"How Karl Marx Helps Us to Understand Contemporary Populism"

"How Karl Marx Helps Us to Understand Contemporary Populism"



150 years ago Karl Marx publishes capital in the eyes of bourgeois thinkers and of the academic into media mainstream Marx is completely outdated today they might ask where are the proletarians in wags today we have to admit we live in a world of democracy and the free market on the other hand to addition the leftists might object that capital is when has returned especially in its neoliberal form but there's once again a huge gap between the rich and the poor and there are other kinds of subaltern and up west people I will argue that there is another way of assessing the topical importance of Marx theory today in hundred and fifty years the surface of capitalism has indeed changed a lot but its core is still the same only its outward manifestations have changed the core is what Marx analyzed especially in the first chapter of capital but also in other parts of his critical of political economy like the gold reserve commodity and value money and abstract labour of these main categories to avoid any misunderstanding and conflating between abstract labour and immaterial labour as often happens today it is better to speak clearly as Marx does about the abstract side of labour it's the twofold nature of labour Marx himself this is interesting deemed his analysis of the twofold nature of labour that means that each labourers abstracted concrete in the in capitalist called the egg conditions of productions he deemed this analysis to be his most important discovery more than class daily what does it mean each instance of labor under but only on the capitalist condition since there is nothing natural in the twofold nature of labor each labor is both abstract and concrete at the same time as concrete later on each activity produces goods or services but the same activity on a computer of in agriculture is as a simple expenditure of human energy measured in time is a poor quantity of time without regard to what has been done in that time the concrete side of labour corresponds to the use value in the abstract sides corresponds to the venue margin value represented by money of the same commodity in capitalism the abstract side of labor and of its products prevails over the concrete side and this is even the most profound root of the absurdity of the capitalist mode of production these are the underlying fundamental structures of every form of capitalism including its state-run versions which had betrayed have been abusively called socialist or communist but these structures are neither neutral no natural they are historically specific to capitalism and they are the structures in self-destructive it means also that this is not a matter of trying to use them in a better socialist communist anarchist cetera way but to overcome and to abolish them and this is possible in principle at least since humanity lived for a long time without these categories if you object that was money work etc in other we capitalist societies we have to say that they had a very different social function and not much in common with what we call today money work etc historians which are not necessarily Marxists confirm it like roughly golf or the middle age of Moses feel like for antiquity the weight of the commodity in value meant money an abstract labour has its most typical and mysterious manifestation in what Marx called commodity fetishism in it is not just an exaggerated appreciation of commodities as when we speak or maybe about about a fetishist of cars or something like that because typically in consumer society it is not our de mystification of the wheel nature of bourgeois exploitation and domination the wheel which does hide the origin of surplus-value that's how traditional Marx's interpret the concept of commodity fetishism and that this is only a part of the of the meaning of this concept it means something more general for it means essentially a system where what Marx calls the automatic automatic subject weight supreme where humans are the servants of the economy they create and which appears to them as an independent force commodity fetishism is a principle form of capital social mediation concrete activities and objects let's say concrete labor use values if this if this disturbs my compulsive problem serve only to a body to the underlying will essence we absolute essence of the commodity society and this wheel essence is the value created by the abstract side of labor without any consideration of its content the capitalism themselves are just the executors of this anonymous systemic logic they don't control it a soup ordination of the concrete to the abstract an inversion of the relationship between them and it's dynamic destructive character are the most distinctive feature of capitalist societies as compared to other historical forms of society it is not necessary to take Marx literally no to defend something like a sacred text when the result is ongoing importance in order to understand the world of today what matters is to put to work to save the central categories of the critic of political economy and this has been done in the last decades by the American author Moshe Pistone the author of time labor source domination published in 1890 sweep it has been done by the German their critique which has been developed especially by robot quotes compiled the reviews creases in exit which he found it acquitting which have some partial foreigners in the Unruh culture or naturally in history class consciousness in either guobin and his he spoke about the value T we have 1924 so any power man and American who published an important introduction to the first English translation of Rubens book in in 69 also also some important ideas have been developed by the Frankfurt School especially by Terra adore not Herbert Marcuse it by the situation is especially by de Boer so to take up again Marx most revolutionary concepts means to go against everything that traditional Marxist one has argued in favor of for her last hundred fifty years and also means sometimes to go against some of marks out theories so it's necessary to assert that Marx was always right this is especially true for the concept of class struggle and it is also true for its substitutes like race or gender issues these struggles exists naturally and they can be very important but they are not automatically emancipatory no anti-capitalist during the last hundred and fifty years they helped to integrate first workers and then other Superbird some autumn classes into the system there was nearly no more contestation of the very fact that social life is devoted to the multiplication of absolute value by the means of labour it was only a more equal distribution of distribution of these categories that was demanded by conflict but twelve workers unions all the changes which have occurred since Marx time on the surface of capitalism did not change its internal to our church its inner contradictions now capitalism faces not so much it declared adversaries that's to say some kind of revolutionaries but faces the limits created by its own development these limits accompanied from the beginning but have passed a certain level and heaven became visible in the night hundred seventies on the one hand an inanimate value is created only by living labor but competition pushes capital to use labor saving technology whenever possible finally all technological inventions are always inventions which a saving labor to produce much more things with an S label whether if less label is used in the production of the commodity it also means that the commodity has less value since living labor is the oldest source of value as mark Strauss technologies do not produce value they can only transmit a vendor already created less value means that less surplus value and finally left profit is realized only continuous augmentation of production is able to forestall the standards of the value mask to diminish not only the weight of profit as much traditional Marxist often said but also of the whole mass of various offers value less value means that less surplus value finally less profit is realized only continuous augmentation of production is able to to foster this tendency they went in to diminish the less value is contained in every single commodity for example in a car whose costs have diminished constantly during the 20th century the more the output of commodities their number has to augment in order that the mass surplus baby does not fall this can be called a compensation process but in the last 40 years the rationalization processes the mentally blessing of living laborer technologies have to moved at a much faster pace then the compensation processes use of living capital producing labor is globally shrinking and so does the absolute mass of value and ultimately the mass of profit also wheel profitability is largely replaced by simulation especially in the financial sphere the growth of the global finance of what Marx called fictitious capital was a response to the growing lack of will profitability one of the consequences if that work has less and less jobs to author and finally the whole social order based on labor is falling gradually into pieces the other great limit the external one is the ecological one the exhaustion of natural resources the accumulation of valued character is an accumulation of abstract wealth which has no limits since it aims at nothing concrete but our get absurd quantity but absurd when you have to realize to materialize itself in something concrete and at least partly in something material since production cannot be limited to services or communication if somebody wants to make us believe today by speaking about a service society or about cognitive capitalism that's why the logic of value leads inevitably to the web aging of Natural Resources the ecological disaster is quite evident and is much discussed but without reference to the logic of value production is analyzed by Marx in capital there can be no real understanding of the causes and eventual remedies to the ecological disaster we can even say that Marx fear of money and value commodity to fault labour fetishes vanity automatic subjects is more relevant today than ever since the effects are more evident in a pure capitalistic society in the in the half feudal society to which marks still belonged furthermore our understanding of content website instructors in particular Nazi zisman depression and X of blood destructions we might swagman tear in superficial without reference to the subjective side of the fetishistic logic of value indeed that logic goes far beyond the Nepali economic aspect of social life a hundred years and two months exactly after capital after the publication of capital didn't bore the leader of the situation is International founded ten years before published in Paris in 1967 the Society of spectacle its first phase read the wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles this way is identical to the first phase of capital with the only difference that abhava its accumulation of spectacles the marks world accumulation of commodities the tone was given with this date to the moment as a situation it's called that we use an improvement of existing cultural material the Pope was entered without declaring it openly the divide in kind of new capital to modernize and adapt marks analysis to the present he pretended to write what Marx might have went my hundred years after capital if he was still there he uses Marx and especially Marx theory of the commodity which the bow is mainly to the lenses of lukacs history in class consciousness as the basis of his own theory but he puts the spectacle in the place of commodity so we can understand immediately that the ball spectacle means much more than acquitting the media to which it has too often been reduced the spectacle is for the ball the contemporary development of it the commodity form it will be is the same logic the boss main work below belongs clearly to the field of Marxist theory effect that is today often in your or hash table in order to place the ball early in the field artistic and literary field ought to reduce him to a media theorist the ball transformed Marx categories which had been turned into an object of elite debates it a new into living ones by combining them with observations about a new consumer society they were contributed greatly to our awareness of the necessity of a radical Blake with the basic categories of capitalism and not only with some of its specific forms he also helped to move the focus of critical analysis and praxis was metal is not only the economic sphere of labor but also everyday life and issues like management and housing it was the change in reality itself which block to the form the Hidden Cove Marx theory the criticism of Wendy of the commodity abstract labour and money when capitalist one entered its phase of decline there was no longer any possibility for a better distribution of its wealth and the question of all the comings at the system appeared the bonden meant of the kanae the Keynesian class compromise after the 1970 s was not only due to political circumstances or to a class war for a bath but was view essentially to the internal dynamics of capitalist accumulation and his historical development the substitution of human labor as technologies which create no economic value as we recall so this food value production into crisis in I'm elated assimilation of accumulations by the means of credit and Finance there is no possibility to to revoke this evolution and to return to a reasonable capital Richmond in its declining phase capitalism has no longer the possibility to offer some supplementary gratification to the majority of the population is in its heyday the question today is not to take power or to get more economic justice or to combine ecological reasons and economic growth or something like that but to invent forms of life beyond the logic of commodity and labor however what happens today is quite the opposite the decline of capitalism it calls forth the worst demons the crisis of capitalism is not at all identical as the rise of emancipatory solutions and forces as revolutionaries have nearly always believed capitalism had 250 years to colonize all aspects and sectors of life and often has left only burned land behind it destroy all other forms of life on all levels literally and metaphorically it was burned net externally and internally capitalism has by no means pre-prepared a terrain for socialism its development of both productive forces did not create the material place or position of a higher purpose of life as was believed so long by traditional Marxists capitalism never had a civilizing right civilizing mission as even Marx occasionally argued if somebody did understand this destructive aspect of capitalism in that that time even be even better than Marx itself I think this was William Morris capitalism is not only in just and ugly it also does not work anymore one of its most striking aspects is that every growing masses of people entire social groups regions countries and continents becoming super flows for the cycle of accumulation and therefore also for consumption the labor force is not needed anymore and so they have no longer wins they have no longer the right to exist in the eyes as to say of the logic of when do the saplings that stem from the classical problem of exploitation in actually continue existing but they are so partially replaced by the sufferings that divides for being superfluous and useless as people are not often not even worthwhile exploiting and potentially everybody is under this sweat nowadays the situation is difficult to explain in the class classical class struggle centre abroad but becomes much more understandable if we go back to Mark's commodity analyzes and if we consider the destructive force of the logic of abstract labour the report is to the bible is asian of capitalism can be equally barbarian that's what we have been seeing in recent years i think that the problem is not so much a return of assessment naturally there are many powerful neo-fascist movements for example in firms and other phenomena which we called freshmen such as such as Donald Trump the capitalism is not always the return of the same aim to identify today's phenomena with those of the past can be an obstacle for understanding the will dangers of today one of these new dangers is what I would call transversal population which is based on a fake anti capitalism I say transversal since this new population often mingles left white and left-wing and right-wing arguments against the so face of capitalist society it most of all against one of aspects finance speculation credit banks these perspectives do not explain the evils of capitalism by referring to the production process but the very existence of labour and money and they not do not even refer to class structures and exploitation as traditional Marxists deal rather they we fail to just what we call the parasites located in the financial sphere and to corrupt politicians some of these movements pretend to be left-wing like Occupy Wall Street or podemos in Spain many are openly right-wing and some like they tell the cheapest tell at five five stars are maybe the future of populism and since they take elements from both the anti-capitalist rhetoric of these movements should not deceive it does not constitute something like a half-truth now this minute other historical fascist movements also proclaimed themselves to be against the plutocracies as they call it and they opposed god the creative capital elite with labor against the bed the greedy financial capital identified with the jews the consequences of this are well now this unilateral quitting of monetary interest and distribution which avoids every quitting of the capitalist mode of production and especially of labor has a long tradition it is also daily which goes partly back at least to the ocupado in the 19th century but it's also very present inside of traditional Marxism in itself it valorizes the so called concrete the world is observable concrete like ways people or state is opposed to the threatening force of the abstraction that means the value whose effects are perceived for example by losing one's job due to economic globally but that are not fully understood them the populist movement in other versions helped the system survive by channeling the weight of it victims into a completely wrong direction however the problem is not only seduction and manipulation by the media if we would limit the use of the concept of spectacle to the media sphere we would still suppose a unilateral relation between political and economic power on the one hand and the masses on the other refer to concepts like manipulation also but if you remember that a spectacle which the boss is talking about means the transformation of all desires and needs into commodities it means a structural separation between actors and spectators reducing life to a passive contemplation we will find that the spectacle has profoundly shaped the subject themselves end up psychic structure as the boss says in his commentaries about a societal Society of spectacle published in 1988 the spectacle has succeeded in raising a generation which has never known anything other than the spectacle it event and devoted several years before the unleashing of the digital and virtual culture which seems to have rooted industrial capitalism and in abstract logic more than other in our heads

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One thought on “"How Karl Marx Helps Us to Understand Contemporary Populism"

  1. Unfortunately, i have no patience for videos. Is there a place we can get a transcriptionof this keynote?

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