The practical results of four decades of anti-capitalist scribblings


“Communization […] has little positive advice to give us about particular, immediate practice in the here and now […] What advice it can give is primarily negative: the social forms implicated in the reproduction of the capitalist class relation will not be instruments of the revolution, since they are part of that which is to be abolished.” Endnotes


“How then do we change the world without taking power? At the end of the book, as at the beginning, we do not know. The Leninists know, or used to know. We do not. Revolutionary change is more desperately urgent than ever, but we do not know any more what revolution means. Asked, we tend to cough and splutter and try to change the subject. In part, our not-knowing is the not-knowing of those who are historically lost: the knowing of the revolutionaries of the last century has been defeated.” John Holloway


“The call for the abolition of labor does not have immediate ramifications for Marxist politics.

There is no new program or a master plan for emancipation that can be developed out of the abolition of value. Rather, it can be seen as a condition of emancipation from value and the abstract system of oppression it represents.” Elmar Flatschart


“Perhaps the real import of the accelerationism defended by Srnicek and Williams is as an intervention into the politics of abstraction. They argue that the representation of abstraction is not only unavoidable but necessary in order to mount an epistemic and political challenge to capitalism. But the fact that such representation is necessary does not guarantee that it is possible to align epistemic and political acceleration, or more basically, that it will be possible to align theoretical explanation with emancipatory activity. Doing so requires the social realisation of cognition […]. Without a theory of the totality that articulates explanatory rationality with emancipatory causality, it becomes difficult to understand the conditions under which epistemic practices might be realised. This is arguably accelerationism’s chief lacuna. What is required is an account of the link between the conceptual and the social at the level of practice, which is to say, an account of the way in which cognitive function supervenes on social practices. This is what … [Left] accelerationism [does not] currently provide.” Ray Brassier

Any objective observer will realize that the last four decades of theoretical development has been a dead end. Theory provides no more practical advice today than it did at the end of the 1970s.

Wage labor must be abolished. Right now. Immediately. Without hesitation on our part.

This is the conclusion everyone is trying to avoid.

I thought this would make a very interesting question for some grad student to answer

With all of the talk about how robots are going to take our jobs, no one seems much interested in investigating why automation has been progressing so slowly.

In the capitalist mode of production, machines compete against labor power. Yet labor power seems pretty persistent in maintaining its advantage despite technological progress.


From Reddit, a question:

“Why haven’t stores become automated yet?

“In the past 2 years, my city has seen automation introduced in stores from McDonalds and KFC to the local Supermarkets as we have those Kiosks and self-check out cashiers that can handle everything needed in the stores, except for cooking. Yet these stores still have human workers even though they can be automated and have the technology available, I was interested in whether or not there’s unseen obstacles I haven’t considered.

“I thought Amazon’s success in the US with its own automated stores would have proven the concept is viable and human workers are no longer needed in stores.”

Sounds like a doctoral thesis to me.

(Just saying.)

Notes on the Communist Horizon as an Immanent Outside

Interesting piece from Xenogothic…


Distinct thoughts are coalescing after last night’s now-embarrassing waste of energy on Twitter arguments. I always regret fanning the flames with so much oxygen the morning after and, obviously, it would only be worse to delete it later.

A very important side note from the Caves: “weaponise inattention”.

There was a point made, however — a mention of which is not intended as a provocation towards further pointless discussion; I’m not going to address it any further in any hellthreads — that Fisher and Dean both expressed a belief in the piety of party politics and so my own frequent and/or recent use of their work towards a politics of fragmentation is bad. The response I would give to this is useful only because I think it opens out onto a bunch of tandem debates, and one in particular witnessed in private channels which likewise speaks to some of the…

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It would be interesting to know what the average Marxist makes of this statement by Nick land

“Sorry, Justin, if I can just interrupt you for one minute, because again, this is two-sided … Yes, I nod along to everything you were just saying, but … the language of emancipation, it’s fine with me, you know, but — what is being emancipated?

“Already in the 1990s, my interest is in the emancipation of the means of production. I have zero commitment to emancipation in any way defined by our dominant political discourses. I’m not into emancipated human groups, an emancipated human species, who reaches species-being to emancipate human individuals … None of that to me is of the slightest interest, so in using this word of emancipation, sure, I will totally nod along to it if what is meant by that is capital autonomization. I don’t think that’s something that it isn’t already there in the 1990s, but I’m no longer interested in playing weird academic games about this and pretending this is the same thing as what the left really means when they’re talking about emancipation. I don’t think it is. I think what the left means by emancipation is freedom from capital autonomization.”

Nick Land, Ideology, Intelligence and Capital

As the interviewer puts it, (in his best apocalyptic voice-over), the “oppressive pessimistic horror show” for which Land is to be condemned is the future where, in a clear echo of Marx’s prediction in the fragment on the machine, factories operate without people.

Six points on Kontra Klasa’s “Notes on the Transition”

I have been reading this interesting piece by Kontra Klasa, Notes on the transition to communism. The essay, reprinted in the July 2018 issue of INTRANSIGENCE, tries to update communist strategy to meet the conditions of the 21st century. I thought it had some ideas worth considering, so I will highlight them here in a short note.

There has also been a reply to this piece which I am in the process of reading. I will post some notes on that reply at a later time.


Continue reading “Six points on Kontra Klasa’s “Notes on the Transition””