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Should we go under - which is likely - then we must act such that we don’t go under as though we had never existed at all. The terrible forces with which we’re confronted are preparing to annihilate us; of course they can prevent that we ever existed, the impression our will made on the world. But there is a realm in which they are powerless. They cannot prevent us from clearly comprehending the object of our endeavours, so that even if our will cannot be fulfilled, at least we clearly desired and did not blindly wish

Simone Weil in: La Révolution prolétarienne from 25th August 19331

Whoever doesn’t want to talk about capitalism, should remain silent on fascism. This dictum of Horkheimer’s is as true today as it ever was and should be extended, whoever doesn’t want to talk about the fetish constitution of the value-dissociation society should not talk about social struggles. The “social question” has doubtlessly been brought to the forefront of our attention, not least in light of Donald Trump’s election win two years ago. A not inconsiderable number of people criticized that the “working class” had fallen out of focus and that a bourgeois left middle class had concentrated on “identity politics” and LGBT issues which was why workers voted for Trump. These criticisms may have some legitimacy, as the bourgeois/liberal left did show less interest for the social “under classes”, the working poor, whose poverty has long since become conspicuous (homelessness, pensioners collecting deposit bottles are now a part of daily life) and which has also long since reached the middle classes. But they are wrong to suggest that the causes of racism spring from the increasing poverty of recent years, such as the nationalist socialist Sahra Wagenknecht repeatedly emphasizes. And they are equally wrong to suggest that the left should forget questions of “identity” (consequently making homophobia etc. a side issue or more bluntly stated a less crucial “luxury problem”) and concentrate again on the question of workers and class.2 Consequently “class” and “the social question” are again at issue without the necessary emancipation from the real categories of the value dissociation society being reformulated for out time, much rather old wine is being put in new bottles.3 To talk of a “return” of the social question is misleading because in never really went away, with recent decades already seeing a growth in mass poverty.4 The threatening and successive collapse of the middle classes has been indicated repeatedly in our context.5 The crisis is becoming ever more acute, which also means it is becoming ever more manifest in the capitalist centres where often conditions are “catching up” with what has long been the norm in peripheral states. What can no longer be ignored are the social difficulties, although these aren’t going unchallenged as the many protests show. For instance rent prices are becoming increasingly prohibitive, many people need to allocate a considerable proportion of their income for rent, and there seems to be no end in sight for this “rent price madness”. Ultimately people have to leave their homes and move into smaller accommodation which is nonetheless more expensive and unrenovated. In case of doubt the bailiffs are always prepared to lend a “helping” hand, cudgels at the ready. Many would like to see a home as a human right, rent prices should remain manageable and property shouldn’t be subject to “speculation”. Each of these “well intentioned” interventions, however, can never be funded and even “promises” to maybe increase housing invariably only end up helping people who can afford it. In these circumstances the sensible thing to do would be to wrest these material goods out of the logic of the valorization of value, if they can no longer be adequately allocated according to capitalist criteria. However, as capitalism is based on human sacrifice,6 the ultimate logic is rather to scrap material goods, throw unsold bread in the bin, let homes stand empty, and to criminalize those who try to resist by squatting empty buildings or moving back into previously emptied flats. People are sooner seen as disruptive or as a security problem rather than that the manifest absurdity of capitalism is called into question. In case of doubt, dictatorial measures can be called upon (see below). There certainly won’t be a shortage of “bloodhounds” and “willing helpers”. “True democracy” knows how to help itself. The already rampant racism is becoming more acute when refugees are made to culprits for old age poverty and housing shortages, as though the social situation before the “refugee crisis” was just fine (unemployment benefits reforms, subcontracting etc.), or that single mothers and pensioners would be better off if it weren’t for the refugees. Naturally the “concerned” nazis of the AfD are laying the groundwork for pogroms. Instead of solidarity, racist selection processes. This last point was made clear at a food bank in Essen in early 2018 that only wanted to server “Germans”. Undoubtedly needs are great, not least for migrants and refugees, but instead of practicing solidarity - by mobilizing to ensure everyone has enough, even if this means confronting the bourgeois ideology of equal exchange by insisting that nothing should be thrown away, that unsold goods should be appropriated - scarcity remained stuck in people’s consciousnesses like some sort of iron law of nature. It’s little wonder then, that Wagenknecht went on to defend the food bank. Admittedly, the reactions of many of those outraged was in fact hypocritical, especially those responsible for the anti-social catastrophes (the SPD-Greens coalition’s Agenda 2010 reforms etc.). Wagenknecht’s ostensible social critique is itself hypocritical if she in all earnestness means to combat the situation by showing understanding for these racist measures.7

The people agitating for a fascist schift naturally don’t want to know anything about the fundamental critique of capitalism. Instead, the now unignorable misery is utilized for racist purposes, which is made clear in the “social policy” advocated for by the Nazi wing of the AfD,8 which was initiated at the AfD party conference in Augsburg in June 2018. As expounded during the speech by Björn Höcke:

“We should think identity and solidarity together, also and foremost in the central political field, that will help to decide the future of this country, in the areas of social policy including health, pensions and care. We should therefore think of identity and solidarity together and then we will become a major party, and more precisely the only relevant major party in the future of the Federal Republic of Germany [applause]. I am convinced, that is my analysis of the situation in Germany, in Europe and in the world; I am convinced, that the AfD remains the party of social peace [!], and should be brought more strongly as the party for social peace in the minds of the people of this country [applause].”

The “party of social peace”! We have to let that one sink in for a minute. What this social peace would look like was demonstrated by the AfD-Nazi Andreas Winhart during a campaign speech in Bavaria in the Autumn of 2018:

“There are unbelievably many HIV cases, they exist in black-Africa, we know this. There is also scabies, ladies and gentlemen, we have tuberculosis with us again. I’d like to know, if in my neighbourhood a Negro kisses me [!], or coughs at me, then I have to know, is he sick or not sick, dear friends, and we must ensure this … On the 14th October we have the chance, to send the AfD into the Bavarian state parliament, to send Mrs. Merkel into retirement, and to sink [!!] the Soros fleet [!!!] with all its rescue boats in the mediterranean [applause]” -

Heute-Show television programme broadcast on 12.10.2018

That should be enough to show that those “leftists” or left liberals are fundamentally mistaken if they think they can ignore racism or dismiss it as a “side effect”, while finally once again trying to focus on social situations and class relations; as though racism can be separated from social situations! Höcke and his ilk make very clear where this road will lead. “Solidarity” by distributing the crumbs to the “purebloods” and rest who don’t correspond to the “German national identity” are afforded no solidarity, but should much rather drown silently in the mediterranean.9

The consequences of the crisis are also repeatedly seen in the collapse of the healthcare system. Such “structural reform programmes” repeatedly led to the scrapping of each form of medical care when it could no longer be “funded”, which is what can be seen happening in Greece in recent years.10 Even here (in Germany), the privatization of the hospitals, the “marketization of the healthcare system”, has led to a multi-tiered healthcare system and to the so called “care emergency”. Of course expenses for labour costs have been cut, which manifests as an unending labour shortage in the fields of care and social work with countless hours of unremunerated overtime being the norm, in addition to the miserable pay. No wonder ever fewer people want to work in these branches given the catastrophic working conditions.

The Care emergency, as it is termed in the media, has reached such proportions that it is a risk to people’s health. Protests against this care emergency have even begun, in the form of strikes and the campaign “People before profits! Stop the care emergency!” from Die Linke political party. Unsurprisingly the crisis of the healthcare system is not seen as a fundamental crisis of capitalism but instead as a consequence of privatization and neoliberalism.11 To push for more funding and to employ more people doesn’t occur to the decision makers. Certainly it would be possible to shift things around within the system, for example by redistributing various funding sources, and certainly struggles within the system such as strikes for higher pay and more tolerable working hours make sense and are necessary. However, the desired funding and redistribution can only work so long as the state finances are in order. The conditions for this are that Germany is champion in the world market and consequently remains competitive (and the huge low wage job market is part of this), which will end sooner or later anyway.

The immanent social struggles and the fight for “employee interests” are, however, limited by the internal barrier of capital valorization and at the latest will become redundant when production and social reproduction can no longer be sustained in the form of wage work and earning money. Therefore, such immanent struggles from the point of view of employees, need to be transcended: we need to insist that everyone has a right, on a material level, to medical care, housing, food etc. and in particular independently of any funding considerations that limit what one is or isn’t allowed. On this point, Robert Kurz wrote:

“Interests for the social totality that would genuinely go beyond the modern commodity producing system would only be possible on a meta level, i.e. as the development of interests opposed to the interests of the capitalist form; so that, as it were, interests finally don’t need to be endlessly fought for as is necessary in bourgeois competition, this will only be possible with the destruction of the ruling social order at its very base.”12 [italics mine]

Elsewhere, Robert Kurz writes:

“What possibilities of resistance are there in light of the overwhelming grand tendency to decivilization? Clearly the limited lobbying for weakened social services isn’t enough. Admittedly there is no objective determinism to the crisis and in any given situation there is a certain room for maneuver within the system to “get something out of it”. But this can only work in the context of a broader social movement which is capable, to some extent, of overcoming the universal competition and carrying through a bundled set of demands, even if the crisis itself cannot be overcome, being, as it is, rooted in the systemic contradictions of “abstract labour” and its gendered dissociated structure. For such a movement to be possible at all, there needs to be a dogged campaign, even in everyday life, against the social darwinist, sexist, racist, and anti-semitic thinking in all its forms. Beyond this the development of the crisis could lead to a new society so long as the immanent struggle sustains a vision of different modes of production and modes of life beyond the commodity producing patriarchy and even beyond the old forms of state socialism. The opening will only be possible through an opening of our mental horizon towards a new radical critique of society - instead of being consumed by the everyday battles of the crisis.”13 [italics mine]

In stark contrast to this is the co called debate surrounding an unconditional basic income (UBI).14 The idea came originally from Milton Friedman, as is well known with the goal to replace all other forms of social security. Insofar as a UBI will lead to preventing socially repressive measures against the unemployed (such as the Hartz IV reforms in Germany), it should be supported. However, here as well the question of funding is relevant as is the limit set by the inner barrier to capitalism. A UBI would also only be available for “national citizens”, which will only exacerbate the domestic persecution. Even though some advocates of a UBI perhaps sense, that wealth production is being decoupled from wage work and that a “successful” employment record is increasingly becoming the exception, a UBI can be understood as a form of denial of the crisis: as a result, in spite of mass unemployment the money form should remain a condition of human life; via a basic income a society founded on wage work will be simulated, just without the work, so that “hipsters” can go on drinking their organic lemonade. Everything can remain as it was. This would be no different for a “citizens dividend”.

As has been repeatedly emphasized in this journal, a “democracy founded on the rule of law” in the crisis know no better than to confront the social catastrophes and barbarization of civil society with repressive means. A pattern of behaviour that has been experienced throughout the history of capitalism. At the latest since 9/11, it has been possible to see a massive expansion of the state security apparatus.15 Furthermore, in recent decades in the USA - the “centre of western freedom” - a veritable prison industry has been established. Social upheaval is mostly met with incarceration, the majority of those imprisoned are there for theft and drug offences and not for violent crimes. But this is what is claimed by the propaganda and emphasized by the people agitating for increased security measures, when they say the streets should be “made safe again” by arming the police and extending their powers.16 It should be stated, that since the 70s the criminal justice system has moved away from “rehabilitating” perpetrators towards more severe punishments and deterrence.17 Under the conditions of the crisis the circumstances are such, that rehabilitation measures such as (re)integration into the job market have less and less traction which leads to the danger that the state security apparatus will now lash out all the more because its repressive measures become increasingly ineffective. Apart from this, in the long term the police will itself become a security problem, as reports about police brutality make clear.18 Ultimately the police will be indistinguishable from terror militias, as the barbarized state security apparatus of “peripheral” countries already show. It’s no wonder then that the state is extending the powers of apparatuses of repression (police, intelligence agencies etc.). Furthermore the police has for years now become ever more technologically sophisticated, that is militarized.19 “Dare to be more fascist” is the motto! With the new policies for policing which have been implemented throughout practically all of Germany during 2018, or are shortly to be implemented, a police state has in fact been established, in part with measures which otherwise only exist in dictatorships.20 Particular attention is given to the preventative measures by the police in cases of “threatening danger”, as it’s termed in the Orwellian newspeak. Of course the police get to decide when such circumstances arise. In Bavaria it has already been possible since August 2017 (shortly after the G20 summit in Hamburg) for so called “potential threats”, people, remember, who have committed no crimes but could, maybe, go on to commit one, to be taken into “protective custody” - just as it was called under Hitler - which means they can be detained for up to three months without being charged or sentenced. A plan for a future crime doesn’t even need to be proven, that means there needs to be no “concrete danger” for “threatening danger” to be declared! And after three months a judge can extend the period (and undoubtedly there will be no difficulty finding such judicial henchmen). Theoretically any such “potential threat” can languish in prison indefinitely without ever having committed a crime! Incidentally such “protective custody” can be employed for administrative offences as well. 21 Incidentally, “potential threats” have no legal right to a public defender. Furthermore a court doesn’t have to comply with an application for evidence submitted by the detained person (which could help to get them freed).22 That is the logic of this state of exception which is being “normalized” through this more draconian legislation! Of course the first to be affected by the increase in police powers (which is in itself already fascist) are the refugees.23 It won’t be limited to refugees, as repressive measures against left unions and activists during the AFD party conference in Nuremberg on 9th and 10th June 2018 and shortly after in Augsburg showed.24

It should be mentioned that in early 2018 in Bavaria, new legislation for psychiatric care is to be adopted which has the police’s recording of compulsory hospitalization in mind. If the person affected has once been sectioned, then these “mentally ill” people should be treated like serious criminals: recorded in a database, have their mail intercepted and telephone calls listened in on etc. It’s clear that the two laws shouldn’t be considered separately, ultimately “troublemakers” will be treated as psychiatrically ill for political purposes (such as the case of Gustl Mollath or the tax investigators in Hessen) because it was often stated that the goal of the legislation is to “defend against danger”.25

“Resisting state power”, as the saying goes, doesn’t always have to have a socially critical or emancipatory underpinning, but can also be part of fascist agitation which explicitly resists certain “bourgeois civilities” that still exist (in Germany the Reichsbürger spring to mind). The so called “alliance between the mob and the elite” (Arendt) functions as a catalyst for barbarity, not least demonstrated by the democratic elections of Bolsonaro, Duterte etc. This should be kept in mind whenever critiquing the state goons, so as not to fall into the trap of establishing a fundamental “duality” between the people and the apparatuses of state power.

One of the reasons for the ongoing tendency towards a police state may well be the rampage killings and terror attacks. But primarily, the state is arming its goons to smother any nascent social resistance, not least demonstrated by the G20 summit in Hamburg and its consequences.26 After the attacks on Paris on 13th May 2015, as the state of emergency was imposed, the opportunity was taken, just “on the side” to persecute leftist opposition.27 The state of emergency in France was repeatedly extended and has now become a permanent arrangement. When this was “officially” ended, the more draconian security legislation from the state of emergency was kept - which was to be expected.28 Just like last time, democracy itself gave birth to fascism. To paraphrase Adorno, he has less fear of fascism that is opposed to democracy than the fascism within democracy itself.29 Going beyond Adorno, fascism should be regarded as the continuation of democracy by other means. This becomes clear when we realize that democracy is always subject to the precondition of the value valorization of capital and that in the crisis the famed democracy will always regress to this repressive core. That two Euros have to be made out of one, and in the event that people are no longer needed for this work (regardless of the misery and meaninglessness of this work for the remaining “contented” workers), that they should expire as quietly as possible, is not something that can be democratically negotiated. In the end, everything will stand or fall based on its financial viability, and ultimately priority is given to that which sustains any given country’s viability on the global market.

The democratic police terror is and has already for the last few years, been massively deployed against social resistance. Spain and Greece for example. Naturally squated homes in Greece have been cleared. This is carried out especially rigorously when there are refugees in the building. And if arrested, then there is always the possibility - just like in a military dictatorship - to be tortured. Any organized resistance against the prevailing politics is answered with a paranoid delusion of order. And all this of course with the left wing Syriza government in power.30 Things are no different in Spain. By this time, “terrorist” is anyone who disturbs the “public order”, so clearly in those instances when empty homes are squatted or unsold food is appropriated so as to be publicly shared. It’s no wonder, then, that there is talk of a return to the methods of Franco. The “gagging laws” adopted in 2015 ultimately abolish demonstrations and freedom of speech. The law can allow fines of up to €600,000! Although these are restrictions set by the constitution, they are “only” considered infringements, that means they are meted out by the police extra judicially.31 The background to this is obviously the many demonstrations and occupations of public squares against the austerity policy of recent years. When the ruling regime runs out of “arguments”, the cudgels are brought out. Armed and militarized police and a paranoid justice based on terror is ultimately the final thing that democracies will offer the people. Ultimately, anyone who wants to contradict this, either practically or verbally, is “suspicious”, even if they are only associated with someone who has contradicted the ruling order. The escalation is perpetuated when full time delusionals take the wheel and don’t even act as though their maintaining a certain level of “civility”, as though the numerous draconian laws are only being implemented to save “the rule of law” (as certain people in Germany like to point out32), or to “protect the freedom and security of the citizens” as Rajoy formulated it when the gagging law was passed, or even openly and unashamedly marching towards barbarity like Duterte in the Philippines, who unceremoniously permitted the execution of (alleged) drug addicts and compared himself with Hitler: “Hitler massacres three million [!] Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. [...] I’d be happy to slaughter [!] them”, naturally with the goal “to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition”.33 And the reality is that thousands are being liquidated. This lunacy will be continued in Brazil with Bolsonaro, the next elected psychopath. He’s more akin to Duterte than Trump. To be compared with the latter is fatal enough. And it’s to be “taken for granted” that he’s a misogynist and homophobe. And furthermore, unashamedly brutal: he has frequently shown sympathies for the military dictatorship and declared, that nothing changes through elections, only through civil war. Social movements such as the Landless Workers’ Movement are to be treated as “terrorists” in the future.34

What will the “concerned” nazis of Germany do with “Merkel gone”, when the economy collapses and the golden fifty years can’t be reestablished? Will the leftist tainted groups and those suffering from “gender delusions” be put in front of the firing squad? That this isn’t just wild alarmism can be seen from the fantasies and commentaries of the AfD nazis.35 The increasingly barbaric “security apparatus” of the “deep state” will make its “contribution” sooner or later.36

It is completely obvious that the capitalist regime has become unstoppable. The crisis, that has already thrown broad swathes of the periphery into mass misery, has long since become reality in the core capitalist countries. The few remaining “islands of prosperity” can expect a recuperative immiseration. At the same time the state is arming its goons and suffering from ever more precarious funding. This disguises the potential that in the future repression won’t happen within “reasonable limits” and so, every attempt to maintain “public order” will just drive public disorder, i.e. barbarity, further.

In this issue of exit! various obsolete ideologies will be critiqued as they become ever more manifest and influential during times of ever more strained social situations. These obsolete ideologies appear in the push for a renaissance in national sovereignty, as it is advocated for in various “new right” or “third position” movements, and beyond that in the “theologization” of the postmodern zeitgeist,37 which is apparent from the various philosophers citing Saint Paul (such as Badiou and Agamben). It is necessary to stress here that the “barbarization of the security apparatus” outlined above and the increasingly fascist relations have admittedly taken on a new quality in recent years in the western centres of capitalism but have had a decades long run-up. Regarding this, Roswitha Scholz provides a commentary to an article written by Robert Kurz in 1993 “Democracy eats its children - notes on the new radical right”. She extracts central theses of the text as they relate to different dimensions (economy, politics, and gender relations amongst others) and outlines the developments in these different areas up until mid 2018. She comes to the conclusion that Kurz’s central thesis that democracy and national socialism/fascism are not structurally opposed, instead shifts to the right and a corresponding way of thinking of democracy as a form of organization both arise out of capitalism, even if they are not the same thing. According to Scholz, the full implications of this are only becoming apparent today as the right wing ideologies and corresponding populism and right wing violence, even through the increasingly barbaric police and military apparatuses, are running rampant world wide. That’s why her contribution is titled “Democracy is still eating its children - today more than ever!”

In the concluding part, Scholz also critiques Daniel Späth’s article “Third position everywhere!”, which was published in exit! No. 14. Späth does not sufficiently take into account the rightward developments from at least the end of Eastern Block socialism, instead he gives the impression that the shift to the right appeared from the blue only in the last few years. Späth therefore leaves significant work done in the value (dissociation) critical context out of consideration, amongst others the text from 1993 by Robert Kurz. Furthermore he doesn’t mention the overlap between the left and right spectrum, which the Third Position concept normally includes, instead his actual subject is the overlap between neoliberalism and (new) right ideologies.

The contribution “State power from the beginning of the modern period to today - the nation state as midwife and servant of commodity production.” by Gerd Bedszent addresses the reestablishment of nation state structures propagated by the new right.

Bedszent begins with a historical overview, characterizing the nation state as a comparatively new socio-economic construct, established in the early modern period as a marriage of convenience between absolutist rulers and the urban bourgeoisie. He characterizes the duality of state power and commodity production as the decisive hallmark of the evolving national economy - the bureaucratic apparatus was a tool for conditioning people into becoming subjects of the commodity based economy, as well as for staging conflicts with other national economies. The current structural crisis of the global economy take the financial revenue away from the administrative apparatus of the nation state. The reduced influence of the state as a consequence of the decline in the economy has already left a gruesome trail of desolation in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe and is now spreading to the developed regions of western Europe and North America.

The structurally limited capacity for the political apparatus to cope with the consequences of the global crisis promotes the rise of obscure political movements that hark back to the supposedly heroic beginnings of capitalism. In the crude worldview of right wing laden ideologies, the economic developments barely appear. Their demands are limited to repressive exclusion of victims of economic collapse and wars over resources after state collapse. The wave of radical right violence which has been raging for several years now, even in Germany, is really a perverse strategy of the management of the crisis.

As Bedszent establishes, the strategy advocated by the new right, for small regions of power cut off from the outside world, isn’t even theoretically sustainable. Because such entities are not sustainable without external funding, we aren’t dealing with actual state building, just the simulation of it. In fact, the activities of radical right wing citizen militias and other particularist movements only goes to hollow out the state’s monopoly of violence; the erosion processes of the state apparatuses of power are not being prevented by the activities of the right wing radicals, but much rather promoted.

In the midst of the crisis processes of capitalist socialization, there has been a growth of religion, with its offers of happiness, relief and refuge. Mixed in with the feverish search for healing solutions has been a turn towards the holy Saint Paul who has found a new place in philosophical thinking - in particular with the philosophers Alain Badiou and Giorgio Agamben. Herbert Böttcher’s contribution is dedicated to this messianism cast in the form of philosophy, his article is titled “Can only praying help in the crisis? - The philosophical flight into Saint Paulian messianism.”

Badiou’s interest is focused on Saint Paul as a revolutionary. Through the event of his conversion to Christ, he becomes a critic of Jewish law and Greek thought and so becomes the founder of a new universal truth. The truth becomes the foundation of the constitution of a militant subject. Out of the impotence that the subject suffers under capitalism, it becomes, out of nothing as it were, once again potent, so long as it stays faithful to an empty event and the event’s truth based on an existential decision.

Giorgio Agamben wants to break the spell of the state of exception which has become the new normal. With the help of Saint Paul he constructs a spell breaking messianic remainder and a rescuing “time, that remains”. They become the basis of a messianic life in the mode of “as though not”, plainly stated: a life in capitalism as though it doesn’t exist. Whereas Badiou attempts to establish an identity between truth and subject, Agamben is getting at a non-identity that withdraws from any determination of content.

Böttcher shows, that both authors are joined in their aversion to analyse capitalism as a “concrete totality”, as well as their direct reclaiming of pre-modern tradition without any historical contextualization which consequently ignores the question of power relations. As well as erroneous theological conclusions, this leads to a straightforward exploitation of Saint Paul for their own purposes. The philosophical turn to a religious structure is of a piece with a postmodern enjoyment in religion, that has traits of decisionist authoritarianism and a phobia of careful reflection. It is related to an existentialist philosophical and theological thinking that seeks certainty in existential experiences and the inherent risks of making decisions. It shows itself to be as unthinking and fundamentalist as the spiritual products on offer in the new age markets and also in the churches.

In recent years the “identity politics” of the left and left liberals has been broadly criticized. There is also some unrest within the queer scene itself, which not least the book “Beißreflexe” published in 2017 demonstrates as well as further publications since then in the so called “Kreischreihe”. Thomas Meyer deals especially with queer identity politics in his essay “Gender between performative ‘token’ and biologization - a critique of late post-modern queerness and the medical discourse around ‘transsexuality’”. He emphasizes that critiques as they are justifiably formulated against “queerness” were already made in the 90s from the feminist perspective.

In particular the essay addresses the claim coming from the queer scene, that “deviant” identities should be recognized, as not entirely unproblematic. Meyer tries to show this through the phenomenon of transsexuality by going over the medical discourse on the subject. This is done in the hope to make clear that through the debate surrounding transsexuality (transsexualism) a discontent with the hegemonic gender binary, a failure to unequivocally place oneself in the bourgeois gender characters has historically taken on the form of a medical, ultimately a surgical, problem. Through this, the enforced gendering is not criticized but instead perpetuated and in actual fact biologized. The increased flexibility of the gender codes in postmodernity hasn’t really changed this. The queer politics of recognition really doesn’t go far enough, not least in light of the “barbarization of patriarchy” (Roswitha Scholz) and the fascist movements that demand “traditional” gender roles.

In issue 14 of exit! published in 2016, the first part of an intended series on the history of money appeared, written by Richard Aabromeit. The article titled “Money, it’s obvious - isn’t it?” drew lots of criticism. In the form published it didn’t meet the requirements of value dissociation critique. Admittedly it can’t claim to be a thoroughly worked through value dissociation critical theory of history, but there were repeated complaints that an article can’t fall below a standard already reached, even if it is only available in a fragmentary form. Thomas Meyer in the the first instance forms some basic thoughts on a value dissociation critical theory of history in his contribution “The incessant aporia of history - postscript to ‘Money, it’s obvious - isn’t it?’” and goes on to address the problematic points of Aabromeits article.

Jan Luschach, in his article “The immanent polarity of bourgeois theory of history.” problematizes, from the perspective of value dissociation critique, the fundamental assumptions of the modern theory of history, both as the 19th century Hegelian metaphysics of progress on the one hand and the so called historicist form on the other. This is done to demonstrate that both theoretical approaches operate within the same form of thinking wherein each occupies the opposing poles of “concept” and “intuition”. If Hegel’s teleological and ontological philosophy of history can be regarded as concepts becoming independent, completely unaffected by their subject, then the historical conception of history appears close to its subject, but in truth proves to be a mere hypostatization of historical contingency. It gets lost in the epistemic mode of pure intuition that makes a critical conceptualization impossible. With reference to Robert Kurz’s thoughts on history as a “history of fetish relations”, which were first developed in his essays on “History as Aporia”,38 instead of this false dichotomy, the question of continuity and discontinuity, commonalities and differences between capitalist and pre-modern relations will be discussed.

Elsewhere, the book “Weltordnungskrieg” (The War for World Order) by Robert Kurz has appeared in partial translation in French as Imperialism d’Exclusion et Etat d’Exception, published by Éditions Divergences in Paris in 2018; a collection in Portuguese including “Die Krise des Tauschwerts” (The Crisis of Exchange Value) by Robert Kurz published by Editora Consequência: A Crise de Valor de Troca, in Rio de Janeiro in 2018. A new edition of Anselm Jappe’s monograph on Guy Debord from 1999 has been published by PM-Press in Oakland in 2018. A collection of articles has been published by the Ecumenical Network Rhein-Mosel-Saar titled “Die Frage nach dem Ganzen - Zum gesellschaftskritischen Weg des Ökomenischen Netzes anlässlich seines 25jährigen Bestehens” published in Koblenz in 2018. This collection includes articles from amongst others Herbert Böttcher, Robert Kurz, Roswitha Scholz and Leni Wissen. An ebook from Tomasz Konicz has been published by Heise titled “Faschismus im 21. Jahrhundert - Skizzen der drohenden Barbarei”. This collection of articles summarizes many aspects of the increasingly fascistic conditions in recent years.

Thomas Meyer for the editorial board of exit!, November 2018

  1. See Simone Weil: Oppression and Liberty originally published in Paris in 1955, translation from the German translation. ^

  2. See Dowling, Emma; van Dyk, Silke; Graefe, Stefanie: Rückkehr des Hauptwiderspruchs? - Anmerkung zur aktuellen Debatte um den Erfolg der Neuen Rechten und das Versagen der ‘Identitätspolitik’, in PROKLA - Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialwissenschaft Nr. 188 (Gesellschaftskritik und 150 Jahre Kritik der politischen Ökonomie), pp. 411-420, published in Berlin 2017 ^

  3. See the talk given by Roswitha Scholz from the Exit! seminar in 2018, online at ^

  4. See the radio interview with Robert Kurz online at ^

  5. For example Roswitha Scholz: Überflussigsein und ‘Mittelschichtangst’ - Das Phänomen der Exklusion und die soziale Stratifikation im Kapitalismus, in Exit! - Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft No. 5, pp. 58-104 published in Bad Honnef in 2008, as well as Robert Kurz: Das letzte Stadium der Mittelklasse available online at ^

  6. Nothing shows this more clearly than climate policy, see Tomasz Tonicz: Klimapolitischer Schwindel für Fortgeschrittene, in Telepolis from 04.11.2018 as well as his Postkapitalismus ohne verzicht from 11.08.2018 ^

  7. See Matthias Meisner: Wagenknecht verteidigt Essener Tafel, online at retrieved 26.02.2018 ^

  8. For Björn Höckes fascist ideology, as it is laid out in his book “Nie zweimal in denselben Fluss” see Andreas Kemper: Björn Höckes faschistischer Fluss - Der völkische Machiavellismus des AfD-Politikers, in Graswurzelrevolution September 2018. ^

  9. How blatant the racist machinery already is was made plain when Die Zeit earnestly discussed whether or not people drowning in the mediterranean should be rescued or not, see Tomasz Konicz: “Absaufen” - Pro und Contra, in Telepolis retrieved 18.07.2018 ^

  10. See Das Gesundheitswesen in Griechenland available online at and also Tomasz Konicz: Griechenland: Zu Tode gespart in Telepolis retrieved 20.08.2018. ^

  11. The inhuman practice of rationalizing the medical system can however be accurately attributed to neoliberal ideology. The chief ideologue of neoliberalism, Hayek, already in his The Constitution of Liberty published in 1960 wrote the following: “It may seem harsh, but it is probably in the interest of all that under a free system those with full earning capacity should often be rapidly cured of a temporary and not dangerous disablement at the expense of some neglect of the aged and mortally ill. Where systems of state medecine operate, we generally find that those who could be promptly restored to full activity have to wait for long periods because all the hospital facilities are taken up by people who will never again contribute to the needs of the rest.” p. 423 ^

  12. Robert Kurz: Die Welt als Wille und Design - Postmoderne, Lifestyle-Linke und die Ästhetisierung der Krise published in Berlin 1999. ^

  13. See the essay Unrentable Menschen by Robert Kurz written in 2006 available online at ^

  14. See the talk by the exit! reading group in Hamburg given at the exit! seminar in 2018 available online at as well as the radio interview with Robert Kurz from 2006 available online at ^

  15. Of course the state security apparatus was being expanded long before 9/11. The issue of strengthening the law had already been raised years beforehand. The official excuse for strengthening the law was “organized crime”, but of course the purpose was generally to have a means of combating protest movements and left opposition. For this see Rolf Gössner: Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt - Handbuch zur Verteidigung der Bürgerrechte published in Hamburg 1998. The critics produced lots of material, but it was usually limited to defending bourgeois or left liberal ideals against reality. The fundamental hegemonic character of democracy itself was generally not recognized, instead democracy was regarded in contrast to the hegemonic order of capitalism. ^

  16. See Thomas Meyer: Überwachen und Strafen - Zum demokratischen Staatsterror in Zeiten des Neoliberalismus in exit! - Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft No. 14 pp. 331-341 published in Angermünde 2016. ^

  17. For more on this see Andreas Urban: Es muss wieder gestraft werden - Zur Rückkehr des repressiven Strafrechts in der Krise der Arbeitsgesellschaft, 2018, available online at ^

  18. See for example Marcus Hammerschnitt: Unter dem Stiefel - Zum Stand der Polizeigewalt in Deutschland, in Telepolis, retrieved 12.05.2018. ^

  19. See for example Martin Kirsch: Militarisierung des Polizei - Massive Aufrüstung im Namen der Terrorabwehr available online at ^

  20. An overview of the new police measures is given by Benjamin Derin in Konkret from September 2018 as well as Drohende Gefahr - Neue Polizeigesetze & autoritäre Zuspitzung available online at and ^

  21. See Bayern führt die “Unendlichkeitshaft” ein, available online at ^

  22. See Keine Anwälte für Gefährder? - Neuigkeiten zum bay. PAG, available online at ^

  23. See for example Ellwangen, Donauwörth, Deggendorf: “Gestern dachten wir noch, es könne nicht schlimmer werden. Heute wissen wir, dass es morgen noch viel schlimmer kommen kann.” available online at ^

  24. and ^

  25. See Leander F. Badura: Psychiater auf den Barrikaden, in Der Freitag No. 17, 2018. ^

  26. See for example Jakob Hayner: Institutionalisierter Irrsinn - Die medialen Reaktionen auf die Krawalle bei G20 in Hamburg, in Jungle World from 13.07.2017; Birgit Gärtner: G-20: Der Rechtsstaat zeigt, was er kann, in Telepolis from 30.08.2017 and G20: Fabio ist frei, in Telepolis from 27.11.2018 as well as “Der Polizeistaat ist in Teilen Realität” - Gespräch mit Lino Peters. Über Polizeikontrollen in Hamburg, willkürliche Ausübung des Rechts und psychologische Folgen von Gefängnisaufenthalten, in Junge Welt from 29.09.2018. ^

  27. A bit like the reactions to the global climate summit in Paris at the end of 2015, see for example: “Terrorfrei” im Ausnahmezustand, in Wildcat No. 99, Winter 2015/16, pp. 64-69 ^

  28. See Hans Georg Hermann: Gewöhnlicher Polizeistaat - Ein Jahr nach dem Bataclan-Attentat in Paris: Die französische Regierung hat das Leben im “Ausnahmezustand” zur Normalität gemacht, in Jungle World from 15.11.2016 as well as Thomas Pany: Frankreich: Parlament beschließt verschärftes Anti-Terrorgesetz, in Telepolis from 03.10.2017. ^

  29. See Theodor W. Adorno: Was bedeutet Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit?, available from about 3 minutes in. ^

  30. See Ralf Dreis: Verarmungspolitik in Griechenland - Regierung, Massenmedien und Faschisten Hand in Hand, in Graswurzelrevolution from December 2012; Statliche Kontinuität in Griechenland - Syriza lässt räumen und foltern, in Graswurzelrevolution from October 2016; Die DNA des Staatsterrors - Sie hatte den “falschen” Freund - 13 Jahre Knast - Ein Bericht aus Griechenland, in Graswurzelrevolution from September 2017. ^

  31. Ralf Streck: Meinungfreiheit futsch und alles kann in Spanien nun Terrorismus sein, in Telepolis from 01.07.2015. Regarding “ley mordaza” the “gagging law” see as well as El Dorado: Spanien beerdigt Demonstrationsfreiheit, in from 28.06.2015. ^

  32. The right’s fetishization of the “rule of law has to be enforced” is also used when defenceless school children are “worked over” by the police, as happened in Bavaria when a boy from Afghanistan was removed from school to be deported to his “safe homeland” and the police met with some resistance, see as well as ^

  33. Emily Rauhala: Duterte: Hitler killed millions of Jews, I will kill millions of drug addicts, from from 30.09.2016. ^

  34. See for example Harald Neuber: Brasilien: Militär in Regierung, soziale Bewegung “terroristisch”, in Telepolis from 31.10.2018. ^

  35. Tomasz Konicz: Eine ganz normale (Nazi)-partei?, in Telepolis from 15.05.2018 ^

  36. Tomasz Konicz: Von der Postdemokratie in den Vorfaschismus, in Telepolis from 06.10.2019 as well as Kaul, Martin; Schmidt, Christina; Schulz, Daniel: Rechtes Netzwerk in der Bundeswehr - Hannibals Schattenarmee, from from 16.11.2018. ^

  37. Roswitha Scholz already pointed this out in 2006: Die Rückkehr des Jorge - Anmerkungen zur “Christianisierung” des postmodernen Zeitgeistes und dessen dezisionistisch-autoritärer Wende, in exit! - Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft, No. 3, published in Bad Honnef 2006, pp. 157-175. ^

  38. Available online at ^

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