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Hans-Jürgen Krahl: From Critical to Revolutionary Theory

Hans-Jürgen Krahl: From Critical to Revolutionary Theory

Hans-Jürgen Krahl died in a car crash in 1970, at the age of twenty-seven. By that time he had weathered the rise and decline of the Socialist German Student Union (Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund, or SDS), among whose ranks he was, arguably, both the most sophisticated theorist and, after Rudi Dutschke, the most incendiary orator. The SDS had been founded shortly after World War II as the youth wing of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany. As the latter moved towards the center, however, the SDS radicalized, eventually leading to expulsion from its parent organization in 1961. It would soon become the most important student group in Germany, even as its official policy shifted further towards revolutionary Marxism.

From Subaltern to State: Toward a Left Critique of the Pink Tide

From Subaltern to State: Toward a Left Critique of the Pink Tide

As people throughout Latin America react to the unsparing neoliberal policies that swept the region in the 1980s and 90s, Venezuela has become the hinge of a much broader leftward turn. This shift has impelled massive political transformations in Venezuela and Bolivia, stirred more moderate resonances in the Southern Cone, and in the cases of Paraguay and Honduras, aroused reactionary coups. As one of the few left political projects of its scale in the post-Soviet era, this Latin American marea rosada, or pink tide, is a material testing ground for the transition from capitalism to something else – leaving open for now the question of whether this something else is communism – and it demands substantive discussion on the Left.

Lineaments of the Logistical State

Lineaments of the Logistical State

Lineament. noun. GEOLOGY. A linear feature on the earth’s surface, such as a fault. “State space subordinates both chaos and difference to its implacable logistics.” – Henri Lefebvre, “Space and the State” (1978) Logistical revolts Sometimes, we have to look in unlikely places for news that can nourish a radical political imagination.1 World Cargo News, for instance: According to The Strike… Read more →

The Margins and the Center: For a New History of the Cultural Revolution

The Margins and the Center: For a New History of the Cultural Revolution

At the end of the Qing dynasty and in the early twentieth century, a significant number of Chinese revolutionary activists and theorists believed that anarchism was China’s most promising revolutionary path, and that was in part because it corresponded most closely to the actuality of social existence. The vast majority of the population, after all, lived their lives with next to no relationship with the state, whose functionaries almost never reached the village level, and whose levies and regulations were for the most part administered by members of the local élite, with ties to their communities that were many and varied.

The Philosophy of History and the Authoritarian State (1971)

The Philosophy of History and the Authoritarian State (1971)

Historical materialism’s critical economic prognoses on the natural course of the capitalist world order have been confirmed. The conditions for the economic breakdown and crisis of capital have been fulfilled; the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation has long since reached the degree of concentration and centralization that Marx and Engels designated as its naturally produced historical terminus.

The Deep State: Germany, Immigration, and the National Socialist Underground

The Deep State: Germany, Immigration, and the National Socialist Underground

Nearly three years ago, in November 2011, news of a double suicide after a failed bank robbery developed into one of the biggest scandals in postwar German history.1 Even now, it remains unresolved. For thirteen years the two dead men, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, had lived underground, together with a woman, Beate Zschäpe. The three were part of the… Read more →

Commune, Party, State

Commune, Party, State

We asked several contributors to write on the theme of the state and revolutionary strategy, for a roundtable discussion revolving around the following prompt: “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the socialist movement spilled a great deal of ink debating the question of state power. Lenin’s work was perhaps the most influential, but it also provoked a wide… Read more →

Seven Theses on Workers' Control (1958)

Seven Theses on Workers’ Control (1958)

In the workers’ movement there has been for a long time, and in successive periods, a discussion of the question of the modes and temporalities of the transition to socialism. One tendency, which occurred in various forms, believed it was possible to schematize the temporality of this process, as if socialist construction had to be preceded, always and in every case, by the “phase” of construction of bourgeois democracy.

The Biology of Citizenship: Immigration, DNA Testing, and the State

The Biology of Citizenship: Immigration, DNA Testing, and the State

The past twenty years have witnessed a “return of the citizen,”1 resulting in manifold proposals to redefine and expand the notion of citizenship and its links to the nation-states, giving rise to terms like post-national, denationalized, and transnational citizenship.2 In the last decade, a new concept has emerged that has received particular attention in the citizenship discourse: “biological”3 or “genetic citizenship.”4… Read more →