communists in situ

leberwurst proletariat

Month: January, 2014

Schade :(

SEK fasst mutmaßliche Apple-Store-Diebe


von rbb  (english)

Verdächtige sollen auch Alexa überfallen haben

Das Muster war immer gleich: Mit einem gestohlenen Auto rasten die Diebe in die Glasfronten von Geschäften und raubten Wertsachen – gern teure Elektronik. Auf diese Weise überfielen Täter zuletzt den Apple Store am Ku’damm. Jetzt hat die Polizei in Sachsen sieben Verdächtige gefasst, auf deren Konto auch Überfälle in Berlin gehen sollen.

Der Blitzeinbruch in den Apple-Laden auf dem Berliner Ku’damm scheint aufgeklärt: Ein Spezialeinsatzkommando der Berliner Polizei fasste in der Nacht zu Mittwoch sieben Männer bei ihrem mutmaßlich neuesten Coup in Dresden.

Nach den bisherigen Ermittlungen hatten die Männer im Alter von 20 bis 26 Jahren gegen 2 Uhr nachts mit einem Ford Galaxy die Glastür zu einem Einkaufszentrum in Dresden-Mickten durchbrochen. Danach fuhren sie bis zur Eingangstür eines Elektrofachmarktes und versuchten, durch das Sicherheitsrollo in die Verkaufsräume zu gelangen.

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Economists Discover Capital or, Marx with g=0, β↑∞, r→0: revolution, war


It seems like economists are starting to realize that capitalism exists. This is an improvement from the past. We should welcome this  discovery.

An economic historian named Thomas Piketty will release a book in English this year called Capital in the 21st century (slideshow version here). In it, he argues that  the normal state of capitalism is inequality, growing inequality. He shows this with graphs and history. Such inequality was blocked for six decades of the 20th century only due to massive wars. In the 21st century, the inequality, which is now at pre-World War 1 levels,  will cause “severe social disruption” unless a simultaneous, uniform global tax on capital occurs. Since Piketty thinks that this will not occur, the picture is bleak. For Marx, he thinks the solution was the following:

Marx: with g=0, β↑∞, r→0 : revolution, war

Piketty is not a communist, and so he thinks we should rather try to figure out something nicer to do than revolution. Like a tax. A big tax.

Such great premises, such weak conclusions.

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A Schmaltzy Critique of Endnotes


from The North Star

Endnotes: A Romantic Critique?


Endnotes 3 is the most recent product of the discussion group of ‘communisation’ theorists that go under the Endnotes name. In this article, I will attempt a sympathetic, but critical discussion of what I see as some of the central contributions of Endnotes’ writings, especially in Endnotes 2 and Endnotes 3. The Endnotes discussions, and perhaps communisation theory more generally, I think can fairly be said to develop two central ideas throughout their work. The first is that the history of the 20th century has been the historic failure of the workers’ movement as a workers’ movement, that is, as a self-conscious movement based on working class identity and the class position of the worker — the affirmation of the working class, including its associated concepts of ‘workers’ power’, the ‘workers’ state’ and so forth. This workers’ movement is seen to have failed to understand the abolition of classes required to abolish the value form: not an affirmation of working class identity, but doing away with such identity — a class position that is a “misfortune”. The central question is then, as Endnotes 2 put it: “The history of capitalist society is the history of the reproduction of the capitalist class relation. It is that of the reproduction of capital as capital, and — its necessary concomitant — of the working class as working class. If we assume the reproduction of this relation is not inevitable, what is the possibility of its non-reproduction?”  . . . continue


Sein und Schein


Exchange still is the key to society. It is characteristic of commodity economy (Warenwirtschaft) that what characterizes exchange – i.e. that it is a relation between human beings – disappears and presents itself as if it was a quality of the things themselves that are to be exchanged. It is not the exchange that is fetishized but the commodity. That which is a congealed social relation within commodities is regarded as if it was a natural quality, a being-in-itself of things. It is not exchange which is illusory, because exchange really takes place. The illusion (Schein) in the process of exchange lies in the concept of surplus value.

However, fetishized perceptions are not illusions either because insofar as human beings in fact become dependent on those objectivities which are obscure to them, reification (Verdinglichung) is not only false consciousness but simultaneously also reality, insofar as commodities really are alienated from human beings. We really are dependent on the world of commodities (Warenwelt). On the one hand, commodity fetishism is an illusion; on the other hand, it is utmost/ultimate reality – and the superiority of reified commodity over humanity stands testament to this. That the categories of illusion are in truth also categories of reality, this is dialectic.

Concepts like the fetish character of commodities can only be understood when one does not just transform them into subjective categories. Here, I do not mean the appeal to today’s human beings which emanates from commodities in a store. It is not about the psychological fetishizing of individual commodities but about the objective structure of commodity economy. In a society in which exchange vale is the dominant principle, this fetishizing is realized necessarily. What is essential is that the commodity disappears as a social relation, all other reactions of reified consciousness are secondary things.

To be sure, the commodity is the archetype (Urform) of ideology, but commodity itself is not simply false consciousness but results from the structure of political economy. This is the actual reason why consciousness is determined by being. What is decisive is that the objective structure of economic form itself realizes from within itself fetishization. This is the objective process of ideology – independent of the consciousness of individuals and their will. The theory of ideology (Ideologielehre) has its gravity (Ernst) only in the fact that false consciousness itself appears as a necessary form of the objective process which holds together society. Socialization itself takes place through this ideology. Here, the issue of the problem of ideology becomes very serious. Even if we see through illusion, this does not change the fetish character of the commodity: every business man who calculates has to act according to this fetish. If he does not calculate in this way he goes broke.

– Adorno 1962 Seminar on Marx


Ukraine Protests


Class Struggle as Feudal War



The wise men of Chelm got together one night to try to solve the problem of life.”What is the problem of life?” they asked, and the more they thought about it the more they knew that the problem of life is that everyone has worries. If people didn’t have any worries, they reasoned then, then life would be easy. So the question remained, how to make an end of worries?

Well they thought, why not hire somebody to do all the worrying so everyone else can have it easy? It would be a tough job, but they would pay the man well to make up for it. So they all agreed to chip in to pay someone 50 rubles a month to do all the town’s worrying for them. Everyone was happy with this decision until someone points out the flaw. “Tell me,” said one of the rabbis, the wisest of them all. “If the man is making 50 rubles a month, what has he got to worry about?”

against progress



“The moment when the productive forces were to reach the level required for the transformation of the mode of production was to be the moment when the crisis of capitalism began. This crisis was to expose the narrowness of this mode of production and its inability to hold new productive forces, and thus make visible the antagonism between the productive forces and the capitalist forms of production. But capital has run away; it has absorbed crises and it has successfully provided a social reserve for the proletarians. Many have nothing left to do but to run on ahead: some say the productive forces are not developed enough, others say they have stopped growing. Both reduce the whole problem either to organizing the vanguard, the party, or resort to activities designed to raise consciousness. […]

Historical materialism is a glorification of the wandering in which humanity has been tied to for more than a century: growth of productive forces as the condition sine-qua-non for liberation. But by definition all quantitative growth takes place in the sphere of the indefinite, the false infinite. Who will measure the “size” of the productive forces to determine whether or not the great day has come?”

Camatte, The Wandering of Humanity

“Marx says that revolutions are the locomotives of world history. But the situation may be quite different. Perhaps revolutions are not the train ride, but the human race grabbing for the emergency brake.”

Benjamin, Arcades





There are so many terrible things.


No, no, there are not so many now.






Do you not think this has gone on long enough?






This… this… thing.


I’ve always thought so.


You not?

HAMM (gloomily):

Then it’s a day like any other day.


As long as it lasts.


All life long the same inanities.


I can’t leave you.


I know. And you can’t follow me.


Communist Interventions: Volume I — European Socialism and Communism

A lovely compendium of communist knowledge.

communist research cluster

Communist Research Cluster are proud to announce the first volume of our Communist Interventions series is now available. This first reader deals with the history of European socialism and communism, from 1890 to 1980. It is available in PDF format.

Download the PDF on our Readers page.

Table of contents:

1 Orthodoxy
2 Revisionism
3 Social Democracy After 1905
4 Betrayals of 1914
5 The Russian Revolution
6 Left-Wing Communism
7 German and Italian Revolutions
8 Communism and Gender
9 Fascism and War
10 Stalinism
11 May 1968 in France
12 Second-Wave Feminism
13 Italy’s Creeping May (1968-77)
14 Eclipse of the Worker’s Movement

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Advertising doesn’t impose false desires. So when I tell you that I prefer to gaze upon the florid arabesque pattern on the yellow wallpaper you must understand — I don’t feel good — don’t bother me.

Stop and consider for a moment the Darstellungsform of commodity society — that is, the appearances of value that can only be expressed through the phenomenal identity of the exchange relation. Bring to attention here the ontological status of appearances. As Hegel was well aware, reality does not exist independently from its appearance, but is rather constitutive of social existence. “The essence of the world coincides with the statistical law by which its surface is classified.” This appearance of reality as reality does not take place in isolation, but contains its own negativity. An appearance is not something that appears, but rather an appearance for-another, an appearance that is other than. Activity, in its appearance, therefore must calculate how it can distinguish itself among others, while retaining an independence less precise than termination.

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Questions and Answers

I Like this Picture

Some people frequently ask us: Who are the Communists in Situ? How can I join you? What is the meaning of the leberwurst proletariat?  What’s the relation between the Comintern and the Cominsitu? What’s your political program? Sind Sie Deutsche? Amerikaner? Warum schreibst du in verschiedenen Sprachen?Who are the League of Rootless Cosmopolitans? What’s the point of this blog? Why the dolphins?

In response, we can only answer with a story.

Two men of Chelm went out for a walk, when suddenly it began to rain.
“Quick,” said one. “Open your umbrella.”
“It won’t help,” said his friend. “My umbrella is full of holes.”
“Then why did you bring it?”
“I didn’t think it would rain!”


[von Elena Ochoa Lamiño,]

Foto: Björn Kietzmann

Seit Samstagfrüh wohne ich in einem Gefahrengebiet und mit mir Tausende weitere Anwohner in Teilen von St. Pauli, Altona und Sternschanze. Das hat die Polizei Hamburg an diesem Wochenende entschieden. Jeder, der hier durchspaziert, einkauft, zur Arbeit will oder einfach einen Kaffee trinken möchte, muss damit rechnen, von der Polizei angehalten zu werden und sich auszuweisen—ohne Grund, einfach weil sie es dürfen. Schuld sind wiederholte Angriffe auf Polizisten, heftige Krawalle während großen Demos sowie Attacken auf Polizeireviere, wie etwa die Davidwache am Kiez, in den vergangenen Wochen.

Ein Schritt vor die Tür und ich stehe mitten drin im Gefahrengebiet. Hier soll der Ausnahmezustand herrschen.

Ein kühles Lüftchen weht mir um die Nase, ein paar feuchte Blätter und matschiger Silvesterdreck liegen hier rum. Das einzige, was ich höre, ist die Straße und die übliche Geräuschkulisse des Hafens, in dem Container gelöscht werden. Keine Parolen, keine Sirenen, keine Knaller oder Ähnliches. Ich fühle mich weder gefährlich noch gefährdet. Vielleicht muss ich mich ein wenig durch das Viertel bewegen, um etwas zu erleben.

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Good Year

Goodyear bosses taken hostage in France

French workers at Goodyear tyre plant take bosses captive

Workers in Amiens take two managers hostage at plant billed for closure in bid to keep factory open or win ‘enormous’ pay-offs…. The “kidnapping” was carried out at the Goodyear plant in north Amiens that was at the centre of an international spat a year ago after an American businessman called the workers there lazy...”We’ve lost all legal means of recourse, so now we’re changing tack.”...[]

On the logic of French bossnappings, see the classic article from SIC 1:

How one can still put forward demands when no demands can be satisfied. On the desperate struggles in France:

What is interesting in these struggles is thus not the fact that they would constitute the seeds of a new workers’ movement, but rather that they indicate what present-day struggles are confronting in restructured capitalism. Faced with the news that their factory is to be closed down, the workers have not sought to re-initiate production under self-management. Far from considering their workplace as something they would want to reappropriate, they have taken it as a target. Their class belonging no longer forms the basis of a workers’ identity on which one could build a new society. The proletarians cannot escape their class belonging, but in their struggles they experience it as a wall that stands in front of them. Going beyond this limit would mean abolishing oneself as a class while at the same time abolishing all other classes: communisation.

– Jeanne Neton and Peter Åström, August 2010

Vorwort Endnotes 3


(übersetz von

Diese Ausgabe von Endnotes war lange unterwegs. Ihre Veröffentlichung verspätete sich aufgrund von Erfahrungen und Diskussionen, welche uns dazu zwangen, unseren Analysen mehr Klarheit zu geben und sie manchmal ganz zu überarbeiten. Viele der Artikel in dieser Ausgabe sind das Produkt jahrelanger Diskussionen. Einige Artikel waren schliesslich so lange, dass wir die Ausgabe in zwei Teile gliedern mussten. Endnotes 4 wird also bald erscheinen, nicht wieder in drei Jahren, sondern eher in den nächsten sechs Monaten. In diesem Text beschreiben wir, als Erklärung für die Verzögerung, einige der Fragen und Zwickmühlen, welche am Anfang dieser und der nächsten Ausgabe standen.

Spectacular Time



OUR EPOCH, WHICH PRESENTS its time to itself as essentially made up of many frequently recurring festivities, is actually an epoch without festival. Those moments when, under the reign of cyclical time, the community would participate in a luxurious expenditure of life, are strictly unavailable to a society where neither community nor luxury exists. Mass pseudo-festivals, with their travesty of dialogue and their parody of the gift, may incite people to excessive spending, but they produce only a disillusion — which is invariably in turn offset by further false promises. The self-approbation of the time of modern survival can only be reinforced, in the spectacle, by reduction in its use value. The reality of time has been replaced by its publicity.