In this 2009 text presented at a Marxist conference in Saxony, Robert Kurz discusses the significance of the world economic crisis of 2008, the erroneous assessments of the meaning of this crisis by the bourgeois mainstream and the left, the positivist “ontologization of labor” by traditional Marxism, Marx’s crisis theory and its basis in “categorical analysis” on an “abstract conceptual plane”, and the failure of most leftists to cultivate a perspective that goes beyond the basic categories of capitalism, instead of volunteering to perform crisis management services on capitalism’s behalf.
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.
In this 2009 article, Roland Simon of Théorie Communiste subjects Anselm Jappe and, more generally, the current known as “Value Critique”, to severe criticism, claiming that their emphasis on the “commodity” and “value” causes them to misunderstand the Marxist critique of capitalism and to harbor erroneous views about “a kind of value that is no longer value” because of an alleged decline of the proportion of labor in each commodity caused by increasing productivity, and that their “‘focus’ on value and the commodity causes us to ‘forget’ that value is capital” and that the goal of capitalism is not even just surplus-value but rather the reproduction of capitalist class relations.
In this article first published in Prometeo in 1947, Amadeo Bordiga examines the history of the political forms of bourgeois rule and posits that it has passed through two stages (the early “heroic” period followed by the “golden age” of bourgeois democracy) and is now entering its third stage, characterized by the eclipse of “private initiative” and the rise of totalitarianism, as was demonstrated by the forces at work in World War Two, concerning which he says that “the fascists lost the war; fascism, however, was victorious”, because the victors are compelled to employ the “authoritarian and totalitarian methods that were first tested in the defeated countries”.
In this 1952 article from the “On the Thread of Time” series, on the eve of a split in the Internationalist Communist Party, Amadeo Bordiga sets forth his refutations (“theses”) of the innovators who stray from the correct doctrine of Marxism with their “dangerous improvisations” (“counter-theses”) in the fields of history, economics and philosophy—modestly claiming that his arguments might be rendered more “clear and convincing” if one were to devote “seven years” of “study and activity”, “seven hours a week”, to the task—with an ample selection of provocative epigrammatic comments on such topics as World Wars Two and Three, communism, bureaucracy, totalitarianism, ideology, etc.
An introduction to the Marxian approach to science and ideology.
This essay was inspired, on the one hand, by the growing interest in Marxism along with the proportional ignorance of the real nature of the movement; and on the other by the scarcity of accurate, relatively approachable, and contemporary introductions to the subject. It is written with the intended audience of any intelligent and curious reader, and I have attempted to avoid technical language and jargon as much as possible. The piece is meant to present not only the essential content of Historical Materialism, but indicate to what extent the theory is still useful to us today, as a resource for anyone seeking to understand Marx’s contribution to science and the revolutionary movement.