The Wandering of Humanity - Jacques Camatte

An abstract painting possibly by Salvador Dali

Two essays by Camatte, published by Black & Red (Detroit) in 1975.

Submitted by libcom on July 28, 2005


  • Publication details
  • Original Black & Red Introduction
  • I. The Wandering of Humanity - Repressive Consciousness -Communism
  • 1. Despotism of Capital
  • 2. Growth of Productive Forces; Domestication of Human Beings
  • 3. Repressive Consciousness
  • 4. Communism
  • II. Decline of the Capitalist Mode of Production or Decline of Humanity?

Publication Details

These two essays by Jacques Camatte, translated by Fredy Perlman, were published under the title The Wandering of Humanity by Black & Red (Detroit) in 1975. They were reprinted in the Autonomedia anthology Against Domestication in 1995. The original publication details are given in the Black & Red introduction reprinted below.

Original Black & Red Introduction

The essays included in the present work first appeared in the journal Invariance (Année 6, Série II No. 3, 1973) with the titles, "Errance de l'humanité; Conscience repressive; Communisme," and "Declin du mode de production capitaliste ou declin de l'humanité ?" The author of these essays, Jacques Camatte, worked with Amadeo Bordiga and the group of Marxist theoreticians who were known as the Italian communist left. After the events which took place in France in May of 1968, Camatte, together with his comrades on Invariance, began a critical analysis of the activities of the Italian communist left, the work of Bordiga as well as the work of Marx. The title of the journal originally referred to "the invariance of the theory of the proletariat," the theory of the League of Communists and the First International. By 1973 critics said of this journal that "nothing varies more than Invariance." Camatte and his comrades, pursuing the critical analysis they had begun, were led to conclude that "what is invariant is the aspiration to rediscover the lost human community, and this cannot take place through a reestablishment of the past, but only through new creation."

Their theoretical quest led them to a complete rejection of the theory of revolutionary parties and organizations, the theory of revolutionary consciousness, the theory of the progressive development of productive forces. "The French May movement showed that what is needed is a new mode of living, a new life." (The above quotations are from the last article in Invariance No. 3, 1973.)

( ... )The essays in the present work were translated from French by Fredy Perlman with assistance from Camatte; the illustrations were selected and prepared by Allan Foster; Lorraine Perlman and Judy Campbell participated in the photography, printing and binding. ( ... )


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