Anselm Jappe reflects on the significance of the ongoing crisis of commodity production and the reactions of mainstream commentators, the representatives of the “anti-neoliberal” left, and ordinary people, the role of credit in prolonging the system’s death throes, and the pitfalls of blaming scapegoats for what is actually a systemic collapse, and the “fundamental crisis” of the “value-form”, caused by the immanent contradictions that lie at the heart of the system of commodity production, which we should not save but destroy as quickly as possible in order to make the “leap into the unknown” of “a more human society”, or else endure worse barbarism to come.
Anselm Jappe rejects the traditional concept of politics and proposes a post-political politics appropriate for the crisis conditions of our time, a politics whose task is to “at least preserve the possibility for future emancipation against the dehumanization imposed by the commodity” and is based on a combination of non-representational direct action, the rehabilitation of the idea of sabotage, and anti-capitalist theory that transcends the fixed boundary between praxis and theory, without succumbing to the temptation to seek immediate results by yielding to traditional political attitudes and methods.
A brief review of the history of the “value critique” current and its antecedents, with particular emphasis on its relation to the tradition of the critique of modernity, technology, and the ideology of progress, as well as a discussion of the capitalist recuperation of the “transgressive” cultural politics that emerged during the 1960s and 1970s partly in connection with the search for a replacement for the proletariat as “revolutionary subject”.
Anslem Jappe’s preface to his 2011 book, Credit unto Death: The Decomposition of Capitalism and its Critics, in which the author cautions his readers that “emancipation cannot be the simple result of capitalist development” but will instead “be a leap into the unknown, without a net”, and that the “the crisis is not … synonymous with emancipation”, a claim that “defines the theme of this book”.
The transcript of a speech given in 1933 by former Major General Smedley Butler. Butler served in the US military for 34 years, and at the time of his death he was the most decorated soldier is US history...... WAR is a racket. It always has been It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people.
In view of the fact that the ideas embodied in Syndicalism have been practiced by the workers for the last half century, even if without the background of social consciousness; that in this country five men had to pay with their lives because they advocated Syndicalist methods as the most effective, in the struggle of labor against capital; and that, furthermore, Syndicalism has been consciously practiced by the workers of France, Italy and Spain since 1895, it is rather amusing to witness some people in America and England now swooping down upon Syndicalism as a perfectly new and never before heard-of proposition.