Kritik & theory
The left, global kicking off, and communisation theory
We can derive a coherent theory of crisis from Marx’s works based on his LTRPF [aw of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall], his views on credit and banking (fictitious capital) and on world markets and imperialism. Of course, there is plenty of work to be done in developing Marx’s theory of crisis in relation to modern developments and, as Marx did, we are learning more each day. But Marx’s LTRPF remains the most robust explanation of capitalist crises and something way superior to alternative Keynesian and other mainstream economic explanations, which signally failed to explain the Great Recession.
Does [Naomi Klein] see any hope of something else, born perhaps of popular resistance to this class warfare? A concluding chapter of two-dozen pages (out of more than 500) addresses ‘the rise of people’s reconstruction’. Neo-liberalism’s nemesis is, wait for it, Morales! Hezbollah! Factory and farm co-ops in Argentina and Brazil! The French and Dutch rejection of the European constitution (the only reference to the EU in the whole book)! And Chavez of course. As people sort among the rubble of their societies, the final sentence tells us that “they are building in resilience—for when the next shock hits”. Naomi Klein’s totalizing vision of the contemporary world renders these scraps of resistance merely symbolic.
Frankfurt and Critical Theory
At that point I realized how the Frankfurt people had tried ahead of time to assert things that I too had been working for years to sustain. This even explains a certain irritation shown by some of them who saw that in France there were experiences that were- I won’t say identical but in some ways very similar. In effect, correctness and theoretical fecundity would have asked for a much more thorough acquaintance with and study of the Frankfurt School. As far as I’m concerned, I think that the Frankfurt School set problems that are still being worked on. Among others, the effects of power that are connected to a rationality that has been historically and geographically defined in the West, starting from the sixteenth century on. The West could never have attained the economic and cultural effects that are unique to it without the exercise of that specific form of rationality. Now, how are we to separate this rationality from the mechanisms, procedures, techniques, and effects of power that determine it, which we no longer accept and which we point to as the form of oppression typical of capitalist societies, and perhaps of socialist societies too? Couldn’t it be concluded that the promise of Aufkliirung (Enlightenment), of attaining freedom through the exercise of reason, has been, on the contrary, overturned within the domain of Reason itself, that it is taking more and more space away from freedom? It’s a fundamental problem that we all debate, that is common to so many, whether Communists or not. And this problem, as we know, was singled out by Horkheimer before the others; and it was the Frankfurt School that measured its relationship with Marx on the basis of this hypothesis. Wasn’t it Horkheimer who sustained that in Marx there was the idea of a society as being like an immense factory?
- Program and utopia (nowthereandhere.wordpress.com)
- The Mirage of Neo-Communism | Dissent Magazine (jdeanicite.typepad.com)
- Hoping for the Worst (newleftproject.org)
- Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic (dmitryev.wordpress.com)
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Tags: Critical theory, Endnotes, Frankfurt School, Jodi Dean, Keith Hart, marxism, Michael Heinrich, Michel Foucault, Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman, Platypus, Shock Doctrine, Slavoj Zizek, Stephen Bronner