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Anselm Jappe

Robert Kurz interviewed by Sonia Montaño

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.

A critique of Anselm Jappe's essay, "Who Is To Blame?" - Roland Simon (Excerpt)

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.

What will we do if the system can no longer create jobs? An interview with Anselm Jappe – Alexandra Prado Coelho

A 2013 interview with Anselm Jappe in which he discusses the crisis of the society of labor, the logic of the commodity and exchange value and its disastrous consequences for an increasingly larger part of humanity, and perspectives for positive social change.

From Celine to the videoclip - Anselm Jappe

Anselm Jappe discusses the life and works of Celine and their relation to the populist politics of resentment, Nazi propaganda, and the mass culture of the postwar era, noting that Celine’s lauded style, in its consonance with his “ideological delusions”, meets Hitler’s definition of propaganda (“it is not about convincing, but about the power of suggestion” and emotions) and that, while Celine’s “… endless succession of fragments, almost devoid of meaning if one takes them in isolation, which are intended to stimulate immediate impulses, recall the techniques of Goebbels, they also prefigure a totalitarian technique that would only make its appearance a few decades later: the videoclip.”

Credit unto Death - Anselm Jappe

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.

Politics without Politics - Anselm Jappe

The Secession of the Roman Plebs

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.

The Princess of Clèves Today - Anselm Jappe

Madame de La Fayette, author of the Princess of Clèves

A brief review of the history of the “value critique” current and its antecedents, with particular emphasis on its relation to the tradition of the critique of modernity, technology, and the ideology of progress, as well as a discussion of the capitalist recuperation of the “transgressive” cultural politics that emerged during the 1960s and 1970s partly in connection with the search for a replacement for the proletariat as “revolutionary subject”.

Preface to Credit unto Death - Anselm Jappe

Balthazar in Babylon

Anslem Jappe’s preface to his 2011 book, Credit unto Death: The Decomposition of Capitalism and its Critics, in which the author cautions his readers that “emancipation cannot be the simple result of capitalist development” but will instead “be a leap into the unknown, without a net”, and that the “the crisis is not … synonymous with emancipation”, a claim that “defines the theme of this book”.

Are free individuals the necessary prerequisites for a successful struggle for freedom? - Anselm Jappe

In this text written in late 2011, Anselm Jappe criticizes the popular slogan “We are the 99%” in the context of a discussion of the “anthropological regression” induced by capitalism that has attenuated humanity’s capacity and desire for freedom, emphasizes the continuing relevance of the core concepts of value analysis for the understanding of the current capitalist crisis, and maintains that the present task of revolutionaries “… confronted by the disasters caused by the permanent revolutions unleashed by capital … is to ‘preserve’ some of the essential acquisitions of humanity and to attempt to cultivate them so that they assume a higher form”.

Who is to blame? - Anselm Jappe

A short essay contesting the notion that the current economic crisis is the result of "greed" or irresponsible speculation by evil bankers or investment firms, asserting instead that it is an effect of a generalized crisis of value production caused by the falling rate of profit--an immanent law of capitalist production--and further maintaining that, rather than precipitating the crisis, the massive expansion of fictitious capital over the last 30 years was the only way its onset could be delayed until now.