This article was originally written as a response to "libertarians" who see scarcity as a natural, objective and eternal consecration of private property and the market. It also describes a perspective concerning the limitations of democracy in relation to the transformation of the material conditions of existence.
Artigo originalmente escrito como resposta aos "libertários" que veem a escassez como uma consagração natural, objetiva e eterna da propriedade privada e do mercado. Também é mostrada uma perspectiva a respeito dos limites da democracia em relação à transformação das condições de existência materiais.
Introdução de Fredy Perlman, escrita em 1968, para o livro de Isaak Illich Rubin "Essays on Marx's Theory of Value" (Black Rose Books, Montreal, 1973). Perlman faz um brilhante resumo dos temas principais do livro, como o da continuidade e transformação da teoria da alienação do jovem Marx na teoria da reificação e do fetichismo das mercadorias.
In this 2007 essay, Robert Kurz examines the question of theory and practice from the perspective of the “categorical” “critique of value-dissociation”, with extensive discussions of Marx, Engels, Bloch, Adorno, Horkheimer, Gramsci, Althusser, Foucault, Debord, Negri, and Holloway, and concludes, in the face of the prevalent urge for immediate “action” and the equally widespread denigration of theory, that “critical theory must consciously maintain a distance from all existing praxis”.
In this revised and expanded version of a 2010 talk, Robert Kurz examines the continuing relevance, and the limitations, of the concept formulated by Adorno and Horkheimer in 1944—the “Culture Industry”—with discussions of “cultural pessimism”, the postmodern “cult of superficiality”, the role of technology in cultural change, the “abstract individual”, advertising, the Internet, “virtualization”, “interactive” media, exhibitionism and narcissistic self-promotion, the pseudo-“gift economy” of the Net, the impact of the current economic crisis on the culture industry, the “depletion of cultural reserves”, “estheticization”, and the impossibility of a separate “cultural revolution”.
In this 2006 interview, Robert Kurz offers a succinct definition the “radical critique of value”, and discusses the nature of the commodity and markets, the “ontologization of value”, abstract labor, the unsavory side of Enlightenment ideology, “the liberation of the abstract individual” as a result of the current global crisis, the “double Marx”, fetishism, Anselm Jappe’s book The Adventures of the Commodity, the continuing relevance of Guy Debord’s concept of the spectacle, and other topics, in an interview for a Brazilian online publication.
Norbert Trenkle of the Krisis Group discusses the crisis of abstract labor in which “capitalism now only functions as a gigantic machine for exclusion and marginalization”, characterized by overaccumulation, the resort to fictitious capital in order to valorize capital and “the total diffusion of abstract labor throughout all of life”, resulting in “the brutalization of individual competition, the exacerbation of sexist and racist violence, the spread of nationalist and ethnic identity politics and the growth of religious sects and mafia gangs”, phenomena that “constitute extensions of the dominant, exclusionary and destructive effects of capitalist logic under crisis conditions”.
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.