Marx, realism and Foucault : an enquiry into the problem of industrial relations theory
This thesis constructs a model of the material causes of the capacity of individuals to act at work, by using the ontology of scientific realism to facilitate a synthesis between Marx and Foucault. This synthetic model is submitted as a solution to the long-standing problem of Industrial Relations theory, now manifest in the deconstruction of the organon of 'control'. The problems of 'control' are rooted in the radical concept of power and traditional, base/superstructure, interpretations of Marx. Developing an alternative to the last provides the means of transcending the limitations of the first and the second. A realist, chronological-bibliographic reading of Marx provides an alternative to traditional interpretations, by creating a novel concept of his object, his initial explicandum and his putative explicans. This reading identifies a fresh problem with his model of capital: it cannot explain how labour is organized into a productive power and subsumed to capital. Foucault provides the means of resolving these deficiencies of Marx's explicans. A realist interpretation turns Marx and Foucault around to face each other, renders them compatible and establishes points of contact between their work. Together they constitute a model of the operative logic of production relations capable of explaining the organization of labour, its subsumption to capital and the materialism of civil society and the idealism of the state. On this basis, the contemporary form of the problem of Industrial Relations theory is explained.