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Modernism

Modernism

MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

The editorial board of Mediations is pleased to announce the publication of our latest dossier, Marxism and the Critique of Value.

This double issue is being published simultaneously as a book, which can be downloaded as a free PDF from M-C-M′ (http://www.mcmprime.com) and which is also available in paperback (ISBN 978-0989549707).

Consisting of some 400 pages of new translations from the German-language Wertkritik tendency, Marxism and the Critique of Value presents a landmark effort to complete the critique of the value-form begun by Marx.

The full text can, as always, be accessed at mediationsjournal.org, where it is accompanied by book reviews by Roberto Schwarz, Josh Robinson, Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury, and Matthew Moraghan.

 

DOSSIER: MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group

Volume 27, Nos. 1-2 Fall/Spring 2013-14

 

Editors’ Note

 

Norbert Trenkle: Value and Crisis: Basic Questions

Norbert Trenkle tackles fundamental questions posed by the critique of value. How does it differ from other Marxisms? What are the consequences of the critique of value for the category of labor and for the labor theory of value? What is its relationship to socialism as an economic project? What is the relationship between the value-form and capitalist crisis? Can the critique of capitalism still be undertaken from the standpoint of labor?

 

Robert Kurz: The Crisis of Exchange Value: Science as Productivity, Productive Labor, and Capitalist Reproduction

As long as value is allowed to hold sway as an element of second nature, the Left will not be able adequately to understand the developments in the productive forces that characterized the twentieth century. Robert Kurz lays out the fundamental coordinates that tie the critique of value to the theory of crisis.

 

Claus Peter Ortlieb: A Contradiction between Matter and Form: On the Significance of the Production of Relative Surplus Value in the Dynamic of Terminal Crisis

Building on the insights of Capital I, and dispatching common liberal misunderstandings of those insights, Claus Peter Ortlieb makes the case for what mainstream economists euphemistically call “secular stagnation”: that is, an economic crisis that cannot be resolved by economic means.

 

Roswitha Scholz: Patriarchy and Commodity Society: Gender without the Body

Can there be a feminist materialism that does not rely on the fundamentally anti-Marxist materialism of the body? What is the relationship between capitalism, patriarchy, and feminist deconstruction? Roswitha Scholz introduces the concept of “value-dissociation,” under which capitalist societies necessarily consign labor that does not valorize capital — but that is nonetheless essential to its production and reproduction — to a subordinate, feminized zone.

 

Norbert Trenkle: The Rise and Fall of the Working Man: Towards a Critique of Modern Masculinity

In order to be able to understand the current economic crisis in particular and the emergence and development of capitalism in general, Norbert Trenkle argues, it is necessary to account for capitalism’s gendered social dimension. What can the connection between modern masculinity and the logic of modern labor tell us about the current crisis and the relation between capitalist form and its corresponding social structures?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Off Limits, Out of Control: Commodity Society and Resistance in the Age of

Deregulation and Denationalization

Despite all violent disagreements, mainstream Left and Right agree that what is at stake is the role of the state: is it “off limits” or “out of control”? But what if the role of the state — as with the flight to finance — is epiphenomenal to an underlying crisis-process? What are the possible political responses? Ernst Lohoff argues that rather than a rearguard defense of the state, the slogan of free access could organize a plausible Left project.

 

Robert Kurz: World Power and World Money: The Economic Function of the U.S. Military Machine within Global Capitalism and the Background of the New Financial Crisis

In an article written in the initial stages of the 2007-8 financial crisis, Robert Kurz traces its origins to the Reaganite policy of “weaponized Kenyesianism” that stabilized the world dollar economy and established the dominant flows of debt and goods that would persist until the onset of the crisis: phenomena that are generally recognized on the Left as well as on the Right only in inverted form.

 

Norbert Trenkle: Struggle without Classes: Why There Is No Resurgence of the Proletariat in the Currently Unfolding Capitalist Crisis

Class struggle played a historically indispensable role in the constitution of the working class as a subject conscious of its pursuit of a social mission. But can a class subject point to a future beyond capitalist social relations today? Is “declassing” a mere appearance? Or, on the contrary, do contemporary attempts to think struggle in class terms, no matter how sublimated, diguised, misrecognized, or sophisticated, lead up a blind alley?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Violence as the Order of Things and the Logic of Annihilation

How, after the end of the Cold War and the universalization of a supposedly pacifying market logic, are we to understand contemporary violence? The answer, suggests Ernst Lohoff, lies in the emergence of modern subjectivity and its origins in the Englightemnent: origins deeply bound up in the emergence of the value-form.

 

Robert Kurz: The Nightmare of Freedom: The Foundations of “Western Values” and the Helplessness of Critique

Are freedom and equality Left values? Certainly they inform historical Marxism and anarchism as much as liberalism. But what if the concepts themselves are bound up with the logic of the market? What if freedom is only a naked function of the valorization process — a moment in capital’s self-mediation — that is, of universal unfreedom? Utopias of circulation, of markets without money, suddenly look wildly implausible.

 

Karl-Heinz Lewed: Curtains for Universalism: Islamism as Fundamentalism in Modern Social Form

In most writing about political Islam — even from the Left — it is understood, even where a vulgar “clash of civilizations” thesis is rejected, to be fundamentally other to Western social and political forms. Karl-Heinz Lewed argues that political Islam is nothing other than a form of appearance of a general world crisis, one which makes its first appearance in the failed modernizations of the Third World. Political Islam is one attempt to resolve an impasse central to the Enlightenment mobilization of the dialectic of universal and particular: a dialectic which itself owes its historical resonance to the emergence of the value form.

 

Robert Kurz: On the Current Global Economic Crisis: Questions and Answers

How can we understand the current global economic crisis? What can we expect to happen in the next few years? How will this crisis force us to rethink critique, the nature of global social movements, and concepts such as revolution? For Robert Kurz, the critique of value is at the same time an analysis of the crisis, and the analysis of the crisis is of necessity a critique of value.

 

Robert Kurz: The Ontological Break: Before the Beginning of a Different World History

The debate over globalization seems to have reached a moment of exhaustion. Why? The process underlying globalization is, if anything, still in its initial stages. The endpoint we have reached is rather a categorical one: the exhaustion of an entire universe of historical concepts, which, argues Robert Kurz, we now have to learn to do without.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Roberto Schwarz reviews Robert Kurz’s The Collapse of Modernization

Josh Robinson reviews Ernst Lohoff’s and Norbert Trenkle’s The Great Devaluation

Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury review Kevin B. Anderson’s Marx at the Margins

Matthew Moraghan reviews Arundhati Roy’s Walking with the Comrades

 

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literacy Grouphttp://www.mediationsjournal.org/

First published in: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/mediations-27.1-2-marxism-and-the-critique-of-value

 

**END**

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World Crisis

SSPT ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 16-17 JUNE 2011, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

‘FORMS OF DOMINATION AND EMANCIPATION’

STUDIES IN SOCIAL & POLITICAL THOUGHT (SSPT)

[T]he fact above all which so demoralizes the modern world [is] that the greater the efforts made, the more terrible are the new forms in which the old social problems reappear- C. L. R. James

Research students and scholars working in philosophy, social, political or theory more broadly construed are invited to submit an abstract of up to 400 words on any topic related to the conference theme ‘Forms of Domination and Emancipation’. Please ensure the abstract is prepared for blind review. Presentations will likely be 20-30 minutes in length.

Keynote speakers include Chris Arthur (ex-Sussex) on “Dialectic of Domination and Emancipation” and Stathis Kouvelakis (Kings College London) on “The Actuality of Revolution?”

Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in the Winter 2011 issue of Studies in Social & Political Thought.

The deadline for submissions is 15 April 2011

Notification of acceptance will be sent out within two weeks.
Abstracts or questions should be addressed to: sspt@sussex.ac.uk

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
Forms of domination – Capital; (neo-)Liberalism; Patriarchy; Imperialism and (neo-)Colonialism; Hegemony; Ideology; Biopolitics; Discipline; Governmentality; Psychology and Psychoanalysis; Legality and Legitimacy.

Forms of emancipation – Communism and Communization; Radical Democracy; the State; Politics of Difference, Otherness, Non-Identity; Anarchism; Multitude; Psychology and Psychoanalysis; New Social Movements.

Possible thinkers include but are not limited to:

Alain Badiou; Walter Benjamin; Judith Butler; Gilles Deleuze; Frantz Fanon; Michel Foulcault; Antonio Gramsci; G.W.F. Hegel; C.L.R. James; Freud and Lacan; Henri Lefebvre; Rosa Luxemburg; Karl Marx; Antonio Negri; Evgeny Pashukanis; Jacques Rancière; Edward Said; Early Frankfurt School; Neue Marx-Lektüre; Value-Form Theory; Théorie Communiste.

Some participants might also like to consider the relations between different thinkers and forms of domination and emancipation.

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World Crisis

THE SPIRIT OF CAPITAL – WITH MOISHE POSTONE

This message is to announce the Tenth Annual Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy at the New School For Social Research entitled “The Spirit of Capital: A Conference on Hegel and Marx

Date: April 28-29, 2011
Paper Submission Deadline: Dec 1st, 2010
Keynote Speaker: Moishe Postone (University of Chicago)

Submission Guidelines:

Papers ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 words should be submitted in blind review format via spiritofcapital@gmail.com and should include the following in the body of the email:

i. Author’s name

ii. Title of Paper

iii. Institutional affiliation

iv. Contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)
Please omit any self-identifying information within the body of the paper.

PLEASE POST, FORWARD AND CIRCULATE WIDELY

Sincerely,

Graduate Conference Committee 2010-2011, The New School for Social Research, spiritofcapital@gmail.com

THE SPIRIT OF CAPITAL: A CONFERENCE ON HEGEL AND MARX

THE TENTH ANNUAL GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE IN PHILOSOPHY

AT THE NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MOISHE POSTONE

APRIL 28TH -29TH, 2011

“It is impossible completely to understand Marx’s Capital, and especially its first chapter, without having thoroughly studied and understood the whole of Hegel’s Logic. Consequently, half a century later none of the Marxists understood Marx!!” wrote Lenin in 1915. In 1969, Althusser responded, “A century and a half later no one has understood Hegel because it is impossible to understand Hegel without having thoroughly studied and understood Capital.” What are we to make of this challenge today? Are we now ready to understand Hegel through Marx, and Marx through Hegel?

It is high time for a reassessment of the core stakes of the Marx-Hegel debate. What would it mean to think the concepts of capital and spirit together? This conference is a place to explore the internal relations between Hegel and Marx’s philosophical projects. Some possible questions include: how does Hegel’s phenomenology, logic, philosophy of nature, history and right internally contain the elements that Marx will use to decipher the world of property, labor, commodities and capital? Is Capital a logical theory of forms or a theory of history? How does Marx negate and realize Hegel’s project? What is the role of labor in Hegel, and the role of spirit in Marx? Does the development of history show the unfolding of freedom or the unfolding of capital?  This conference echoes the early Frankfurt School tradition, with its project for a critique of the social forms of the present. We encourage submissions on a wide range of topics and thinkers:

Possible Themes:

Capital and Spirit

Hegel’s Logic and Marx’s Grundrisse

Property, Alienation, and Class

Form and Content in Hegel and Marx

Concrete and Abstract Labor

Master and Slave

Critique, Dialectic and Method

Time and History

Freedom and Necessity

Substance and Subject in Capital

The Value-Form

Critique of Labor

Revolution and Negation

Materialism and Idealism

Proletarian Self-Abolition

Commodity, Money and Capital

The Philosophy of Right

Possible Thinkers:

I.I. Rubin

Gyorgy Lukacs

Karl Korsch

Ernst Bloch

Walter Benjamin

Alfred Sohn-Rethel

Theodore Adorno

Herbert Marcuse

CLR James

Raya Dunayevskaya

Guy Debord

Alexander Kojeve

Jean Hyppolite

Frantz Fanon

Helmut Reichelt

Hans-Georg Backhaus

Gillian Rose

EMAIL SUBMISSIONS TO: spiritofcapital@gmail.com

SUBMISSION DEADLINE is Dec 1st, 2010

Papers should be sent as word documents or pdfs, not exceeding 5000 words. Personal information including institutional affiliation is to be sent in the body of the email and should not appear on the paper itself or in the file name.

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