A short article by Robert Kurz on corporate corruption in the context of the decline of “corporatism”, with particular reference to Germany and the trade unions, the Works Committees and the Siemens scandal.
The more fictitious and speculative the capitalist valorization process becomes, the more brazenly corruption flourishes. If necessary, one eats a greasy sausage without any bread. Dietary recommendations are useless, because everything ends up the same; if they catch you, that is your bad luck.
A wide-ranging and comprehensive summary of Robert Kurz’s views on capitalism, economic crisis, gender relations, the environmental crisis, postmodernism, abstract labor, Marxism, the failure of the left, technological change, the State, etc., transcribed from an interview that took place three years before his death.
Interview with IHU Online, March 30, 2009 – Robert Kurz
IHU Online: Are the current financial and environmental crises linked to the “collapse of modernization”?
In this 2012 article, Robert Kurz discusses the crisis management strategies implemented by the US and Europe, their seemingly paradoxical reversal of roles (neoliberal policies vs. welfare state) and the ineluctable fate they will ultimately share: “Whoever wants to save the financial system has to eliminate demand, and whoever wants to save demand has to ruin the financial system”.
The Stalemate of Two Economic Models - Robert Kurz
A short 2010 article by Robert Kurz, reflecting on the crisis of abstract labor in capitalism and the development of productivity through robotics and automation, considered in the context of the depletion of fossil fuels and the simultaneous economic-environmental crisis.
Robotics and Labor: the Nightmares of Reified Consciousness – Robert Kurz
A short 2009 article in which Robert Kurz briefly discusses overproduction, the financial crisis, public bailouts, and environmental crisis, as illustrated by the case of the automotive industry.
Overproduction – Robert Kurz
The crisis highlights the fact that capitalism means producing ‘more’. Abstract economic logic does not distinguish between necessary goods for use, such as food, clothing, housing, etc., and luxury goods, or even destructive products, such as weapons of war.
In this short 2011 article Robert Kurz discusses the limits and deceptive appearances of Germany’s export-driven growth model with reference to the ongoing “devalorization of labor” and the resulting "labor bubble" in the context of capitalist crisis.
Labor without Value – Robert Kurz
Germany is admired everywhere as the world champion of economic recovery. The economy is prosperous and the labor market is expanding. But this pretty picture is deceptive.
Anti-economics and anti-politics: on the reformulation of social emancipation after the end of "marxism" - Robert Kurz
In this 1997 essay, Robert Kurz discusses the question of the “embryonic form” of “the productive forces developing in the womb of bourgeois society” (Marx); rejecting both the “all-or-nothing” view of the extreme left that sees such a project as doomed to integration into capitalism, and the reformist concept of “dual economy” where cooperative businesses produce for the capitalist market, he advocates a process of “disconnection” from the value matrix that incorporates aspects of both the old cooperative movement and modern “microelectronic” technology while preserving a commitment to overcoming the system of commodity production and a refusal to produce for the market.
1. Politics and the Question of the Embryonic Emancipatory Form
The apotheosis of money: the structural limits of capital valorization, casino capitalism and the global financial crisis - Robert Kurz
In this 1995 essay, Robert Kurz examines “fictitious capital”, “unproductive labor”, the “tertiary sector”, “State debt”, “speculative bubbles”, “derivatives”, and “globalization” in the context of the wave of bankruptcies, crashes and bailouts of the 80s and 90s; discusses Rosa Luxemburg’s crisis theory, Keynesianism, Aglietta’s “regulation theory”, and the “neo-liberal” offensive; and predicts a “devaluation shock” that will invalidate the bloated property claims of fictitious capital in a “monetary atomic explosion” heralding “the end of the history of the mode of production based on money”.
The Apotheosis of Money: The Structural Limits of Capital Valorization, Casino Capitalism and the Global Financial Crisis – Robert Kurz
1. Real Capital and Interest-Yielding Capital
The end of politics: theses on the crisis of the regulatory system of the commodity form - Robert Kurz
In this essay first published in 1994, Robert Kurz examines the history of “politics” as the “regulatory system” of “the modern commodity production system”, from the inception of capitalism to its high point immediately after WW2—when “the last residues … of the pre-modern constitution” were eliminated and when “politics” was finally totally absorbed by “economics”—and its current crisis, heralding “the historical collapse of the system”, manifested as “the environmental crisis, the crisis of the society of labor, the crisis of the nation-state and the crisis of gender relations” in an era when democracy “is nothing but the completed subjection to the subjectless logic of money”.
The End of Politics: Theses on the Crisis of the Regulatory System of the Commodity Form – Robert Kurz