Aufheben 24

Aufheben 24 (2017)



A number of left groups and individuals campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union in the recent referendum. We argue that the Brexit campaign, and the referendum itself, its results and its implementation, have been one with a victory of the ruling class against us. The implementation of Brexit will negatively affect solidarity among workers and radical protesters, setting back our strength and potentials to overturn capitalism. Many people in the radical left were blinded by the ideological forms of our capitalist relations, the reification of our human interactions, to the point of accepting a victory of the far right with acquiescence, or even collaborating with it.

Conspiracy theories have become more widespread in recent years. As populist explanations, they offer themselves as radical analyses of ‘the powerful’ – i.e., the operation of capital and its political expressions. One of the features that is interesting about such conspiracy theories therefore is that they reflect a critical impulse. We suggest that at least part of the reason for their upsurge (both in the past and in recent years) has to do with social conditions in which movements reflecting class struggles have declined or are seen to be defeated. We trace the rise of conspiracy theories historically and then focus on the most widespread such theory today – the idea that 9/11 was an inside job. We suggest that one factor in the sudden rise of 9/11 conspiracy theories was the failure and decline of the movement against the war in Iraq.

We argue that the transition facing China is the shift from the export of commodities to export of capital. This transition would mark a major step in transforming China from what we have termed a mere epicentre in the global economy to its establishment as a distinct second pole of within the global accumulation capital – an emerging antipode to that of the US. The group Chuǎng argue that recent Aufheben analyses are ‘too optimistic’ concerning China’s ability to maintain economic growth rates and fuel global capital accumulation. We reproduce their article as an Intake. In our response, we contend Chuǎng are unable even to recognise what we are suggesting let alone argue against it. This is because in making their analysis of the current economic situation in China, they have borrowed the spectacles of neo-liberal economics. They have thereby inadvertently adopted a myopic and ideologically circumscribed perspective that contains crucial blind-spots.

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Aufheben #25 (2020)

Aufheben #25 articles will be published here whenever they become available.


Property Guardianships: Squatters paying rent?
Intakes article providing the first critical analysis of the rise of and resistance to property guardianships.

Conspiracy theories - a new introduction (2020)

New preface to Aufheben's article from 2016

We have put together a new preface to our 2016 article on conspiracy theories to coincide with three things:
(1) we've managed to correct all the typos in the original text:
(2) Some friends in the USA are publishing the article as a pamphlet (see our Facebook page for details)
(3) Conspiracy theories are seemingly significant again and their proponents present them as the true opposition to the state.

Conspiracy theories introduction V2.pdf179.25 KB

Property Guardianships: Squatters paying rent?

Property guardianships might be considered the housing equivalent of the ‘gig economy’. ‘Flexibility’ on the part of the tenant means giving up the usual tenancy rights and protections. This arrangement has now become a global business model with a number of multinational companies involved. We argued back in Aufheben 13 (2005) that:

the very ubiquity of housing in our everyday lives has often meant that the political and social importance of housing is overlooked by those interested in the social question. Yet, as one of the central elements in the reproduction of labour power, housing is above all a class issue.

In this issue, we return to housing with an Intakes article that provides the first critical analysis of the rise of and resistance to property guardianships. It was important to get the perspective of those with experience of living in and of organizing against property guardianships. So this article is partly written by activists involved in one local campaign, alongside an investigation of the history and operation of this housing model.

Property Guardians FINAL.pdf1.55 MB