Aufheben 24

Aufheben 24 (2017)



A number of left groups and individuals campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union in the recent referendum. We argue that the Brexit campaign, and the referendum itself, its results and its implementation, have been one with a victory of the ruling class against us. The implementation of Brexit will negatively affect solidarity among workers and radical protesters, setting back our strength and potentials to overturn capitalism. Many people in the radical left were blinded by the ideological forms of our capitalist relations, the reification of our human interactions, to the point of accepting a victory of the far right with acquiescence, or even collaborating with it.

Conspiracy theories have become more widespread in recent years. As populist explanations, they offer themselves as radical analyses of ‘the powerful’ – i.e., the operation of capital and its political expressions. One of the features that is interesting about such conspiracy theories therefore is that they reflect a critical impulse. We suggest that at least part of the reason for their upsurge (both in the past and in recent years) has to do with social conditions in which movements reflecting class struggles have declined or are seen to be defeated. We trace the rise of conspiracy theories historically and then focus on the most widespread such theory today – the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. We suggest that one factor in the sudden rise of 9/11 conspiracy theories was the failure and decline of the movement against the war in Iraq.

We argue that the transition facing China is the shift from the export of commodities to export of capital. This transition would mark a major step in transforming China from what we have termed a mere epicentre in the global economy to its establishment as a distinct second pole of within the global accumulation capital – an emerging antipode to that of the US. The group Chuǎng argue that recent Aufheben analyses are ‘too optimistic’ concerning China’s ability to maintain economic growth rates and fuel global capital accumulation. We reproduce their article as an Intake. In our response, we contend Chuǎng are unable even to recognise what we are suggesting let alone argue against it. This is because in making their analysis of the current economic situation in China, they have borrowed the spectacles of neo-liberal economics. They have thereby inadvertently adopted a myopic and ideologically circumscribed perspective that contains crucial blind-spots.

£4.00 (UK) and £6 (elsewhere), including postage - see our subscription and contact details to order a copy, or buy through Paypal below.



Dec 27 2010 18:59

Spanish Translation of issue #19:

Oct 31 2011 09:59

Our class demands the immediate publication of this article as a PDF file:


Chilli Sauce
Oct 31 2011 17:29

Hey, I paid 3.75 from the bookfair, I want my postage costs back!

Jul 29 2012 16:22

Is the next issue (#21) going to be published this year? If so then when approximately?

Jul 29 2012 21:10
Jul 31 2012 01:47


S. Artesian
Dec 15 2013 16:14

Aren't these the same people who not so long ago were arguing that capitalism was on the verge of a "new upswing"?

Dec 15 2013 19:27

In the conclusion to the crisis article in a previous issue, we did suggest - although tentatively - that the financial crisis might not mark the beginning of a long downswing in capital accumulation mainly on the basis of the rapid recovery in the rate of profit that has followed the crisis. We also suggested - although admittedly in footnote - that the crisis may have been the first tremor due to the tectonic shifts in global capitalism brought about by the rise of China and the 'emerging global south'.

So were we wrong? Yes and no.

Certainly for those of us in the old capitalist heartlands the last five years have been an unprecedented period of economic stagnation. For North America, Japan and much of Europe - with the notable exception of Germany and its hinterland in North and East of Europe (see our article on the euro-crisis in issue 21) - the economic recovery has been weak if not non-existent. However, this has not been the case for China and the 'emerging economies of the global south' that rapidly bounced back from the crisis of 2008. Up until the last year or so China has been growing at over 10% a year. Whereas much of the old capitalist heartlands have barely recovered pre-crisis levels of output, China's GDP is more than 50% bigger. During this time it has overtaken Japan to become the second largest economy in the world. This rapid capital accumulation in China has pulled the emerging economies behind it.

Before the crisis, the global economy was growing at between 4%-5% a year - quite a brisk pace by historical standards. In the period after the crisis the world economy has been growing at 3%-4% mainly due to China centred capital accumulation. A significant slowdown, but hardly economic stagnation. This can be seen as part of the shift in the centre of global capital accumulation towards China and the emerging global south - the moving of the tectonic plates.
Now it is true that this post-crisis period seems to be coming to end. China's economic growth has been slowed down to around 7% and this is having an impact on the emerging economies of the global south as evident in the current crisis in India that may well trigger another global financial crisis. At the same time US economic recovery seems to be gathering pace at last.
Now we must admit that we did not predict this tale of two worlds of the past five years. We underestimated China’s economic development and hence its relative autonomy from capital accumulation in the USA. We also failed to foresee the stagnation in the West.
In the article in this year’s issue, we look at the failure of the economic recovery in the West – focusing on the example of the UK. We look at how far this failure was due to what can be considered as contingent factors such as the policy response of the government and how far it was due to deeper structural factors such as the rise of China.

S. Artesian
Jan 3 2014 15:03

Actually, I don't think you said:

we did suggest - although tentatively - that the financial crisis might not mark the beginning of a long downswing in capital accumulation mainly on the basis of the rapid recovery in the rate of profit that has followed the crisis.

at the time. I think you said that capital was poised on the verge of a new long-term upswing. Something like that.

I think your analysis then, as your analysis now, is, to put it mildly-- superficial.

Jan 2 2014 21:36

How did and how is the rest of the world, outside of the West, doing these days? Just got and started reading the new issue today. Is this thread heading into another round debating up or down-swings, China's looming dominance, etc..?

May 18 2014 14:28

In the upcoming #9 of our publication, Cuadernos de Negación (, and in the #10 and #11 also, we'll be developing a critique of the economy. In #9 there is a section called "Myths of the economist" that tries to show why such concepts as interest, barter, robinsonadas (as the spansh translation of marx called it), economicist essence and the uniqueness and universality of value, are historical constructions of the dominant class and nothing else. And by utilizing these myths, the dominant ideology forces on us a very particular and historically specific view of world.
In that section we have used some quotations from David Graeber's book. We have enjoyed Graeber's book but we're aware of the deviations that both the author and the book have. We have read some criticism, both in spanish and in english, to the book, but we believe, as we are big fans since we've first read aufheben six or seven years ago, that this one will be of qualitative importance.
So, we are asking if you can send us this particular text via mail at (cuadernosdenegacion at hotmail dot com) because it would be very good to discuss your positions here with our comrades. The new issue of our publication will be issued in 1-2 months so the timing will be important here. It would be very good to read your article and include some of your thoughts here (by reading many of your texts we're trusting more in more in your analysis and when we learn that an issue is close we anxiously expect it).
So, in case the pdf is not available soon, please send us that particular text via mail so we can enjoy and include your positions in our publication. We don't have paypal or credit card and with the change of currency and the low salaries here, the 15 pounds for the 3 issues transform to about 1/10 of our monthly wage. We're sure you'll understand this.
Thanks in advance and congratulations for the ongoing effort.

Oct 21 2014 04:09

when is issue 23 coming? Any topics decided?

Joseph Kay
Oct 21 2014 06:04
We now anticipate going to press some time in January.
We will have articles on Obama's pivot from the Middle East to China, workers' experience and enquiry, and disaster communism.
Aufheben, October 2014

Feb 17 2015 11:38

Did this get printed in January, or is it still not done yet?

Joseph Kay
Feb 17 2015 16:29

I haven't heard anything, assume it's not out yet. The unemployed centre is getting evicted in a couple of weeks by the Trot bosses who stole half a million quid from it. Should do something for news on that actually.

Feb 28 2015 08:36

hoping to see an issue take on the Rojava issue.

Feb 28 2015 20:54

We are hoping to publish in the next month or so. Most of the stuff is written. We are still finding most of our time caught up in the struggle to keep the unemployed centre open - this is the reason for the delay still. More here:

Feb 28 2015 21:20

Dead Sea Scroll anyone?

Oct 6 2015 19:37

At about 6pm October 6th 2015 UK time this was no.4 on the list of "recent posts"; scroll down and you see the last post is Feb 28 23.30. Clearly someone posted to this page and did not realise that almost everything referring to Aufheben in a critical way is automatically censored by libcomatose without any admission that it has been. This has happened several times. This post will obviously be censored too....Rocking the boat is forbidden, even when it is The Titanic.........

Oct 6 2015 19:48

Or it might have been that the newest edition has been added to the files, the one just published, the one the picture up top references, thus updating the thread, cunningly alluded to when the little red letters nest the thread said "updated." Bloody hell, makes you think....

Oct 6 2015 19:58

The word "updated" in "little red letters" must have been written so little that to my eyes they are as invisible as the credibility of this site.

S. Artesian
Oct 6 2015 20:15

right. it says "new" in red, the sly bastards. And then that graphic, showing an issue with the date 2015-2016.... censors at work, no doubt.

I mean, censors might be at work, but that's hardly the evidence, is it? Unless the work includes long snoozes, periods of inattention, and general slackness.... hey, can I get that gig?

And then there is that whole exchange about issue 23, scheduled to appear in October 2014. So... only a year late. Hell, with a schedule like that Aufheben could be Insurgent Notes.

Oct 6 2015 20:24

ayyyyyyy lmao

Oct 6 2015 20:31

GerryK, you're a fucking idiot. Really.

Oct 6 2015 20:34

It's awful cover art, by the way. Why are there ducks swimming on the bottom half of the bisected ballerina? Or is she half woman, half mushroom?

Oct 6 2015 23:31
GerryK wrote:
At about 6pm October 6th 2015 UK time this was no.4 on the list of "recent posts"; scroll down and you see the last post is Feb 28 23.30. Clearly someone posted to this page and did not realise that almost everything referring to Aufheben in a critical way is automatically censored by libcomatose without any admission that it has been. This has happened several times. This post will obviously be censored too....Rocking the boat is forbidden, even when it is The Titanic.........

lolz. As others have pointed out your conspiraloon theory is a bit off. This post was updated because the new issue has changed. This is a screenshot of the admin panel:

As you will be well aware, we were the ones who published the initial critiques of Aufheben, and we continue to host those articles as well as forum discussions containing probably hundreds of posts of people criticising Aufheben.

What we do have, however, are rules against derailing, off topic posts and comments which belong on other threads. As you are well aware, as it is the only thing you ever talk about, there are many other threads and posts on libcom where you can talk about this subject. So if you really want to keep going on about it you are welcome to do so there. However we will not have you derailing any other threads. This is a final warning, as it has been years and you keep doing it.

Some of the derailing comments have been unpublished. However I'm going to leave yours and this here until you have had time to see it, then they will be unpublished, as will this.

PS "libcomatose" that's a pretty poor effort. Seriously you have had a few years now I would have thought you could have come up with something better than that… What does it even mean?

Oct 6 2015 23:57

Except those threads are all locked.

Oct 7 2015 03:56

Last night I replied to Khawaga's blatant flaming - and the reply has been deleted (even though there was no flaming in it whatsoever). Now Steven, playing the typical manipulative role he invariably plays, totally falsifies the history of Johnny and Aufheben and libcom and my posts and even this thread in every detail. But I shall not waste time any further on this complacent mutual congratulation society (sighs of relief all round).

Oct 7 2015 14:10

Not flaming, Gerry K. I only posted facts. And in light of you last post, I think my comment was warranted. Really, for all the fucking very correct critiques you have of Dr. Crowd control, the way you go about it, making it out to be some massive conspiracy theory makes you look like a fucking idiot.

Oct 7 2015 15:43

I might well have been wrong about the particular case of censorship here (though none of the red "new" or "updated" words appear on my version of this webpage) but

you're a fucking idiot.

if you think that critiquing the gang-like obsessional censorship mentality of libcoma admin (see , for instance the way Steven reacted to some comments - now disappeared, in reaction to the libcom sycophant Rob Ray's comments on the Michael Schmidt thread) amounts to

some massive conspiracy theory

. Here you reproduce the dominant societys very convenient dismissal of any recognition of the commonality of interest amongst the ruling class as the mentality of "conspiracy nutters" on the small scale of a critique of the libcoma gang.

The problem with professional intellectuals like you (however proletarianised you might well be) is that you are so stuck in your heads as to be incapable of recognising anger, let alone making decisions, as an essential contribution to subverting your own complacency towards this society and to those like libcoma who are complicit with it. For you it is enough to have a merely "theoretical " critique divorced from emotions or genuine attack.