Robert Kurz

2008 interview with the online magazine, Telepolis - Robert Kurz

Cassandra warns the Trojans

A 2008 interview with Robert Kurz on the financial crisis.

Marx's theory, the crisis and the abolition of capitalism - Robert Kurz

In this 2010 interview, Robert Kurz discusses Marx’s theory of crisis, the theories of “collapse” advocated by a minority of Marxists (Luxemburg, Grossman, Mattick) in the early 1900s, the implications of the “third industrial revolution of microelectronics” for capitalist accumulation, Moishe Postone’s analysis of the crisis of abstract labor, “anti-industrialism” and the anti-growth movement (décroissance), and the meaning of “labor” as a historical and economic concept that must be transcended and replaced by “conscious social planning” and a “broad diversification of industrial production and services, implemented in accordance with purely qualitative criteria”.

World economic crisis, social movements and socialism - 12 theses - Robert Kurz

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.

The road to barbarism - an interview with Robert Kurz - Anselmo Massad

A brief 2011 interview with Robert Kurz about the ongoing slide towards barbarism caused by the crisis of capitalism.

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.

The Krisis Group: a mountain gives birth to a mouse – Charles Reeve

In this review essay written in 2003 for Le Monde Libertaire on the occasion of publication of the first French edition of the “Manifesto Against Labor”, Charles Reeve discusses the Krisis Group’s critique of capitalism and concludes that there is “nothing new under the sun” here, that the Krisis Group presents its critique of reformism as if it were a novel discovery when in fact it is the heritage of “the revolutionary currents of Marxism and anarchism”—which the Group does not bother to mention—and that its proposals to implement a “break with the categories of labor” are “neo-reformist” and not so different from the positions of the civil society movement it ridicules.

Parables of big brother - Robert Kurz

Robert Kurz discusses the “implicit” “subtexts” of the great dystopian literature of the 20th century and reveals the “internalized constraints” of “the anonymous, ‘reified’ character of [the] totalitarianism” of our time, in which “the Voice of Big Brother is the voice of the Anonymous World Market”, the “most totalitarian of all systems”, and “the subjective command centers are … the executive organs of an autonomized mechanism” ruled by “the irrational end-in-itself of the ‘interminable valorization of value’” whose “ideal is the self-surveillance and self-control of the individual entrepreneur ‘by way of his capitalist superego’”.

The new historical simultaneity - Robert Kurz

In this 2004 article, Robert Kurz discusses the condition of “simultaneity” caused by the concluding phase of the discontinuous “catch-up modernization” of the world’s nations that culminated in “the constitution of the transnational structures of capital” in which the traditional workers movement and leftist politics, inseparable from the national form of capitalism and its “Enlightenment ideology”, have been rendered obsolete and ineffective, and asserts that critique “must become more profound and must understand the repressive assumptions behind these concepts instead of demanding the realization of their ideals” (“nation, political regulation, bourgeois recognition”).

The mechanism of corrosion - Robert Kurz

In this article first published in 2002, Robert Kurz examines the cycles of booms and busts since the 1980s, identifies the United States as the linchpin of the world economy in its role as global consumer, points out that this role can only be sustained temporarily by way of credit and fictitious capital created by financial bubbles (a “pseudo-economy”) that increasingly renders the population superfluous for value production, predicts that “the real estate bubble will burst, too”, and concludes with the observation that “if the North American motor stops running, the whole world economy will grind to a halt”.

The political economy of human rights - Robert Kurz

In this article written in 2002 during the build-up for the second Iraq War, Robert Kurz exposes the ideology of human rights in the context of capitalist society as more of a “threat” than a “promise” for the economically “superfluous”, who are no longer the subjects of rights and, as such, forfeit all claim to value, and calls this “the principal secret of all political economy and, most pertinently, of modern democratic politics” and claims that “the emancipatory critique of human rights is the precondition of all critique in the 21st century, just as the critique of religion was the precondition of all critique in the 19th century”.