat, som økonomer og livsstilseksperter har domineret alt for længe.

Solidaritet: ‘Stum tvang’ forklarer Marx’ idéer – og gør ham spiselig til aftenkaffen.

Weekendavisen: ‘Dét, Marx mener, er…

Information: ‘Søren Maus marxistiske analyse af økonomisk magt rejser vigtige spørgsmål, men giver mangelfulde svar

Eftertryk: ‘Søren Maus uomgængelige kapitalismekritik

EXIT!: Der gewöhnliche Gang der Dinge aus dem Schlupfloch. Eine Lektüre der theoretischen Grundannahmen von Sören Maus “Stummer Zwang”

Social Kritik: ‘Penge lugter ikke

Arbejderen: ‘På sporet af kapitalens magt

Morgenbladet: ‘Sjeføkonomens mareritt: Kan Søren Maus bok føre Marx tilbake på moten? ‘Die Schublade der ökonomischen Macht aufräumen

Solidaritet: ‘Stum Tvang og kapitalens politiske økonomi

LabourNet Germany: ‘Stummer Zwang. Eine marxistische Analyse der ökonomischen Macht im Kapitalismus

junge Welt: ‘Unter dem Wertgesetz