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The limits of capitalism: Challenging the fetishism of labour and money

Capital is nothing more than value that must be valorized, which is to say augmented. Value empirically takes the form of money and in that sense its valorization can be illustrated in Marx’s famous formula M–C–M’ [M prime], that is money–commodity–more money. We can call this an end-in-itself motion because the same thing is at the beginning and the end of this endless augmentation loop: money is turned into more money. Value (in the form of money) therefore again and again refers to itself alone and the sole objective of this movement is the constant accumulation of surplus value. By its own internal logic, this end-in-itself motion does not recognize any limits. Because of its purely abstract-quantitative nature, it must, in principle, continue endlessly. That is the basis for the incessant drive for growth in capitalist society—which, as we all know, is destroying the basis of human existence on earth.

Norbert Trenkle

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Looking back at “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs”: David Graeber – A critique

… written down, shit does not smell

Roland Barth, “L’arbre du crime”

What constitutes a “bullshit” job?  David Graeber in a now famous essay, “On the Phenonmenon of Bullshit Jobs“(2013), which now finds a second life in book form, has argued that contemporary capitalism generates endless quantities of useless, unproductive work as a means of controlling workers who, having been made technologically redundant, constitute a menace to the reigning social order.

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Notes from underground: Dostoyevsky’s #anarchism

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in a letter speaking of his The Brothers Karamazov, declares that his principal aim in writing the novel, a civic duty no less, is the defeat of “anarchism”.

How can we then suggest to speak of Dostoyevsky’s anarchism?  And yet we dare to do so, navigating our way through the extremes of the underground and the modern social conformity of the many, of the nihilists and decadent aristocrats, of the social reformers and a Church oblivious to the kingdom of heaven.  Our journey’s end is to be found in the many voices of Dostoyevsky’s world, in a polyphony that cannot be silenced without impoverishing that world.  Among these many voices, we find the braying of mules, the tortured crying of children, the virtue of women and friends, the dissonance of idiots and the enthusiasm of those who have experienced, however fleetingly, the immensity and self-sufficient beauty and goodness of life.  What binds all of these disparate voices together, and only this power or force can do so, is love.  And it is Dostoyevsky’s boundless love of life that we will risk to call his anarchism.

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The subjects of capital: A critique of narcissism

Capitalism produces human subjectivities, as it produces commodities.  Without this capacity, its underlying social relations would be unsustainable.

Motivated by our own reflections, we share below an essay that was recently posted on the french based palim-psaowebsite (a site dedicated to the diffusion of Krisis goup texts in various languages), that critically addresses the narcissistic subject of contemporary capitalism.

Peter Samol’s “All the lonely people” (Krisis, 4, 2016) has been getting some attention lately. For non-German speakers, an abridged translation can be found here (thanks to Marc Batko).

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (5)

The fifth chapter of Tomás Ibáñez’s Anarchism is movement brings the principal argument of the essay to a close.  Ibáñez is here concerned to demonstrate the bases upon which the contemporary anarchist resurgence and renewal occurred, bases that also set out the paths for its future development.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (4)

The fourth chapter of Tomás Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement directly engages the debate over the significance of “postanarchism”.  Neither tempted by a blind adherence to this current of thought, nor categorically dismissive, Ibáñez attempts to navigate between these extremes, always attentive to the complex relations between theory and practice that have always animated anarchism.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (3)

Engaging directly with the contemporary resurgence and renewal of anarchism, Tomás Ibáñez, in the third chapter of Anarchism is movement, endeavours in part to conceptualise what he calls the “constitutively changeable” nature of the movement. 

Binding together thought and action, anarchism develops within mutually sustaining relations between practice guided by and creative of ideas, and ideas generative of and resulting from practice.  And to the extent that anarchism in turn develops within a historical context, this same relationship between thought and action is paralleled at the broader level of the movement’s relationship with any particular historical moment: anarchism is made possible (as thought and practice) by the context from which it emerges, while that context is changed by anarchism. 

In other words, the anarchist movement’s capacity to surge up anew depends on its renewal and its renewal depends on its capacity to produce the conditions of its resurgence.  And it is in this immanent to and fro between idea and practice, and between both and historical setting, that rebellious subjectivities are forged.  Should these ties be severed, then anarchism and anarchists will only be found in libraries and museums.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (2)

Tomás Ibáñez, not without hesitation and only as a heuristic, employs the term “neoanarchism” to refer to the resurgence and changing nature of the movement in the wake of May 1968, France.  But these changes have not been without their critics, so that in what follows, the second chapter of Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement, he endeavours to both explain and defend what he considers to be the virtues of our new anarchism.

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#Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (1)

With this post, we (Autonomies) begin the publication of an english language translation of Tomás Ibáñez essay, “Anarchism is movement: Anarchism, neoanarchism and postanarchism” (2014). 

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The politics of ecstasy: From Eukariot

The eukariot counter-propaganda cell has released a second issue of reflections-interventions.  If we share the essays that follow, it is exclusively because of how much we share with them …

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