Despite their many disagreements when it comes to the subject of capitalism, Marxist and market-liberal perspectives seem to agree about one thing: the economic structures of capitalist market society have made direct violence against the person not only superfluous, but economically counterproductive. Heide Gerstenberger's Market and Violence does not contest the thesis that there has been, in many places, a decline in the use of violence in the pursuit of profit. But it demolishes the assumption that this can be put down to the evolution of economic rationality.
By means of a deep engagement with the concrete historical reality of capitalist economies, Gerstenberger establishes that, wherever capitalism has been tamed, this has been achieved only by a combination of energetic social contestation and political intervention. First published in German in 2018, the present English-language edition makes a sweeping history of capitalist violence by one of the preeminent theorists of capitalist society working today available to a wider readership.
Winner of the 2023 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.