Aufheben issue #22 (2013-14) available now

Aufheben #22 (2013-14)

Aufheben 22 (2013-14) is available now! Contents: After the crisis - what happened to the recovery in the UK? 5,000 years of debt? Fracking struggles.

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


Location




CONTENTS


WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN THE WEST?

Did the crisis mark the beginning of a new down-swing in capitalist development? If not, why was the economic recovery so slow? In this article we focus on the failure of the economic recovery to take hold in the old capitalist heartlands by examining the case of the UK economy. We will argue that the failure of the economic recovery in the UK cannot be sufficiently explained by conjunctural factors such as the imposition of austerity measures or the impairment of investment due to the impairment of banking in the aftermath of the banking crisis, and that more long term structural factors that have come to fore since the crisis may be more important.


5,000 YEARS OF DEBT?

David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5,000 Years is said to be the Das Kapital of the Occupy movement, and has been positively received by activists and intellectuals alike. It suggests that ‘debt’ and forms of money are valid categories that can help makes sense of violence, the state, and the market. However, we argue that the book’s history of debt across the millennia relies too often on an elasticity over the essence of ‘debt’ and considerable ‘poetic licence’ in his examples from history. This has serious, and disappointing, implications for political criticism of both our past history and our present world.

INTAKES: AN ACTIVIST’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE FRACKING STRUGGLE AT BALCOMBE
Climate change is now almost universally agreed to be linked to capitalist industry and consumption, and is a massive point of tension for contemporary capitalism. Traditional fossil energy prices will inevitably continue to rise and will become increasingly uneconomical. Among the non-conventional fossil fuels that are now being exploited are shale oil and shale gas. These fossil fuels are extracted through fracking – hydraulic fracturing. Currently, the most high-profile mass direct action campaign against fracking taking place in the UK is the Sussex village of Balcombe. The campaign has some similarities to other environmental struggles in the UK in the last 20 years. For this Intakes article, we asked one of our friends who had been along to the Balcombe site to share with us his experience of the campaign and to give us his perspective on its prospects for escalation.

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Comments

grupo_ruptura
Dec 27 2010 18:59

Spanish Translation of issue #19:

http://klinamen.org/noticias/aufheben-19

subprole
Oct 31 2011 09:59

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

INTAKES: COMMUNITIES, COMMODITIES AND CLASS IN THE AUGUST 2011 RIOTS

Chilli Sauce
Oct 31 2011 17:29

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

critiquer of po...
Jul 29 2012 16:22

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

Johnny
Jul 29 2012 21:10
critiquer of po...
Jul 31 2012 01:47

Thanks!

revol68
Sep 11 2012 22:16

THE REVOLUTIONARY INDUSTRIAL RESERVE ARMY STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH SUBPROLES DEMAND OF IMMEDIATE COMMUNISATION OF THIS MAGAZINE IN THE FORM OF PDF.

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"?

Johnny
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:

Quote:
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.

Marx-Trek
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..?

Cuadernos
May 18 2014 14:28

In the upcoming #9 of our publication, Cuadernos de Negación (http://cuadernosdenegacion.blogspot.com.ar/), 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.
Cuadernos.