capitalism

From one utopia to another - Anselm Jappe

Anselm Jappe turns the tables on the apologists for capitalism who denounce “utopia” as the seed of Stalinist terror and as contrary to “human nature”, by pointing out that the capitalist “utopia” of homo oeconomicus is the most important utopia in the history of the world and that, despite its ideological disguise as “natural” and “eternal”, it has almost always had to be imposed by force on reluctant populations who rejected its invasion and destruction of their traditional ways of life.

The Agrarian Origin of Capitalism - Darren Poynton (2011)

Jean-Francois Millet "Peasant Digging"

The transition from feudalism to capitalism is often viewed as the result of a gradual and rising progress of technology, urbanisation, science and trade - inevitable because humans have always possessed ‘the propensity to truck, barter and exchange’ (Adam Smith). However, as I hope to demonstrate, the rise of capitalism depended on very specific and localised conditions and was the result of a process that was far from automatic.

The fatal pressure of competition - Robert Kurz

2002 analysis of the phenomenon of school shootings, which the author claims reflect the totalitarian mass psychology of capitalism in crisis, whose perpetrators are described as "robots of capitalist competition gone haywire" in a "culture of self-destruction and self-forgetting".

The expropriation of time - Robert Kurz

A brief essay on the history of people's experience of time and its transformation from the cyclical time of the Middle Ages that was wholly infused with moments of leisure to the linear time of capitalism that is subject to the divergence between the "empty and dead time" of work and "the furious hedonism of the idiocy of consumption".

The destructive origins of capitalism - Robert Kurz

Brief essay on the role played by the "military revolution" in 16th century Europe in the genesis of capitalism and, among other things, the historical status of the soldiers of the new standing armies of the emerging nation-states as the "first modern wage workers" and the condottieri as the "prototypes of the modern businessman".

Presenting the Krisis Group's Manifesto against Labor - Norbert Trenkle

German author Norbert Trenkle's 2001 discussion of the Krisis Group's Manifesto against Labor, summarizing its main points and providing a brief account of the history and origins of the Krisis Group.

Reading Marx in the 21st century-Robert Kurz

In this introduction to his 2001 book, Marx Lesen, German author Robert Kurz sets forth brief summaries of his concepts of "non-simultaneity", "catch-up modernization", the "exoteric" and "esoteric" Marx, and the importance of understanding the role of "fetishism" in modern capitalism.

In this world, but not of this world - Gilles Dauvé

Gilles Dauvé discusses his 1972 essay Capitalism and Communism, Marxism and the state capitalist countries of the 20th century, the position of workers today.

Capitalism: an introduction

libcom.org's brief introduction to capitalism and how it works.

How a capitalist restaurant functions

An extract of Abolish Restaurants which outlines and explains the production process in a capitalist restaurant, which we feel is instructive of how capitalist entities function in general.