Rebecca Carson

Research project: Time, Subject and Fiction: The role of Money and Credit in a Marxian Theory of Capitalist Valorisation


This dissertation addresses the philosophical role of time, subject and fiction in Marx's theory of valorisation with the purpose of drawing out implications for how we understand the function of credit money based on the concept of fictitious capital. By representing un-valorised value, fictitious capital or credit money cannot simply be understood as representative of reified forms of value and therefore corresponding subjection to the form cannot be interpreted from the point of view of the fetish character only. In this way, money is a form that, although is immanent to capital, is at the same time other to capital. This is because there is no realization of capital without valorisation (verwertung) and therefore circulation. Since fictitious capital is un-valorised value, the forms of abstract domination imposed by the circulation of the value form does not determine the nature of the particular social relationship involved in subjection to the circulation of this money form. Therefore, the particular power relation involved in the circulation of credit money has a personal dimension of dependency that is differentiated from abstract domination determined by the circulation of money produced by the realization of capital through the valorisation process. Personal forms of domination however, come into being by the very process of exchange that is described abstractly by Marx as completely impersonal and formal since the social relations underlining the use of credit are built on the social relations of the value form. What this dissertation will show is that the societal effects of a heightened circulation of fictitious capital means that a large proportion of money in use is not a product of circulation and therefore on a societal level the labour needed to uphold this form of money is transposed from the past to the future. As a result, many of the people who would have been subjected to the past process of production are rather subjected to the future process meaning they have to appear as able to labour in the future, and therefore be able to reproduce their labour in the present. This places increased pressure on social activity outside of the production process that is appropriated towards the maintenance of labour.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Time, Subject and Fiction: The role of Money and Credit in a Marxian Theory of Capitalist Valorisation
  • Research supervisor: Professor Etienne Balibar
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Simon Wortham


I teach in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths, University of London.


"Fictitious Capital and the Re-emergence of Personal Forms of Domination," 150 Years of Capital. Continental Thought & Theory: A Journal of Intellectual Freedom. Vol 1, Issue 4, 566-586. October 2017. [Available Online at] n%20CAPITAL.pdf?sequence=6. Accessed 01/11/17.

"Money as Money: Suzanne de Brunhoff's Marxist Monetary Theory,"  Consecutio Rerum: Rivista critica della Postmodernità. Anno III, numero 5, Novembre 2018. [Available Online at]